Gabby ChavesColombian racer Gabriel ‘Gabby’ Chaves, finished his rookie season in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear in the best possible way, with a win from the pole that cemented his second-place finish in the championship battle.

It was his second consecutive win from the pole; Chaves did it the first time in Race 2 at the previous event at Mazda Raceway and then, like today, he drove a flawless race with a top competitor filling the mirrors of the #19 JDC Motorsports / CLARO / Marca Colombia /Coldeportes Mazda every foot of the way between green and checkered. In this case, it was #88 Andretti Autosport / Comfort Revolution Mazda car of Sage Karam. He, too, had a nearly-flawless race until – just for ‘style points,’ as he put it – he spun and continued in turn 7 on the last lap of the 37-lap race. Coming home third, and the potential beneficiary of Karam’s mistake were it not for the 18-second gap between 2nd and 3rd, was Connor De Phillippi in the #2 Juncos Racing / ModSpace Racing / One24 Mazda. Trying to make the best of a bad situation that nearly destroyed his car in qualifying yesterday and dropped him to 9th on the starting grid, De Phillippi drove a smart, disciplined race to finish on the podium.

“I knew that as soon as the race started I had clinched second in the championship, but that actually freed me to take an all-or-nothing attitude toward the race; I was going to win it or spin it,” says Chaves, who was born into a racing family and is a member of the prestigious 2012 FIA Institute Young Driver Excellence Academy. “Even though I led all the way, it was a very tight race with Sage’s car always there in my mirrors. I was fortunate that he was never able to get a run on me and try to pass, which might have worked out well for Connor, but probably not for Sage or I. I’m so happy to be able to repay the JDC Motorsports team for all their hard work during the season, and my family and sponsors Claro / Marca Colombia/Coldeportes for all their help and faith. We’ll go to the awards banquet tomorrow, take it easy for a few days and then get to work on what I’m going to race next year.”

Gabby will return to Miami to continue his preparation for his next challenge, the half Iron Man which will take place on Sunday, October 28th in Miami Beach, FL.