Oct 23, 2021
by Melanie Derflinger – T Sport Bernau
Last weekend was the final race weekend of the 2021 FIA European Truck Racing Championship! The T Sport Bernau team travelled from Spain (circuit Jarama) directly to Italy and therefore once again arrived first at the circuit in Misano near Rimini.
Already on Wednesday we were able to setup in the paddock which meant we had even more time than usual to prepare ourselves for the big and all-important weekend ahead.
The programme officially started on Saturday morning with two free practice sessions followed by the qualifying and Superpole qualification. As at the previous events, Antonio´s performance was very consistent securing the 4th place for the starting grid of the first race.
When the race got underway, we could all feel the tension in the pit lane. The final race of the year is definitely very important! Everyone, drivers and teams entered into the team championship are fighting hard for every final championship point that is available.
In the race we saw Antonio fighting with Jochen Hahn for position 3. All looked very promising, but unfortunately Antonio braked once a tiny bit too late with fatal consequences. A big crash could be avoided, but the truck flew off the track and stopped just in front of a barrier. The points were lost, but when you are pushing so hard to the limit, things like that can happen.
As a result, the pressure and tension raised even further. We were all very nervous, but Antonio´s performance in the second race was absolutely fantastic! He started from the 13th place into the second race and finished in 7th position, moving up a total of 6 places!
Our guys were working late into the night to make sure the race truck is in perfect condition for the final race day of the 2021 season.
When the new day started, we were all full of energy and motivation! Antonio qualified 5th and then had a perfect start into the third race, moving up two places straight away, parallel to Jochen Hahn. During the race he fought very hard, battling with Jochen for position two and three. An overtake manoeuvre was too risky, but we were all very pleased seeing Antonio finishing the race in third place and on the podium!
The battle wasn’t over for the final race! Once again were Jochen and Antonio very close together. This time Antonio managed to finish in front of him and was trying to extend the gap even further to regain the lost points from the day before, but after another competitor broke down and spilled diesel on the track, the race had to be red flagged and stopped early.
This meant, it was time to count the points and finalise the championship standings.
We all are extremely happy and proud with the result that we achieved in this year´s championship! Antonio Albacete finished the 2021 driver standings in 5th place with only a 4-points gap separating us from 4th position! In the team championship, in which we competed together with the Révész Truck Racing Team and their driver Norbert Kiss we took the victory and were crowned FIA Team Champions on Sunday evening at the official prize giving ceremony!
Antonio’s performance was outstanding and our technical reliability this year was at 100%, with not a single DNF (did not finish) during the complete season! A real achievement the complete team and all our partners that support us with parts, tools and equipment can be very proud off!
A big thank you to all our partners, supporters and fans!
We will keep pushing and are planning on being as strong in 2022 FIA European Truck Racing Championship!
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