A MAHLE exclusive with the best of the best among truck teams

Just in case you didn’t already know: truck racing is a different type of racing event altogether—one you simply have to experience for yourself! As a sponsor of the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau racing team, MAHLE had the privilege of spending a day filming the action behind the scenes at the paddock. With our host Magdalena as your guide, you’ll experience everything that goes on at a Truck Grand Prix!

Hot tires, roaring engines, and plenty of horsepower to boot

The 32nd International ADAC Truck Grand Prix took place at the Nürburgring from June 30 to July 2. And the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau racing team was right there, in the thick of the action. Seasoned truck racers Antonio Albacete and Jose Rodrigues took to the racetrack in 2017, with Rodrigues stepping in for the popular and successful motorsports driver Ellen Lohr at the beginning of the season.

MAHLE is one of Truck Sport Lutz Bernau’s sponsors. But its support doesn’t stop there: MAHLE thermal management components are also used in Truck Sport Lutz Bernau’s vehicles each time they race. That goes for driver Antonio Albacete’s current race truck too.

The race truck - Five tons and 160 km/h

MAHLE thermal management components can also be found in the race truck.

Not only does truck racing represent the ultimate racing fever and driving skill, it also means extreme conditions and punishing demands on vehicle components. Truck racing is five tons of iron and steel hurtling along at speeds of 160 kilometers per hour!
Antonio Albacete’s number 23 race truck is based on a MAN 19.480 TGX.

“The technical regulations of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) for the European Truck Racing Championship (ETRC) state that a race truck must be based on a series vehicle,” explains Egmont Bartmann, Manager of Truck Sport Lutz Bernau. “Certain components are allowed to be modified, others are not. So the vehicle frame has to include some series production parts. Engine performance enhancements are permitted, and certain components may be replaced for this purpose.”

The rigorous demands on vehicle parts, Bartmann explains, stem from the fact that they are always running at full or near-full throttle to varying degrees during the race. “Every component in the vehicle has to withstand continuous on/off loading; it’s like a test run in fast motion,” says Bartmann. “This is particularly true for the components inside the engine, such as cylinders and piston components, oil and fuel components, as well as the engine cooling system. That’s why our cooperation with expert partner MAHLE is vitally important to us in all these areas.”

MAHLE components in the race truck

  • MAHLE custom cooler: charge air cooler (a standard cooler modified for the installation conditions in the race truck)
  • Water cooler
  • Steering oil cooler

Engine data
Displacement: 12.419 cm3
Bore: 126 mm
Stroke: 166 mm
Valves: four valves per cylinder, Bosch Common Rail EDC7C32 Racing
Output: above 846 kW (1,150 hp)
Torque: above 5,500 Nm
Weight: 5,500 kg, of which 3,300 kg on the front axle in line with the regulations
Speed: electronically limited to 160 km/h, over 200 km/h possible

The driver

Race driver Antonio Albacete standing in front of his number 23 race truck.

Antonio Albacete has been racing since 1980. He started out a few figures down the scale, in kart championships, and moved on to touring cars in the 1990s. In 1997, he scaled up to the big leagues: truck championships. Racing for Truck Sport Lutz Bernau, the two-time European champion has laid claim to more than a few trophies between 2005 and today.

Profile: Antonio Albacete

Date of birth: January 15, 1965
Nationality: Spanish
Profession: Professional racing driver
Residence: Madrid/Spain
Family status: Married with two children
First race: 1979, kart

A day at the Ring with Magdalena

Our cameraman Dean captures the taxi ride in Antonio Albacete’s race truck on film.

One thing makes truck racing different: rather than being tucked away in the pits, the trucks are out in the paddock, in plain view of the fans.

Tag along with our host Magdalena as she tours the Lutz Bernau paddock and the racetrack. You’ll witness a pit stop first hand and hitch a ride in the Bernau race truck!

You’ll also learn a few interesting facts about the vehicle components from the team’s race engineer. And, of course, you’ll see exclusive interviews with Team Principal Lutz Bernau and driver Antonio himself.


Winner of hearts

Despite outstanding technology and experienced drivers, winning also takes a bit of luck. Take this race weekend, for instance. This time around, victory just wasn’t on the cards for Team Lutz Bernau!

Antonio Albacete claims a fourth place standing in the first race.

Saturday’s results

Bad weather made for extreme conditions on Saturday. In light of these difficult circumstances, Albacete opted against attacking his slightly slower opponent, Jochen Hahn—a move that resulted in a fourth place finish.

The second race of the day involved a collision. As a result, Albacete was forced to abandon due to tire damage.

Looking ahead: Team Truck Sport Lutz Bernau is confident that Antonio will take it to the podium in the next race.

Sunday’s results

In the third race of the weekend, the bad weather made conditions even more difficult. The fourth race had to be cancelled altogether because the wet racetrack was too slippery due to fuel leakage. This brought the Grand Prix to a premature end.

Bright prospects

Despite these results, however, the team knows it’s on the right track: “During qualifying, we were just one-tenth of a second slower than pole setter Norbert Kiss,” said Team Principal Lutz Bernau at the end of a weekend cut short. “That’s a good starting position from which to claim a podium again in upcoming races—with a bit more luck, of course.”


Over three decades of tradition—the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau team

A strong team turns 30. Best of luck to the entire team! (left to right: Lutz Bernau, Antonio Albacete)

But the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau racing team has good reason to celebrate. Truck Sport Lutz Bernau has been a leading team in international truck racing for over 30 years.

Throughout Europe, team founder Lutz Bernau is widely held as a pioneer in this motorsports event. He first ran the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1984—with a Mercedes 1932 AK that he had prepared for the race himself. He launched his career as a truck racing driver in the same year, taking part in a race at the former French Formula 1 racetrack at Le Castellet.

Since the start of the millennium, the team itself has been making history: with no fewer than eight wins in the European Truck Racing Championship, including successes in driver and team standings. On twelve other occasions, the team or one of its drivers has clinched a top-three ranking in the overall standing.

For more information about the Truck Sport Lutz Bernau team, visit: https://www.lutz-bernau.de


The FIA European Truck Racing Championship is the premier championship for this sport in Europe, enjoying the largest spectatorship on European racetracks after Formula 1. The series began in 1985, at that time still under the name European Truck Racing Championship. In 1994, it was acquired by the FIA, which upgraded the racing series to an official European championship in 2006. The Truck Sport Lutz Bernau team has been a successful fixture in the European Truck Racing Championship since 1995.

Find out more about the Truck Grand Prix at: http://www.truck-grand-prix.de/


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