Albert Costa Balboa (Barcelona, 33 years old) premieres at the 24 Hours at Le Mans after having reached the World Endurance Championship (WEC) after a professional career in which he has had to build himself and find his place. From a motorcycle family, his father Luis Costa Rey He raced motorcycles and in 1978 he was proclaimed Spanish resistance champion (250cc) and his older brother, Luís, competed in the 2001 250cc Motorcycle World Championship With the Yamaha Antena 3 d’Antín team, he started karting almost by chance: “I wanted to go on a motorcycle, it was my dream. My idols were Crivillé, Rossi, Pedrosa… My father and my brother were my heroes. But one day they invited me to a race for kids who had never raced and I arrived and without having tried the kart, which I didn’t even want, I won ”, he explains to ACE from Le Mans, where he prepares for the centenary of the 24 Hours. “I have spent almost 5 or 7 hours a day in the simulator, testing different software, in the rain, at night, with traffic… everything there is. Everything depends on me, I think I’ve done much more than I had to, but hey, it’s better to be prepared ”, he confesses.
Because working “as if there were no tomorrow”, as he repeats throughout the talk, is one of his hallmarks. So she came to english f3at World Series by Renaultwhere he competed and won a young Daniel Ricciardo, and thus he recovered from a professional pothole when he ran out of cars to race. The opportunity arose in the GTwhere he became an officer of Lamborghini. There he had another tasteless when he found out that the Italian firm did not include him in its plans for the future Hypercar. A circumstance that opens the door of the WEC with the LMP2 of the team Inter Europol Competition. “I debut in Sebring. I thought ‘I’m going to be there three, four, tenths behind the first and I’m going to try to hold on and see if we can get a top 10’. And in the second lap I do the fastest lap of the race. I was going to peel them, without knowing the car, if I knew the circuit… Now I know that they are going to respect me and that they are going to be afraid, which in the end makes you win your place. And I think that little by little I am earning it ”, recalls Costa while he performs the trackwalk for him Circuit de la Sarthe.
Despite his little experience in prototyping LMP2performs an excellent classification in Portimão and achieved his first podium in the 6 Hours of Spa: “This was spectacular because in the end all the things I needed came together. The strategy was good, although we weren’t completely lucky because we had a puncture that caused us to lose a very, very long time that cost us the victory”.
And now it’s time to run 24 Hours of Le Manswith a modest team, but Costa comes out with ambition and a clear objective: to repeat in 2024 but in the class hypercar. This is how he explains it: “Honestly, my real objective is to show my speed above all to be able to win a contract here next year with a Hypercar, it is the basis for this weekend and it is the idea. Things have already started to move, and this motivates me a lot. Then I go out to win, but I know it’s difficult, because it’s a very long race. There are many factors. If I sign a podium right now? Yes, let’s go yes ”, concludes an excited Costa.