Today marks 15 years since we lost Gonzalo Rodriguez, rising Uruguayan driver


In the racing world, September 11 also has a somber memory – each year annually marks the anniversary of the death of then-rising Uruguayan driver Gonzalo Rodriguez, who at 27 had untapped potential that never was fully exploited.

Today marks 15 years since his fatal accident, when his car’s stuck throttle launched him off course and over the wall at the Corkscrew, at what was then known as Laguna Seca Raceway (now Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca).

Rodriguez was in his second CART weekend, having made his debut at Detroit earlier in the year in Team Penske’s second car and scoring a point.

He’d arrived from Formula 3000; incidentally, he’d raced against, and occasionally beaten, current Penske driver Juan Pablo Montoya when the two were both in F3000 in 1998. Rodriguez finished third in the championship behind Montoya and Nick Heidfeld, and ahead of drivers such as Soheil Ayari, Stephane Sarrazin, Nicolas Minassian, Bruno Junqueira and Gaston Mazzacane.

Montoya came over to CART for the first time in 1999 and Rodriguez made it as well. Rodriguez was one of a number of young drivers who Roger Penske ran that season; Alex Barron and Tarso Marques also made appearances.

In many respects, Rodriguez’s passing was overlooked that year because of the accident that claimed Greg Moore little more than a month later. But it was no less of a loss.

Rodriguez is one of two drivers we remember on this September 11 – today also marks 36 years since Ronnie Peterson’s passing. We touched on that on this day last year, as well.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”