CHAMPCAR/CART: Gonzalo Rodriguez Dies in Crash at Laguna Seca

Monterey, Calif. (September 11, 1999) - Gonzalo Rodriguez, 27, of Montevideo, Uruguay, lost his life in a tragic accident at Laguna Seca Raceway this morning after his car slammed into a concrete barrier at the entrance to the corkscrew.

CHAMPCAR/CART: Gonzalo Rodriguez Dies in Crash at Laguna Seca

Monterey, Calif. (September 11, 1999) - Gonzalo Rodriguez, 27, of Montevideo, Uruguay, lost his life in a tragic accident at Laguna Seca Raceway this morning after his car slammed into a concrete barrier at the entrance to the corkscrew. Rodriguez, driving the Team Penske Lola-Mercedes, nosed headfirst into the concrete barrier which was protected by a tire wall. Upon impact, the car catapulted over the wall, vaulting over banners placed atop the barrier.

Rodriguez was removed from the car and transported to Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula where he was pronounced dead at 10:10 a.m., PDT, by Dr. Robert Keaney, who was accompanied by CART Director of Medical Affairs Dr. Steve Olvey.

According to Dr. Olvey, Rodriguez sustained massive head and neck injuries, killing him instantly upon impact with the concrete wall.

Rodriguez was a rising star in the Formula 3000 series, currently residing in second place in the season point standings. Under contract to Team Astromega in the Formula 3000 series this year, the Team Penske test driver competed in one prior CART race, the Detroit Grand Prix in June. He qualified 16th on the Belle Isle circuit and finished 12th, scoring his first career PPG Cup point.

Rodriguez made his Formula 3000 debut in 1997 with Redman and Bright Racing. He moved to Team Astromega last year and earned two victories at Spa-Francorchamps and Nurburgring.

In his most recent Formula 3000 race, at Spa on August 31, he finished second. His last victory came in May at Monaco.

Team Penske has withdrawn both cars from this event in respect to Rodriguez and his family.

shares
comments
CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing Laguna Seca Preview

Previous article

CHAMPCAR/CART: Walker Racing Laguna Seca Preview

Next article

CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Saturday Practice

CHAMPCAR/CART: Laguna Seca Saturday Practice
Load comments
The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review Prime

The winners and losers in IndyCar 2021 – Mid-season review

At the halfway point in the 2021 NTT IndyCar Series season, we've had seven winners in eight races, spread between five teams – none of them Team Penske. In this unusual season, even by IndyCar standards, who’s excelling and who’s dragging their heels? David Malsher-Lopez reports.

IndyCar
Jun 18, 2021
The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness Prime

The joy that exposes F1’s key weakness

Long-awaited wins for ex-Formula 1 drivers Marcus Ericsson and Kevin Magnussen in IndyCar and IMSA last weekend gave F1 a reminder of what it is missing. But with the new rules aimed at levelling the playing field, there’s renewed optimism that more drivers can have a rewarding result when their day of days comes

Formula 1
Jun 17, 2021
Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history Prime

Castroneves: How I kept it under control to make Indy 500 history

Helio Castroneves’ overwhelming vivaciousness outside the cockpit belies a hardcore racer who knows how to plot his moves – and then recall it all for us. A day after his fourth Indy 500 win, Helio explained his tactics to David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
Jun 2, 2021
How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status Prime

How 'chess master' Castroneves cemented his Indy legend status

Helio Castroneves joined AJ Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears with the most Indianapolis 500 wins after sweeping around the outside of Alex Palou on the penultimate lap in a thrilling climax. In one race, he validated Michael Shank's and Jim Meyer's faith in him, and Helio himself discovered there's life after Penske after all.

IndyCar
Jun 1, 2021
Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious? Prime

Indy 500 preview: Will experience or youth be victorious?

A quarter of the drivers racing in the 105th edition of the Indianapolis 500 are former winners - but are they the favourites? The veteran drivers largely impressed in qualifying - but there's also a plethora of young guns looking to secure victory at IndyCar's flagship race...

IndyCar
May 25, 2021
What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1? Prime

What will it take to get American drivers in Formula 1?

The FIA says it wants American drivers in Formula 1, but would it take an IndyCar driver to transfer or does an American need to join the European junior ladder system to get there? By David Malsher-Lopez.

Formula 1
May 19, 2021
Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life Prime

Why IndyCar is satisfying Grosjean’s appetite for his second life

After spending the majority of his 179-race Formula 1 career in middling to tail-end machinery, Romain Grosjean finds himself once again with an underdog team in IndyCar. While not without its challenges, he's relishing the more level playing field that means his Dale Coyne Racing crew can expect to claim a few scalps...

IndyCar
May 14, 2021
Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy Prime

Why IndyCar's new aero parts should improve racing at Indy

Tino Belli, IndyCar’s director of aerodynamic development, believes the changes to the underside of the cars will allow them to run closer at Indy and make passes. The moment of truth comes on its biggest stage, writes David Malsher-Lopez.

IndyCar
May 10, 2021