Gonzalez shows his potential
The British F3 International championship moved to the unique Rockingham Motor Speedway, which includes part of the banked oval, for the last meeting of the 2007 season. Venezuelan Rodolfo Gonzalez was again competing for the T-Sport team in the Championship class.
After his podium at the round at Thruxton, Gonzalez was hoping to build on that result. With fierce competition between the 29 drivers a few 1/10th of a second can mean the difference between pole and 10th place on the grid.
Rockingham uses a mixture of an infield road course section along with part of the banked oval, in much the same way as Indianapolis did for Formula 1.
The Saturday qualifying sessions were held in mixed weather conditions, with the track drying after earlier rain. Gonzalez managed a 5th and season's best of 2nd place on the grid for the two races held on the Sunday.
In the 1st race Gonzalez made one of his quick starts and was up to 3rd place by the end of the first lap, which he held until the later part of the race when understeer problems meant he struggled in the tight corners, but even so finished in 4th place.
With a front row grid slot Gonzalez was determined to go for the win and made a great start from the line and was in the lead after the first hairpin. For the next few laps he held a steady lead before it was decided that he had jumped the start and had to do a drive through the pits. This left him in 6th place and with some handling issues and frustration at loosing the lead finished in 11th place.
After the races Gonzalez said "In Race 1 I was struggling with understeer and couldn't run at the pace I wanted so was overtaken for the final podium place which was really frustrating. In Race 2 I really felt I had made a good start and so was really upset when I had to do my drive through."
"I hope to be back in British F3 in 2008 and am looking to start winning races. I would like to thank the support of my team (T-Sport) my sponsors and my family throughout this season"
-credit: chris roberts