Gonzalo Rodríguez (racing driver)

Gonzalo Rodríguez (racing driver)

Gonzalo "Gonchi" Rodríguez (born January 22, 1972 in Montevideo, Uruguay; died September 11, 1999) was a racing driver. He showed promise in Formula 3000 for three seasons, taking two wins in 1998 at Spa-Francorchamps and Nürburgring, winning the following season in Monaco and finishing third in both championships. Following a rotation of drivers as team mates to Al Unser Jr. in CART Penske Racing's second car, he was given his opportunity at the Detroit street circuit in 1999 and scored a point in his first race.

At the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca raceway during the practice session for his second CART race, he was fatally injured in a crash. His car went off the track at more than 140 mph and slammed into a concrete barrier at the notorious Corkscrew corner. The impact caused his car to flip over the barrier and land upside down on the other side of the wall. Gonzalo was killed instantly by a basilar skull fracture caused by the impact with the wall (which was lined by only a small layer of tires). The cause of the accident was overheated brakes. Due to heat, the brake wire burned and snapped causing the car to be unstoppable. It was the first racing fatality in the history of Laguna Seca Raceway.

External links

* [http://www.gonzalorodriguez.org/ Fundación Gonzalo Rodríguez] - a foundation which promotes physical education
* [http://www.historicracing.com/drivers_nation.cfm?start=1&page_no=1&driverID=2365&orderType=name Profile at HistoricRacing.com]

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