Adrian Campos Suner

The maternal grandson of a famous Spanish industrialist called Luis Suner, Adrian Campos Suner grew up in very comfortable surroundings in his home town of Alzira, not far from the city of Valencia. The family company, Avidesa, was a vast ice cream and frozen chicken business and so money was never a worry. As a child he raced radio-controlled cars, winning the 1980 Spanish national championship. The following year the family got a shock when Suner was kidnapped and held hostage for three months by the Basque separatist movement ETA. In the end a ransom was paid and Suner was released. Around the same time Campos decided that he would go racing although he was accompanied wherever he went by an armed bodyguard.

After just a handful of races in Spain Campos asked Barcelona chassis-builder Miguel Molons to build him an Avidesa Formula 3 car for the European Championship. This was a decent car but Campos had no experience and results were limited. In 1984 Campos decided to buy himself a drive with Volkswagen Motorsport, one of the top teams in the series. To his credit Campos managed to win a heat at the Monza Lotteria that year. After the European series was cancelled he moved to Germany and raced F3 again, finishing third in the 1985 German F3 Championship and then tried Formula 3000 in 1986, at the same time doing some testing work for Tyrrell. That year he also raced a Porsche 962C for John Fitzpatrick at Jerez.

He then found backing from the Valencia-based Saez Merino textile group, the manufacturer of the Lois and Cimarron jeans, and was able to buy himself a seat at Minardi in 1987 and for half of 1988. In the end lack of results forced Giancarlo Minardi to drop him in favour of Pierluigi Martini.

In 1989 the family sold its shares in Avidesa and Campos turned his attention to business. In 1990 he did some racing in the Spanish Touring Car Championship and in 1994 won the Spanish title. He then retired and started running Adri·n Campos Motorsport in the new Open Fortuna by Nissan series. His first driver was Marc Gene who won the Nissan title, landed a drive with Minardi and was followed by Fernando Alonso. Since then the team has had many young Spanish hopefuls including Borja Garcia, Felix Porteiro and Adrian Valles. It currently runs two cars in GP2 and two in Spanish Formula 3.