Truck racing rookie Fabio Citignola looks back at his debut weekend in Italy...
Truck racing rookie Fabio Citignola could have felt like he was throwing himself into the deep end when he arrived at Misano for the first round of the 2019 FIA European Truck Racing Championship. It was not only Citignola’s first ever FIA sanctioned event but also his very first truck race.
To add to the challenge, his Team Tankpool24 Racing outfit skipped the Most pre-season test in April, leaving the 20-year-old turning up to his first ever truck race with only a handful of miles completed behind the wheel of his Mercedes-Benz truck on an airfield in Hungary.
“I came here with really no expectations,” he said. “My goal was to learn and make the best out of it.”
The weekend wasn’t quite plain sailing for the Renault Clio Cup convert who had some tough moments, including a drive-through penalty for crossing the white line at the start and losing parts of his bodywork in a coming together.
Yet, he improved from session to session, starting off with a seventh place in the GRAMMER TRUCK CUP, followed by a fourth in both the second and third races before he signed off his weekend by notching up his first podium.
“I stood on the podium, my team is very happy and I’m very happy,” he admitted.
“The biggest surprise of the weekend for me is that I get along with the truck better than I expected.”
He also delivered a detailed analysis of his own errors. “I still have a problem that I’m too fast at the corner entry, like in touring cars, then, there’s a big turbo lag,” he admitted.
Interestingly enough, his adaption process to a different seating position in the race truck was rather seamless, contrary to most truck racing rookies. “The [different] sitting position didn’t really make any difference for me,” he admitted.
“It was just learning by doing. I was driving and found out how to overtake, how to get the best performance.”
Yet, despite being content with his debut performance, he’s determined to put the effort in order to progress.
“We will check the data and I will see what I can do better and I will be faster next time around," he said.
“[In the] last race I finished 11th [overall] and my goal is to be in the top 10."