Ricardo Gonzalez is a Mexican racing driver who achieved his greatest success in recent years in the FIA World Endurance Championship, finishing four times among top 5 drivers in the LMP2 class. He reached the highlight of his career in 2013, when he was the LMP2 class winner at Le Mans 24 Hours and then the World endurance champion in the LMP2 class, driving for OAK Racing. Earlier in a career, he was the LMPC class champion in the 2011 American Le Mans Series.
Born in racing family
Ricardo was born in racing family, as his father Roberto Gonzalez Sr. was a successful sports car racing driver with some notable results in North American competitions. Ricardo's older brother Roberto Jr. (born in 1976) is also a racing driver.
During the 1990s, Ricardo participated in different single-seater competitions in Mexico, such were Formula 3 or Indy Lights Panamericana. In 2001, he contested in the Formula Chrysler Euroseries, together with his brother. Roberto finished second in the championship, Ricardo was fourth in the points.
Sports car racing debut with Sebring podium
Ricardo Gonzalez entered sports car racing in 2010, driving a Porsche 997 GT3 Cup in the GTC class of the American Le Mans Series for Car Amigo Alex Job Racing. He made a debut at Sebring 12 Hours, finishing third in the GTC class together with Luis Diaz and Patrick Kelly.
Gonzalez stayed in the GTC class for four races. After that, he and Luis Diaz moved to PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports to drive Oreca FLM09 in the LMPC class. They scored three class podiums in four races, finishing ninth in the LMPC classification.
Ricardo's championship-winning car in 2011
LMPC class ALMS champion in 2011
In the 2011 American Le Mans Series season, Gonzalez stayed in the LMPC class, joining CORE Autosport. His full-time co-driver in the #06 Oreca FLM09 was Gunnar Jeannette. They scored two class victories, at Long Beach and Mosport, ending a season tied in the points with Genoa Racing's Eric Lux.
In the 2012 ALMS season, Gonzalez was driving for CORE Autosport in just one race, joining Level 5 Motorsports in the LMP2 class for three races.
2012 FIA WEC season with Greaves Motorsport
In 2012, the FIA World Endurance Championship has been revived and Gonzalez joined British team Greaves Motorsport to drive a full season in the #41 Zytek Z11SN-Nissan. His co-drivers were Elton Julian and Christian Zugel. In one race, Ricardo was replaced by his brother Roberto.
In June 2012, Gonzalez made a debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans. He finished 12th overall and fifth in the LMP2 class. He was also fifth in the final LMP2 classification at the end of the season.
2013 FIA WEC LMP2 champions
World champion and Le Mans winner in 2013
For the 2013 FIA WEC season, Gonzalez joined French team OAK Racing to drive the #35 Morgan LMP2-Nissan together with Bertrand Baguette and Martin Plowman. They were on a podium for the first time in the second round at Silverstone. After that, the #35 crew scored a victory at Le Mans 24 Hours, beating another OAK Racing's crew by one lap.
Until the end of the season, a trio in the #35 car added two more podiums and a victory at 6 hours of Fuji, winning the FIA WEC Trophy for LMP2 drivers.
Ricardo Gonzalez in 2014
A season in the European Le Mans Series
In 2014, Gonzalez moved to European Le Mans Series, driving the #99 McLaren MP4-12C GT3 for ART Grand Prix. His full-time co-drivers were Karim Ajlani and Alex Brundle.
Scoring no wins or podiums, they finished seventh in the GTC classification. Their best result was fourth place at Imola 4 Hours.
In 2015, Gonzalez was driving for G-Drive Racing
Back to LMP2 class with G-Drive Racing
In 2015, Gonzalez returned to the LMP2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship. He was driving the #28 Ligier JS P2-Nissan for G-Drive Racing, sharing a car with Pipo Derani and Gustavo Yacaman. They were class winners at Spa 6 Hours and scored six more podiums, finishing third in the final standings.
At Le Mans 24 Hours, they were fourth in the LMP2 class, four laps behind sister car of G-Drive Racing in the third place.
Ricardo Gonzalez in 2016
FIA WEC season with his own team
For the 2016 FIA WEC season, Gonzalez made a partnership between his team RGR Sport and French team Morand Racing. The team was running the #43 Ligier JS P2 for Ricardo, Bruno Senna and Filipe Albuquerque.
They opened a season with a victory at Silverstone. After a disappointing 10th place at Le Mans, they scored five podiums and a victory in the home race at Mexico City's Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, finishing the championship in the second place.