Rodolfo edges to maiden victory
Michael BaileyRodolfo Gonzalez put an end to his unlucky rookie run with a weekend win in Belgium to open his Euroseries 3000 account - but only just.The 23-year-old Venezuelan 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.Michael Bailey
Rodolfo Gonzalez put an end to his unlucky rookie run with a weekend win in Belgium to open his Euroseries 3000 account - but only just.
The 23-year-old Venezuelan 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.
Attleborough-based 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. 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.'
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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.