December is considered the holiday season in the world of racing, but this is not for everyone. At least not for 16-year old Gabby Chaves.
Having conquered the FBMW Americas series, Chaves is looking to move up the racing ladder and has spent his winter to date testing with various F3 teams with an eye on graduating to the category this summer.
After receiving his championship trophy in Germany, Chaves tested with the West-Tec, Campos and Hitech teams, adapting quickly to each, and to the new speed and power that F3 offers. Without making any mistakes, the youngster's times proved competitive, comparing well to drivers with more experience.
"These tests are another step for me,” Chaves confirmed, "They are part of the process, not the final goal. I still have things to learn and I will continue working hard to achieve all the goals I want to accomplish. In the
next few days, we will decide what step we will follow in 2010. I feel very excited about having the possibility of competing with major teams in international series of such quality.”
The first round of testing was done at Snetterton with West-Tec, which currently competes in the Euro Open and British championships.
"I enjoyed the balance of fast and slow corners in this circuit,” Chaves reported, "It was my first time driving an F3 car and I feel that I adapted quickly to the increase in speed and power that I was used to in FBMW.”
The team was greatly surprised with Chaves' test and, after reviewing his data and video footage, showed interest in having him on board for the 2010 season.
Only a few days later, the teenager travelled to Spain for a two-day test in a Dallara F306 run by the Campos Racing Team, and again he performed strongly.