Norfolk's Got Its Own 'Speedy Gonzalez'! 'Speedy' Gonzalez Flies Venezuelan Flag in Formula Renault Rodolfo Gonzalez's nickname might be 'Speedy' -- but the Norfolk-based Venezuelan wisely refuses to rush into making predictions about his ...
Norfolk's Got Its Own 'Speedy Gonzalez'!
'Speedy' Gonzalez Flies Venezuelan Flag in Formula Renault
Rodolfo Gonzalez's nickname might be 'Speedy' -- but the Norfolk-based Venezuelan wisely refuses to rush into making predictions about his debut season in UK Formula Renault.
Since moving to Attleborough in 1996, 17-year-old Rodolfo has been a race-winner in national karting in Britain for the last five years. For 2004, he will line up for North Walsham team Paston Racing in the UK Formula Renault Championship.
After some fine performances in unofficial pre-season testing -- that follow on from strong results in the category's winter championship last November -- Rodolfo is targeting podium finishes by the end of this year.
"The worst thing a new driver can say is 'I'm going to win the title'," says Rodolfo. "Some drivers are in their second or third year of Renault and have a lot of experience. My goal is to get onto the podium a few times in the second half of the season. 2005 is when I see myself being in a much stronger position to try for the title."
Rodolfo has beaten the odds in his pursuit to be a racing driver. His scraped together enough money to continue kart racing by working as a chef -- indeed, he is now a culinary expert and specialises in Italian and, of course, Venezuelan food! In addition, he has also been made a lifelong scholar of Norfolk's New Eccles Hall School and wears its title on his car with pride. Recently, Venezuelan media voted him their most promising future racing prospect.
He recalls: "For my first race in karts in England, I slept over at the track on a piece of cardboard underneath a hut! I had absolutely no money in my pockets when I turned up, but I think being South American really helped -- I had so much passion for what I wanted to do that I made sure I survived.
"Then I went on and raced against Paul di Resta and Oliver Jarvis who I'll be up against this year. We had some great fights and I was runner-up to di Resta in the JICA Champions of the Future. We also had a few crashes together. This year could get interesting if we're together on the track!"
STOP PRESS! Rodolfo was unable to take his road driving test on Friday (27th February) after it was postponed by snow! He is next behind the wheel of his 150mph Formula Renault in the championship's first official test at Norfolk's Snetterton circuit on Wednesday 3rd/Thursday 4th March ahead of his test later in the month.