Chris Gonzalez, or widely known throughout the community as “Gonzo” is a local Formula Drift Driver from Winnipeg, Manitoba. With a friendly personality and a neverending well of automotive knowledge, and over the past six years, Gonzo has been widely responsible for the development of Drifting throughout the prairies.
Read our full interview with Gonzo below.
Q: When did you start Drifting competitively and what are some of the events you have attended?
A: I started drifting in 2010 after my wife and I decided to build my S14 in 2009 to start drifting. I attended my first ever drift event in Regina, Saskatchewan in May of 2010 which was just a grassroots event and got invited out by some of the guys to compete in the DMCC Pro Am series in Edmonton the following month. I headed out to my first ever competition in Edmonton Alberta at Castrol Raceway and ended up placing 2nd place and was the first ever driver from Manitoba to podium at a Canadian Pro Am event. I went on to compete in the DMCC Pro series in the same year then made my way into the Formula Drift sanctioned Midwest Drift Union Pro Am series in the United States. I have been competing now for 6 years with DMCC Pro Series, Driftwest Pro Series and Formula Drift Pro Am. I have attended other competitions in the U.S. such as NOS Energy Proving Grounds taking 1st Place in the Drift Competition 3 years in a row.
Q: How would you describe the feeling of being out on the track and what keeps you motivated to keep racing?
A: Being on the racetrack for me is one of the greatest feelings and the adrenaline rush that comes from competition drifting is something that for me is hard to describe to others. It keeps me motivated to keep pushing further in the sport and one of the biggest motivations for me is the amount of support I get from the fans in Winnipeg and people from all across the United States when they see us at the events!
Q: Many people don’t see behind the scenes in Motorsports in terms of pit crews, or people that put in many hours of work, sweat and tears. For you, is it a one man show or is it a team effort?
A: We are a very small team compared to some of these guys showing up with a 6 man pit crew and a trailer load of spare parts. It’s usually just my wife and I and if we are lucky one of my friends that was able to tag along for an event to help us out for the weekend but with what we have to work with we have managed to be very successful over the past years and plan to continue doing just that for many more years.
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Check out a gallery of Gonzo below.