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Oct 17, 2019

Gonzalez going from strength to strength

It’s safe to say Jam Motorsport’s Daniel Gonzalez didn’t expect his debut season in the Australian Prototype Series to pan out the way it has so far.

Currently sitting in second place, just three points behind current leader David Barram, Gonzalez has enjoyed a huge first full year in the Australian Prototype Series, claiming his first set of maximum points at the most recent round at Winton. 

With just one round remaining in the 2019 season, it’s been a whirlwind 12 months for the West Australian who was only hoping to find his feet in competitive racing, but now finds himself in title contention. 

“It’s really exciting,” Gonzalez said.

“This is all new to us as I’ve never done any motor sports until November last year and now this year is the first year we’re doing it properly and we’re in the top two, so I am little nervous. 

“It’s a big shock to be honest. We’ve been trying to learn as quickly as we can but it’s so competitive and anything can happen so I just feel so nervous at every meet because everything is so new to me.

“We tried tyres for the first time this year, going onto a wet track and going out on a track with cold tyres. All these things are being done for the first time. I'm feeling all the sensations I’ve never felt before which is a welcome challenge.” 

Gonzalez is one of a few drivers in the running for a maiden title with Barram having put on a fantastic season, while the third placed John Paul Drake has been a consistent force all year, pulling off a number of podium finishes. 

Next month’s season finale at The Bend Motorsport Park as part of the Shannons Nationals will be the first time Gonzalez enters a race meeting having raced at the track before, allowing him to focus on himself instead of learning the track. 

Despite being a first year driver, Gonzalez’ rise up the standings has not been based on luck with the driver embracing the pressure being put on him from the more experience drivers. 

“I think about racing probably every single day. Every spare minute I get, I am researching different things like overtaking and technique, especially now that I am so close to the title,” Gonzalez explained. 

“My heart and soul went into this from the beginning and I wanted to be competitive from the get go. We’re putting in a lot of work and energy into making sure we’ve given ourselves every opportunity and it begins with being as prepared as possible.

“For The Bend, I want to enjoy the experience and be present with it because I’ve shown up to every event so far this year really nervous and freaking out a little bit. I need to remind myself to relax most times.

“As I have already been there though, it’s a different story because I can now just focus on soaking it in and my performance." 

It was a slow start for Gonzalez but the second half of the season has seen him rise dramatically up the standings into title contention, which included a round win in the penultimate round at Winton.

At the round, his biggest threat came in the form of Paul Trengove, with both drivers securing a race win and Barram falling to fourth outright behind Drake.

As the series draws to a conclusion, the intense three-way battle sets up the racing at The Bend perfectly. Gonzalez is hoping to replicate his form from September and re-live the glory. 

“At the start of the year, I just wanted to finish as quick as possible but I had no idea I could win a race. We still have a long way to go still but at least I know what it feels like and what it takes to win a round," Gonzalez said.

“To win the series in my first year would be unreal. It would be pretty special to win it. I have a lot of my family attending as well so I would like to be able to do it for them and Jam Motorsport who have helped me so much this year.” 

The final round of the Australian Prototype Series takes place at the Shannons National season finale at The Bend Motorsport Park on 15-17 November. 

Click here to purchase tickets to the season finale at The Bend Motorsport Park.