Friday, 13 August 2010

Zonta: He's always been the (GT) one for me...

I went to see the GT1 race at Silverstone a couple of months back, when it was the first race weekend at the new track there. I was very excited to see the first race held on the new section (and we sat at the top of the grandstand on the inside of Maggotts and had THE best view of half of the track, I would highly recommend it to everybody).

Since then, I've watched the odd bit of the GT1 series online, as all the races are shown live on

I watched it online the other weekend, and found something absolutely glorious. Not only was Ricardo Zonta driving in GT1.... Ricardo Zonta was WINNING GT1.

But even I was surprised by the fact that I simply burst into tears as he grinned from ear to ear as his co-driver took the chequered flag.

Top spot - R. Zonta. Look at that!
When I thought about it, it's not so surprising that I got uber-emotional. I just AM emotional about motor racing. (I tend to well up every time someone says the phrase "Jenson Button, Formula One World Champion".  Hell, even just typing it gave me a bit of a shiver. Good times.)

Also, and apologies for being such a girl, but Ricardo Zonta was my first ever F1 crush. I remember he was 23 at the time. He's now 34, which puts the whole timeline into a bit of perspective and makes me feel a bit old.

The funny thing is that only 3 or 4 days before I watched him win this GT1 race, I'd been sitting here thinking about him. I'd gone to his website for the first time in ages. (Over the years my occasional trips to his site have taught me such invaluable Portugese as "carregando" [loading] and "em breve" [coming soon]) and I had a look at the latest news to see what he was up to. A big part of me hoped he'd have a race at Silverstone so that I could marshal his race. (And end up living happily ever after with him, naturally. That's how it works, right?)  But I was disappointed because it only said he was doing American races, and that's no good for marshalling, living happily ever after, or even watching him race on TV.

And so to find him in the GT1 race came COMPLETELY out of the blue for me (apparently they hadn't got round to carregando up his most recent news yet. Hopefully it's em breve).

The fact that he won it just absolutely made my weekend. I couldn't stop smiling all day. I've always joked that he was a good guy to support in F1, because if he made it to lap 10 then it felt like a victory. But really, it was fairly heartbreaking supporting him in F1, and then he's been hard to properly follow since (although I do remember getting up at stupid o'clock to watch him in the World Renault Series one year). So after all this time, to be able to watch him on the top step of the podium.... hell, that was better than seeing him get to lap 11 in a woeful BAR.

Tonnes better.

Look at that happy face (even though he appears to be being eaten by a man in a hat)

1 comment:

  1. I've never really known what to make of Zonta. At times at BAR he showed flashes of talent, at other times really not - but with that car it was difficult to do much else so it was hard to tell his real level.
    He won the FIA GT title before his F1 career so he's not too shabby, glad to see him pick up where he left off now he's back there.
    I was also in the Maggotts stand at Silverstone for a while - I'd moved around a lot as I often do and ended the day there with the last half of GT1 and most of the F3. Great location, turning between the cars in front and the cars behind! I bet the Becketts stand opposite would be better though (er, the one that wasn't there at the time), then you wouldn't crick your neck..