Daniel Gonzalez will be heading into the fifth round of the RSEA Motorsport Australia Rally Championship (ARC), full of confidence on the back of his first ever win in the Motorsport Australia WA Rally Championship (WARC) last weekend.
Alongside regular co-driver Calab Ash, Gonzalez won six out of the seven stages of the event to finish ahead Ben Searcy and Daymon Nicoli with a healthy victory of more than one minute.
While claiming that it was his biggest fear at the start of the rally, Gonzalez credited the duo’s note taking as the biggest focus and the main contributor to their maiden win.
“It’s the first time I’ve really driven with my ears, and I needed those notes for the first time,” Gonzalez said.
“I was comfortable with what we’d written, suddenly everyone was like you’ve found some pace.
“That was the biggest challenge for that rally, having to write our own notes, so I was absolutely petrified of that and, it’s just one of those things that you don’t want to jump over the edge and that time we jumped over the edge.”
For this weekend’s The Middle of Everywhere Gippsland Rally, the main focus for Gonzalez will once again be on the notes as it will be the first time that he will be doing his own for the ARC.
But after such an impressive result, his growing confidence will play a huge role going forward.
“The biggest thing for us is confidence, you can’t be in a rally car without some level of confidence,” Gonzalez added.
“We’ve slowly started to build more confidence with each rally and getting more comfortable in the car and we’re starting to find that pace. We were carrying a lot more pace than we ever have before, and the listening became so much more of my focus than ever before, it was quite an interesting experience.”
With a short turnaround between events, Gonzalez will be unable to complete a shakedown, but as he continues to grow in confidence, the West Australian was looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to finish another event.
“I cannot wait for this weekend, the stages look absolutely epic, and we can’t wait to get down there. I wish we could have the shakedown on Thursday, but unfortunately that won’t be the case,” Gonzalez explained.
“We’ve been doing the work and we’ve gone really hard to keep learning. There are some wonderful people around us who are helping, as well as the rally community who have been incredible.
“Everyone I’ve reached out to that participates in the ARC and WRC, everyone has been open to lend a helping hand.
“I cannot wait and am looking forward to it, it’ll be great to finally see the boys and get to it again.”
This will be the first time Gonzalez competes in the ARC in Victoria, as he looks to improve on his seventh-place finish last at the Shannons Rally Launceston in June.
The fifth round of the RSEA Motorsport Rally Championship will be taking place in ‘The Middle of Everywhere’ in Gippsland on 27-28 August.