Race Report: Win for Rodolfo González and Idola Motorsport in inaugural Britcar Prototype Cup 2023

Words: Kieran Mogg, Photos: Chris Valentine

On Sunday 26th March, with heavy rain setting the scene for a dramatic season opener at the Silverstone Grand Prix Circuit, the first 25-minute sprint race of the inaugural Britcar Prototype Cup saw Praga debutant Rodolfo González take the first win of the Praga class and overall race with team Idol Motorsport. Charles Hall finished in second place for team Mittell Cars, while Jess Hawkins finished in third with team UWRacing on her Praga racing debut.

Starting on pole, Charles Hall made an ideal start to the race masking the grid behind him in heavy spray. Entering 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 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 and I literally had no visibility, so I braked early, came out of Copse slowly and Jess got a good run into Maggots and 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 the 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 rubberized racing line and kept second position over third-place Jessica Hawkins. Ahead, Charles Hall had extended his lead to over one second as they crossed 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 on 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.

Charles Hall rejoined the track just ahead of Jessica Hawkins and began putting fastest sector times in an attempt to close the 6-second gap to González, gaining two seconds per lap in lap 7 and lap 8 respectively.

Charles Hall said after the race; „I felt pretty quick but he [González] was obviously doing a good job. There just weren’t enough laps to catch him“. Rodolfo González went on to win his first race in a Praga, while Charles Hall and Jessica Hawkins completed the podium in the Praga class.“

Race 1 is followed by a second 25-minute sprint race, before a 50-minute endurance pit stop race.