In an off weekend for the Verizon IndyCar series, 2014 IndyLights champion Gabby Chaves headed to the RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. to take in a Red Bull Global Rallycross event with the Bryan Herta Rally Sport team.
Herta, who runs cars in Red Bull GRC and GRC Lites as well as fielding Chaves’ Honda-powered IndyCar entry, asked Chaves to attend the event after the Colombian tested the car a few weeks ago.
“I drove the car a few weeks ago and I really wanted to come out to a race and I had the opportunity when Bryan asked if I could come and help out the team for the weekend and maybe do some driver coaching as well for Collete [Davis, GRC Lites driver],” Chaves said. “So a perfect opportunity, a nice off weekend and for me there’s no better way to spend it than at a race track.”
The test, something largely unknown to those outside the Red Bull GRC paddock, gave Chaves the chance to experience something largely different to the open-wheel and sports cars he has raced all of his career.
“I love it,” he said. “I’d say the IndyCar is more built for speed, the aerodynamics, everything is so refined, it just seems like it’s so advanced and then you take the rallycross car and it just feels so raw. It just feels untamed, it feels like it’s out of control but at the same time you are in control of the car and it’s just so fun to drive”.
So after testing a car and spending time at a race weekend, is Chaves now interested in racing in Red Bull GRC somewhere down the line?
“I would hope so! I definitely wouldn’t discard it, it’s definitely a possibility and I’m more than open to try and get out and take in a proper race weekend,” Chaves said when asked about the possibility of racing in the series. “It’s just fantastic. It really puts all your skills to the test and it’s a really big challenge for the drivers which is a lot of fun”.
But for now the 22-year-old’s focus is firmly on the open-wheel world and the two remaining IndyCar races of this year, plus next season and beyond.
“I think we’re just about to breakthrough that barrier that puts us at the next step and try to look for those top-five finishes consistently. We’ve kind of been knocking at that door. We’ve been in there, we’ve raced there, we haven’t finished there yet,” he said. “We’re already working on next year, we’ve had some good meetings and hopefully we can wrap things up and it would make for a happy off-season.”
Read Dominik Wilde’s full interview with Gabby Chaves here.