Former triple champion Albacete returns
The 2017 FIA European Truck Racing Championship entry list is starting to take shape with several new entrants committing to races this season.
An exciting new alliance has been formed this year between two former Truck champions - Lutz Bernau and Antonio Albacete.
After a years sabbatical from FIA ETRC action Albacete has signed for a full season of action in a new Truck Sport Bernau run MAN.
The great Spanish racer, who took the FIA ETRC titles in 2005, 2006 and 2010, is sure to be a challenger for podium and race wins in the Truck Sport Bernau entry. He will be officially presented as the nominated driver this Friday in Munich.
Albacete replaces Ellen Lohr who is working on new challenges for 2017 but who has not discounted coming back for more FIA ETRC campaigns in the future.
Albacete will return to the championship at the much anticipated 2017 opening round in Red Bull Ring on May 13/14. He will also race on home ground at the season finale at Jarama in October where he will compete in front of his famously passionate fans who flock to the race in their thousands.
In addition to Albacete’s entry there will also be a unique story with three generations of the same family racing together on several occasions in 2017, as the Rodrigues clan commit to the FIA ETRC.
The trucking patriarch of the family - Eduardo Rodrigues will again be a season entrant in his Reboconorte run MAN. This time though he will have the support of both his son – Jose-Fernando and his grandson – Jose-Eduardo.
Jose Rodrigues will run in a family entered truck at seven rounds with his father. In the Teams Championship Jose will partner up with Antonio Albacete to form a potent partnership. The youngest of the family trio - Jose-Eduardo will take part in up to three rounds this season in a yet to be confirmed truck.
Commenting on the news of Albacete joining Truck Sport Lutz Bernau and the Rodrigues families plans, ETRA director Rolf Werner, said: "Both of these announcements are very exciting as we prepare for another great year of racing in the FIA ETRC.
"Antonio is something of a truck racing legend and has shown his speed and experience over so many years,” continued Werner. "We know he is hungry for more success after an enforced absence in 2016."
Christoph Gerlach, who is responsible for all ETRA team relations was equally delighted with the new entries and said: "What a story we have with the Rodrigues family! Three generations of racers on the same race track is incredible.
"They have a real passion for truck racing and from what we saw at Jarama last year, there will be some great endeavours from all three of them this season."
"Above all this shows that there is another competitive and dynamic season in store this year. With more announcements of entrants to come there is every reason to believe that 2017 will be one of the most fiercely fought in recent memory,” concluded Gerlach.
The full season entry list for the 2017 FIA European Truck Racing Championship will be officially unveiled next month.
The first round of the campaign will take place at the Red Bull Ring, Spielberg in Austria over the weekend of 13/14 May.