BF3

Brands Hatch: Rodolfo Gonzalez race report

Gonzalez shows his true pace at Brands Hatch Venezuelan Rodolfo "Speedy" Gonzalez lived up to his nickname, at last weekend's British F3 races at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, with a season's best finish of 4th place. The...

Gonzalez shows his true pace at Brands Hatch

Venezuelan Rodolfo "Speedy" Gonzalez lived up to his nickname, at last weekend's British F3 races at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit, with a season's best finish of 4th place.

The weekend has threatened rain at some point during the weekend so all drivers were keen to get good qualifying positions during Saturday's dry & sunny running. Gonzalez was all raring to go to put aside the disappointments of the last meeting at Monza and had his best qualifying session of the season with two 6th place (out of 32) on the starting grid for Sunday's two races.

The full Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit is one of Gonzalez's favourites as it tests the drivers through the undulating and twisty back section. After qualifying Gonzalez was disappointed as he made a minor mistake in 2nd qualifying which might have meant he qualified on the front row.

The Sunday threat of rain came early morning and then left the Kent circuit with a mostly sunny day. So drivers didn't need to worry about how their cars might go in the wet and just get the best out of their dry setups.

In race 1 Gonzalez made a poor getaway due to a slipping clutch and fell down the order to 13th place, but his race was apparent early with another car overtaken almost every lap until he just had 5 cars in front of him from the big teams. He then hunted down the two Carlin cars to move into 4th place and then ran out of laps to catch the leading group before the end.

In Race 2 Gonzalez made a better start and kept his grid slot at the end of the first lap before passing Jelley and up to 5th place. Then he was called in for a drive through penalty for jumping the start (though afterwards this was adjudged to be in error) so fell from 5th place to towards the back of the cars, before battling back up to 18th place.

After the races Gonzalez summed up the weekend "I think we took a good positive step forward in the car and myself, I was very satisfied with the teams work and the progress in myself. It was unfortunate I had the clutch problem in race one in the start and dropped to P13 but this helped me prove I'm a competitive and tough driver putting good moves on people during the race".

"Also to qualify p6 for both races was a great step forward for me and I just hope we can improve from here and carry on our form. I was unfortunate to get an undeserved drive through penalty in race two but there you go. The opinion was made based on the eye sight of a race official without even looking at the telemetry or hard facts."

After a very encouraging weekend Gonzalez is looking forward to the next British F3 races at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium on July 27/28.

-credit: Chris Roberts

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About this article
Series BF3
Drivers Rodolfo Gonzalez
Teams Carlin