We caught up with Spanish truck legend Antonio Albacete as he attempts to pull together his 2016 FIA ETRC race program
Antonio, it has been a challenging winter for your team, how are things looking now?
“We had at the end of last season the news that Cespa is not going to be with us anymore in the sponsorship side, so that means that we have a very hard winter trying to find financial support. It is very difficult to find any kind of commercial support here in Spain you know, we have some great small sponsors, but it is not enough to make the whole season. So we are still trying to find some and we keep our fingers crossed. We will keep pushing to be on the grid.”
“We are working on the truck. We finished last season quite well, it was very competitive. So we did some small changes this season in the front end of the truck, and we think it will be improved. But of course, I mean, we are waiting for our financial situation We are very happy with the last results in Jarama, in the last races and we know that we have a truck which is quite competitive and we can be winning races from the beginning of the season, but anyway, we will see.”
Do you see it being the same this year with a similar group of drivers at the front?
“Yes, yes sure it is going to be a very good fight. Norbert (Kiss) will of course be very quick, as he was last year; Jochen (Hahn) also, I mean Adam (Lacko) was quite good last year as well. So I think we also have to see (Rene) Reinert, he was not so bad, he was pushing hard, he was quicker and quicker, you know and I think it could be a very good fight in the championship this year.”
Tell us how much you enjoy racing in Spain and how much the Spanish fans enjoy watching the trucks and more yourself in action?
“I mean the race at Jarama for us is the most important race. No other race is so important; no other kind of championship brings so many people to the race. Most of the people are coming to see us, to see the Spanish drivers and of course we are fighting always for the victory and so the fans are very proud to see us fighting at the races. I get a special feeling racing in my home country of course!
Obviously 2016 a big change in trucks with the new promotor and a new era starting for trucks. What are your thoughts about getting a promoter in and what they are trying to achieve through the first year of operations?
“I think that it is good thing that it has become a new era. Since 20 years we don’t have any real promotor, so I think that to have a promoter is a good thing. They will fight for the good health of the championship, they will fight for having more promotion of the championship and I think they will do a good job and for us this is important. We need to make a good championship to attract more sponsors, more manufacturers that are needed, to make it more attractive. It is attractive already of course. As you know, the truck championship is, after the Formula1, the FIA championship which brings the most people to the circuits. But I think we need someone to fight in one direction and I think that for these reasons a new promoter is good for everybody.