Gabby Chaves is a Colombian-American racing driver who most recently competed in the IndyCar Series with Harding Racing. Chaves made an IndyCar debut in 2015, spending a full season with Bryan Herta Autosport and taking the Rookie of the Year award. After that, he raced on a part-time schedule with Dale Coyne Racing in 2016 and Harding Racing in 2017, then returning to a full-time schedule in 2018.
Earlier in a career, Chaves was Indy Lights champion in 2014, Indy Lights runner-up in 2013, Star Mazda Championship runner-up in 2012 and Formula BMW Americas champion in 2009.
Successful start of a career in karting
Born in July 1993 in Bogota, Colombia, Gabriel Chaves had a very successful career in karting, taking many championship titles.
He made a debut in car racing in 2006 in the Formula Renault Panam, then entering different Skip Barber series in the US. He won Skip Barber Southern Regional Series in 2008 with incredible ten wins in ten races.
Formula BMW Americas champion in 2009
In 2008, Chaves also participated in Formula BMW competitions, racing both in the Formula BMW Pacific and Formula BMW Americas. He also participated in the Formula BMW World Final, finishing in 14th place.
In 2009, his main competition was the Formula BMW Americas with EuroInternational team. He was a race winner five times and take the championship title with a big gap ahead of the closest rival.
No success in Formula 3 and GP3 Series
In 2010, Chaves stayed with EuroInternational and went with the team to Europe, to participate in the Italian Formula 3 Championship. He scored no wins or podiums, finishing tenth in the points.
The next step in a career was the GP3 Series with Addax Team in 2011. The results were disappointing and Chaves finished just 19th in the points. His best result was the fourth place at Valencia street circuit.
Returning to the US in 2012, Indy Lights champion in 2014
Having found no luck in Europe, Chaves returned to the US in 2012, joining JDC Motorsports in the Star Mazda Championship. At the wheel of the #19 car, he scored eight podiums before winning the last two races of the season at Laguna Seca and Road Atlanta. He finished second in the points, behind Jack Hawksworth.
Gabby's 'Road to Indy' career continued in the Indy Lights series in 2013. He was driving the #7 car for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, scoring one victory and ten podiums to finish second in the points, behind Sage Karam. In 2014, Chaves moved to Belardi Auto Racing and won four Indy Lights races, capturing the championship on the tie-breaker over rookie Jack Harvey.
Indy Lights champion in 2014
Four starts in the 2014 IMSA United SportsCar Championship
Parallel to his duties in the Indy Lights series, Chaves participated in four endurance races of the IMSA United SportsCar Championship, as a member of the #0 DeltaWing Racing crew. He recorded DNF at Daytona 24 Hours, DNF at Sebring 12 Hours, DNF at Watkins Glen 6 Hours, and fourth place overall at Petit Le Mans.
In the following years, Chaves joined DeltaWing two more times, at 2015 Daytona 24h (DNF) and at 2016 Watkins Glen 6h (21st).
Chaves was the 2015 IndyCar Rookie of the Year
With IndyLights championship trophy in his hands, Gabby Chaves made a progress to the IndyCar Series in 2015, signing with Bryan Herta Autosport to race full-time in the #98 Honda.
He picked up two top 10 results, ninth place at Detroit and tenth place at Texas, finishing the season 15th in the overall standings. He was the best among rookies. In his Indianapolis 500 debut, Chaves started 26th and finished 16th.
IndyCar Series Rookie of the Year in 2015
Two part-time seasons in 2016 and 2017
The good result in 2015 was not enough to secure him a full-time seat in the 2016 IndyCar season due to a lack of sponsorship. However, Chaves made a deal for a part-time schedule with Dale Coyne Racing to drive the #19 Honda in seven races, including Indianapolis 500, where he finished 20th. His best result was 12th place at Detroit.
In 2017, Chaves joined Harding Racing for Indianapolis 500 and two more races on ovals (Texas, Pocono) in the #88 Chevrolet. He finished ninth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway and then scored his career-best fifth place at Texas Motor Speedway.
Gabby Chaves drives the #88 Chevrolet in 2018
IndyCar return with Harding Racing in 2018
The part-time deal with Harding Racing has been converted into the full-time job in the #88 Chevrolet in 2018. Chaves finished 14th in his fourth attempt at Indianapolis 500. His best result during the season was 13th place in Portland and he finished 21st in the championship standings.
He also made a brief return to sports car racing, joining Action Express Racing to drive a Cadillac DPi-V.R in two races, at Watkins Glen 6 Hours and Petit Le Mans.He was sixth in the #5 car at Watkins Glen and eighth in the #31 car at Road Atlanta.