CHAVES SCORES TOP-10 IN ITALIAN F3 DEBUT American junior formula car standout exits season-opening doubleheader second in the rookie standings MISAN ADRIATICO, ITALY (April 26, 2010) - Junior formula car standout Gabby Chaves showed good speed...
CHAVES SCORES TOP-10 IN ITALIAN F3 DEBUT
American junior formula car standout exits season-opening doubleheader second in the rookie standings
MISAN ADRIATICO, ITALY (April 26, 2010) - Junior formula car standout Gabby Chaves showed good speed and skill in his inaugural Italian Formula 3 Championship outing this past weekend (April 24-25), despite not garnering the results desired at the Misano World Circuit. Overcoming less than ideal wet conditions and a pre-race penalty, the Eurointernational racer exited Rounds One and Two with a top-finish and second in the Rookie of the Year title chase.
After an impressive run in pre-season testing, Chaves entered the Italian Formula 3 Championship season-opening doubleheader confident he could challenge for top honors. That belief proved justified early on, as the American teenager posted times on par with the more experienced championship contenders, ending the two practice sessions third on the time charts. Chaves continued his strong series debut in the lone qualifying session at the Misano World Circuit, expertly adapting to a wet track - the result of day-long rain showers - via the fifth best time.
Returning to the cockpit of Mygale M-10 F3 race car a short time later, Chaves and the Eurointernational were forced to decide whether to start the race on full or worn rain tires, what with the track wet but drying. Electing to run full rains, the decision initially paid off, with the reigning Formula BMW Americas champion challenging for a podium position. Unfortunately as the race progressed, Chaves tires steadily went away, causing the highly-rated youngster to fall down the order. When the checkered flag waved for Round One, Chaves had earned a strong eighth place result in his European racing debut.
With the top-eight from qualifying inverted to form the grid for Round Two, Chaves was slated to line up on row two in fourth place for the second race of the Misano doubleheader. Unfortunately that never occurred, as just as Chaves was set to join the grid, series officials closed pitlane, resulting in the Eurointernational driver being forced to start the race from pitlane after the entire field had gotten away. Chaves, putting the sudden and dramatic setback behind him, enjoyed one of the drives of the day. Turning lap times similar to the race leader, the 16 year-old worked his way past multiple cars each and every lap around the 4.226-km road course. At the conclusion of the 20-lap affair, Chaves has impressively worked his way from dead last - 29th - all the way up to 13th.
"It was tough experience, but I learned a great deal out of it," stated Chaves after the two races. "While we still have plenty to do, I think we showed we have the pace to run near the front and challenge for wins."
Chaves and the Eurointernational squad now have a lengthy break before Rounds Three and Four of the 2010 Italian Formula 3 Championship take place on June 12-13, at the Hockenheimring in Germany. Prior to the second event of the season, Chaves - who currently lies second in the Rookie of the Year standings - will take part in official series testing at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola on June 2nd.