Albacete’s Busy Winter
The third placed finishing driver of the 2018 FIA European Truck Racing Championship season leaves no stone unturned over the winter break, working on several projects in parallel as well as evaluating his option for the upcoming season.
As is the case every winter, the two-time FIA ETRC title-winner devotes to his passion restoring vintage Minis in a workshop he runs in the town of Colmenar Viejo.
“I was focused on working here with the Minis," says Antonio. "I have a little bit of work that I have to do before we start racing again."
In addition, the truck racing stalwart also has his son’s career to look after as well as a coaching role with his compatriot Luis Recuenco, who made his FIA ETRC debut last year for Trucksport Lutz Bernau. On top of that, he’s working on plans for his own 2019 FIA ETRC campaign.
Albacete’s son, Tony, follows the footsteps of his decorated father, having clinched his first title in cars last season, winning a Toyota Aygo one make cup in his homeland.
“I’m also focused on trying to find a bit of money to do the touring car championship here in Spain with my son because the price for winning they Aygo [one make series] is to do this championship. It’s not a full budget. They have the car, they have the mechanics, but we need a little bit of budget. It’s busy, non-stop.”
Despite a stellar 2018 campaign and an excellent third in overall standings, Albacete is still aiming to secure his budget for this season.
“We need to find some [more] budget," he says.
"I know that Lutz [Bernau] is trying hard to find something. We’re going to meet next month and see how things are."
In addition to looking after his son’s career, the experienced racer also mentors his team-mate Recuenco who’s preparing for his second year as an FIA ETRC driver.
“My truck is in Germany but Luis’ truck is here in Spain. Probably we’re going to do some testing before Most with Luis.
"I know they’re changing the engine, for a rebuild and as soon as they have it done we’re going to try to find a circuit to do some running, here at Jarama or maybe at the Albacete Circuit.
Top three the goal again
“If we’re going to have a reasonable budget, the goal is to keep going and to fight for the championship and for sure to be in the top three [again]. That would be very good for us. To finish third last year was fantastic for the whole team.”
To stay race-sharp, the Spaniard took part in an endurance race at his come venue, Circuito del Jarama.
“In the middle of December, I did a three-hour race in a KTM GT4, here in Jarama, which I won. I was sharing the car with the car owner and his friend. The car was fast and fun to drive,” he sums up.
Making an off-road debut, driving one of the cars owned by Recuenco, was also part of the plan, but these plans were hampered by one of the cars being damaged.
“He crashed with the Toyota and he had to use the other car. I was unable to do the rally. Maybe we will do something this year but I’m not sure about that,” Albacete explained.