Rodolfo González lead home Charles Hall in the inaugural race of the Prototype Cup. The former Marussia Formula One reserve driver racing for Idola Motorsport braved the elements to win the first race at Silverstone.
Following qualifying on Saturday, Charles Hall’s Mittell Cars number 77 Praga started on pole position with a 1:57.844 lap time; over six tenths ahead of second-place Rodolfo González for Idola Motorsport.
Following heavy overnight rainfall, each car drove two formation laps ahead of the race start. John Davis in the sole Radical spun dropping around 20 seconds to the Praga’s in the second formation lap.
Charles Hall made an ideal start masking the following Praga’s in heavy spray. Into Copse Corner on lap 1, Rodolfo González looked to the outside before having the door shut by Hall. Behind, Teddy Wilson in the number 4 Tim Gray Motorsport with Private Leads car jumped Chris Bridle on the race start into turn 1 behind Jessica Hawkins in the number 11 University Of Wolverhampton Racing car.
Jessica Hawkins kept far to the left-hand side of the track and gained a significant margin on González. The Venezuelan yielded second place to Hawkins with a gutsy move round the outside of Maggots. Rodolfo commented after the race “Charles pulled in front of me, literally I had no visibility, so braked early, came out of Copse slow and Jess got a good run into Maggots and she overtook me”.
Charles Hall then began extending his lead over the following pack as Rodolfo closed on the number 11 University of Wolverhampton Racing car down Hanger Straight. With a better line through Stowe, González positioned the Idola Motorsport Praga to dive down the inside of Jessica Hawkins into Vale. With the tighter line, the number 14 Idola Motorsport car had a compromised line through the right-hander of Vale and Hawkins positions to the inside of Club onto the Hamilton straight.
Prevailing around the outside of Club, González stayed off the rubbered racing line and kept second position over third-place Jessica Hawkins. Ahead, Charles Hall had extended his lead to over one second as they cross the second timing line on the Wellington Straight.
Following the Lap 1 battle for second place, González then pushed to close the gap to the number 77 Mittell Cars’ Praga. Both cars began lapping in the 2 minute, 25’s with the number 18 Idola Motorsport car slowly gaining by a few tenths per lap.
The gap reduced to just seven tenths of a second on lap 5 and González began applying the pressure onto Charles Hall. While lapping John Davis in the Radical, Hall gained time on the number 18 Idola Motorsport car but ran wide into Luffield and lost the lead to González. “We were a bit tail-happy. Transitioning from the left to the right, I just didn’t gather it up. By the, it just didn’t leave me enough time to keep it on the right and it just slid off the track. Literally it was a driver error” Hall commented after the race.
Charles Hall re-joined the track just ahead of Jessica Hawkins and began putting fastest sector times in in an attempt to close the 6-second gap to González, gaining two seconds per lap in lap 7 and lap 8 respectively.
“I felt pretty quick but he [González] was obviously doing a good job. There just wasn’t enough laps to catch him” Charles Hall said after the race. Rodolfo González went on to win his first race in a Praga. Charles Hall and Jessica Hawkins completed the podium in the Praga class while Chris Bridle regained fourth place over Teddy Wilson in fifth.
John Davis in the sole Radical crosses the line one lap behind the leaders to win the Prototype 1 class race.
Words: Kieran Mogg, photos: Chris Valentine