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GONZALEZ: Making My Dream a Reality

Victor Gonzalez Jr. files his first Sportscar365 column after Michelin Pilot Challenge debut…

Photo: Brian Cleary/SRO

Hola everybody! I’m new at this and hope to learn along the way and keep writing so race fans can enjoy our journey this year.

I’m Victor Gonzalez Jr. (VG). I’ve been racing for 28 years, driving all kind of cars in many different countries. Definitely one of my career highlights is having raced in all three top NASCAR series.

I’m a simple individual that has been committed to keep learning in the sport that I enjoy like the first time I had the opportunity to climb in a race car.

I’ve had the opportunity to work for many race teams but at the end of the day I learned that it was time for me to move on and make my dream a reality, to bring exceptional people together and build a team, that is how VGMC Racing was born.

I’m part of the diversity in the sport, have fought against all odds and here we are… three owners from Puerto Rico.

The VGMC crew is completely Hispanic and I love to be part of this family that we started in 2019 competing for the TCR class in TC America.

It took many phone calls trying to find the right fit for our new team, but thanks to Mr. Jim Jordan (TC America) he embraced what we represent and he believes in what we want to accomplish.

Photo: Supplied

I’ve driven a total of 39,000 miles with a rental truck, small trailer and a crew of two, with many sleepless nights working from a house garage to get our TCR Honda Civic Type R ready for the next race.

We won three races and many other podiums. It was amazing how the other teams notice our performance and accept us as part of the paddock.

That shows that as long you have the commitment, you can make dreams a reality.

We work really hard to keep performing the right way, and Honda Performance Development has seen the value that we bring. I’m grateful for their support to the team. They believe in us every weekend that we are at the track.  

2020 was a challenging year for all of us in many different aspects.

We were a strong team, no matter how small we were from one car to three cars in three different classes: TCA, TC and TCR we can adapt.

Photo: Supplied

We proudly race Honda cars and it’s incredible the way the fans embrace the brand.

HPD believes in the diversity that we bring to the sport and that is a strong aspect of what our team is all about. We want to keep bringing new partners on board and create business-to-business opportunities.

We keep facing challenges every day but we want to grow but we need to do it the right way and be smart about it.  

2021 arrived and we accepted the challenge to grow our program into IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in TCR.

My teammate Ruben Iglesias and I have worked perfectly together and have been working non-stop in the simulator. The IMSA field is impressive with many good teams and drivers. 

In the off-season the team have been working non-stop to be ready to start the season in Daytona.

Photo: VGMC

There have been many changes in many ways, with new equipment, car prep and new crew as well!  

They are an important part of the race as it’s a total team effort.

At Daytona, our plan was to be in the top-five. Everything was going by the book, good strategy, the guys did a great first pit stop. I was really proud of all of them.

But some bad luck hit us. The team showed great potential for our first race. We had a great shot for the podium or even win.

That is part of racing. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. The important thing is that we learn and we keep moving forward.  

We are working many projects for 2021, most important for us is to be competitive and keep developing our diversity program with HPD and Honda.

Photo: Jake Galstad/IMSA

There are so many new talents out there, but money has always been an important factor to keep climbing the ladder. That’s why we are working so hard!

We need to create new windows of opportunities for that demographic. I’m working the phones constantly. Maybe I get 1,000 noes, but I only need one ‘yes’ to bring new promising talents to the sport.

So many people said that I believe in the old fashion way and they are right!

I want to create opportunities and that’s why VGMC Racing exist, because we believe that we can do it. I hope that everyone enjoys my columns this year and let’s go racing!

Victor Gonzalez Jr. is a Puerto Rican professional driver and team owner, currently competing in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge with a Honda Civic Type R TCR.

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