Gonzalez speeds to first win
Rodolfo Gonzalez put an end to his unlucky rookie run with a win in Belgium to open his Euroseries 3000 account - but only just.The 23-year-old Venezuelan, who is based in Attleborough, dominated the first of two races at Zolder, starting from second on the grid and overtaking Marco Bonanomi on the outside of the first corner before cruising to a 17-second lead.
Rodolfo Gonzalez put an end to his unlucky rookie run with a win in Belgium to open his Euroseries 3000 account - but only just.
The 23-year-old Venezuelan, who is based in Attleborough, dominated the first of two races at Zolder, starting from second on the grid and overtaking Marco Bonanomi on the outside of the first corner before cruising to a 17-second lead.
But as the race entered its final minutes, a faulty fuel pump saw Gonzalez's Coloni car grind to a halt only a few metres after crossing the finish line.
For once Gonzalez's luck held out and the young driver picked up a thoroughly deserved race win that saw him move up to sixth in the drivers' championship at the midway point in the series.
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Gonzalez said: 'I knew that on my qualifying lap I did too many mistakes, and that I had the pace to win.
'I had only to overtake Marco at the start and I did, also thanks to his fair driving.
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'From then on I knew I had to push in the first laps. I didn't imagine that the fuel pump was going to scare me but in the end everything was perfect for us.'
Gonzalez is the first of this season's rookies to win after six races of this year's F3000 series.
The second race at Zolder - over a shorter distance and with the finishing places from race one reversed for the grid - saw an accident put paid to Gonzalez's chances and he was limited to a sixth-place finish.
The man who spent three years in Formula Three before stepping up to F3000 this year, has had a tough run of luck since the series started in May.
He was taken off the track by another car when leading at Portimao, Portugal, before a collision ended his second race, while brake problems blighted his two outings at Magny-Cours.
But the talented driver is hoping his performances with his Italian team will earn him a second bite at the GP2 Asia Series, having performed for Fisichella Motor Sport International in the winter.
A drive with either of Norfolk's GP2-based teams - Supernova and Isport - could also be on the cards if Gonzalez continues to impress, having driven for Trident Racing twice in last year's GP2 main series.