Gabby ChavesGabby Chaves re-affirmed his position as a young motorsports talent this past weekend (July 21-22), with two more trips to the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear podium at the Edmonton City Centre Airport circuit. The highly-regarded teenager showcased speed, racecraft, and maturity in the doubleheader, overcoming treacherous late race wet conditions in Round Nine to finish third, before repeating the feat in Round 10, despite a mechanical issue. Chaves now lies second in the Mazda Road to Indy series title fight, ready to continue his run of form in the final third of the 2012 season.

When Chaves first got behind the wheel of his CLARO/Marca Colombia/Tecpro Barriers-backed JDC MotorSports Mazda in March, the goal was the to challenge for top honors and showcase his talents in his return to North American formula car competition after two successful seasons in Europe. While the former Italian Formula 3 Championship Rookie of the Year certainly did that in the early season affairs, it his recent on-track displays that have emphasized the point.

Building on third and fourth place finishes on the streets of Toronto, Chaves wasted little time getting acclimated to the 3.631-km temporary course that the series was visiting for the first time in Edmonton, posting the third quickest lap in the opening practice session.

With added backing from OMP and GoPro, Chaves continued to show good pace in the second and final practice run, as well as the lone qualifying session, going fifth and fourth fastest respectively.

Race one of the Alberta doubleheader proved to a wild and dramatic affair. For Chaves it commenced right after the traditional standing start, as he was forced to take evasive action to avoid being contacted by other drivers. Quickly able to regain the lost positions, he was fourth when the dark overhead clouds opened up, soaking the track. With the entire Star Mazda field on racing slicks at that point, chaos ensued via cars slipping and sliding. Unfortunately for Chaves, while in the middle of a heated battle for position, he was given a drive through penalty for crossing the white line in turn one. Not letting the penalty take over his head, he instead rejoined the race and started posting the fastest laps of the race at that moment to catch up with the rest of the field. In what was ultimately a two-lap sprint to the checkered flag, the 19 year-old utilized his natural skill and the training received from the FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy to charge from 12th to third, despite still driving a JDC entry with slicks on the very wet and treacherous track.

Thanks to the second fastest lap in race one, Chaves lined-up P2 for the start of race two in Edmonton one day later. The former Formula BMW Americas champion initially appeared poised to challenge for top honors. It, however, soon became apparent that something wasn’t quite right with his JDC MotorSports steed. As a result of what would post-race be determined as a differential blockage, Chaves struggled with overall grip. With Chaves squeezing every ounce of speed from the less than ideal car, he ultimately finished a well deserved third, giving him three podiums in the last four races, and five trips to podium in the 10 Star Mazda races to date.

“I want to thank my team for the hard work and giving me a car to be a top competitor,” commented Chaves. “We will keep working hard to keep improving and deliver victories in the coming races.”

The chase for Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear supremacy resumes on August 4-5, with a pair of races around the historic street circuit in Trois-Rivieres, Canada. Chaves enters the final of back-to-back-to-back events in Canada as not only one of the hottest drivers in the Mazda Road to Indy series, but also as the new second place man in the driver standings.