Volkswagen Motorsport star Kevin Abbring has praised the FIA Institute’s Young Driver Excellence Academy for the role it has played in his development as a driver.
The Dutchman is contesting selected rounds of the 2012 FIA World Rally Championship powered by Nokia as part of Volkswagen’s Junior Programme, and recently finished 12th overall on Rallye Monte-Carlo in the German firm’s Skoda Fabia S2000.
Abbring, 23, was one of 12 drivers on the FIA Institute’s 2011 pilot young driver scheme, which is aimed at enhancing safety and sustainability in motorsport.
Abbring said: “Working with Robert [Reid] and Alex [Wurz, both FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy performance managers] helped me in lots of ways. They helped me to trust myself and my driving in any condition. On the Monte Carlo, you have to compromise in the selection of tyres and in the set-up of the car, the way the conditions are always changing: you’re never really going to have everything perfect. The Institute programme showed me how to get the best out of this situation.
“The other thing we did a lot of work on was finding out how and why the car is behaving in a certain way and then understanding that side of things and, again, making the best result from it.
“For me, getting to the finish in Monte Carlo was very, very important. I needed to gain as much experience from what is a very specific event and I was really pleased to do that with the help of the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy.”