HSO Interview #5 : Alberto Ibañez

Alberto Ibañez may be Spanish, but his prefered form of simracing is definitely oval racing. One of his two HSO wins came at an oval at the opening round of our 1973 USAC championship at Trenton in 2017. After very limited racing activities in 2018, Alberto will be more active this year which sees him driving in both the CART and Procar championships.

Alberto Ibanez

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself ?

Hometown : Valencia, Spain
Occupation : I studied laws in the university, then gained my place as jurist in the spanish administration through an exam.
Family : Catholic wife and two male heirs (13 and 12 yo)
Hobbies : History, in all the areas I have interest: Racing, military, culture, art, etc. Chasing girls (retired now).

Tell us more about Alberto
the simracer

The first sim you ever raced on:  Chequered Flag for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Crazy when you look at it nowadays, but that's what we had back then. I even remember rewinding the cassette with a pen to reload the game ...
Your first online race : 23 May 2011 here, the 1970 SCCA championship
The leagues you have raced in : Only HSO so far
The race of your life : In june 1996 against the dirtiest and unsportsmanlike people ever. Had to sweat it and take many risks while driving, but managed to arrive in time for my final exam in the university.
Titles and honours you have won : Let me think for some minutes ... Actually none.
Your worst simracing moment : Not enough space to tell them all. 
Any simracer you admire or consider a model : Simon Wattman for his constancy. I think he has never, ever prepared a race in all these years.
Which sims or mods are you all-time favourites : USAC73, USAC74, Indycar88, Procar, and any with Richard Wilk's physics.
Any mod would you like to be made in the future : Any that features historic racing accurately.

Are you an avid fan of Motor Racing or just the casual follower ?

When did you discover motor racing : Not sure, remember playing a lot with race toy cars since I was kid. I have quite fond memories of a diecast JPS Lotus 72 with which I played an insane amount of hours, painting race tracks in the floor.
First race you attended : It was a spanish local motorcycle championship (Street race) in 1989, a guy I knew raced in the series. When I saw them going around the circuit, inches away from the walls, that was the moment I understood my future was in university and not in racing. :hihi:
Your favourite drivers, makes or teams : In Indycar: Rick Mears, Bobby and Al Unser (Both), In stock/touring cars: Richard Petty, Klaus Ludwig. In F1, Lauda, Prost and Piquet. From older times, Clark, Hill, Surtees. Fav teams, Penske. In bikes: Waine Rainey and Wayne Gardner (Squared eggs, the most courageous bikeracer I have ever seen).
Do you still follow motor racing on a regular basis : Contemporary motorracing has not as much appeal to me, but I can occasionally watch endurance racing or Indycar (Indy 500).
Are you a fan of racing history in general : Yes!
If yes, which era(s) do you prefer : Depends on the championships. Overall the racing of the 70s and US racing in the 80s and 90s (Indycar).

Tell us more about your HSO experience.

How did you discover HSO : Carl Larrad brought me here. Blame him.
Your best HSO memories : Many, mostly related to the good moments with the fellows here, even more than to the simracing itself.
What do you like the most at HSO : HSO is like a filter, many come and go, but only the really nice and great people stay.
What could be improved at HSO : Guillaume Siebert has to return.
Which championship would you like to see organised at HSO in the future : Anything historic with ovals.

Tell us more about your 2019 season

Which cars are you driving in which series this year : I'm sharing my cars with my son as I am busy with admin duty and some modding needed for the season (Meadowlands!), plus I wanted to allow more people to have a chance at driving instead of picking a full car for me. I will be driving the Penske PC17 in CART88 and my beloved BMW M1, plus maybe some other rides in the opens.
Highlights of previous season : Last year I only raced in the triple crown as I was quite busy with real life and admin aspects, so I preferred to center in ovals, which is my preferred form of racing. Results were not what I hoped for despite having scored some good quick laps in practice. A poor 10th at Indy and DNF at both Pocono and Ontario, due to crashes. Guess that is what you get when you race too little, you tend to lose your focus.
Your hopes and dreams for this year : Not a lot, I am busy with lots of stuff so I guess I'm happy just to do well in the series I am running.
Your favourite opponent(s) on track : I have fun with almost everybody here, but on ovals people I can trust well to race only millimeters away and have loads of fun are f.e. Jason White, the late Bob Wilson Crying or Very sad or Richard Coxon. 

The (Alain) Prost Questionnaire : based on the famous questionnaire(s) by French author Marel Proust

Your chief characteristic as a simracer : I know how to lose gracefully, as I have practiced it a lot. I also am good at setting up a car, which is why I am not as slow at ovals as at road courses.
Your biggest flaw as a simracer : Abysmal finish rate.
Your favourite qualities in a simracer : Sportsmanship.
Your ultimate simracing dream : Seeing HSO healthy in the future and continuing to be "the place to be".
Your ultimate simracing nightmare : Having to join iRacing.
If you could be a real driver who would you be : Hunt. I still prefer girls to cars :hihi:
The circuit on which you could live : Man TT
Your favourite colour for a car : For a street car either white or black. For a race car, Marlboro white and red.
Your favourite racing car ever : BMW M1 Procar, I never get tired of hearing that inline-6 getting to the redline.
Your favourite motoring author or journalist : Gordon Kirby is both things, and writes really well. Karl Ludwigsen needs little introduction, I have some books from him.
Your favourite fictional racing movie or book : Bobby Unser's autobiography. It's hilarious.
What do you hate above all in racing : Stupid rules that take away the good racing. As in modern F1.
What do you hate above all in simracing : People using internet's anonimity to act like dicks and/or cheat.
The greatest racing feat you remember : Mears winning the Indy 500 with a broken right ankle, using the left foot over the right one to press the pedal to the metal.
Your current state of mind : Busy
Your racing motto : Please God, another lap without crashing.