Broward News

License to Drive: At 15, the Fun of Going 150

He can't legally drive down the Glades Parkway in his hometown of Weston, but 15-year-old Gabby Chaves has a half-million dollar Formula BMW race car that he's driven at speeds of 150 mph en route to being the league's youngest champion ever.

Weston, apparently, is where the U.S. hides its world-class athletes from South America. Last week, we told you about a sleeping giant named Melo. But Chaves, whose family is Colombian, is an even bigger secret, if only because he stars in a relatively obscure sport. Formula BMW is a series through which the car company seeks to promote Formula One race-car driving to the most promising youngsters in Kart racing.

Chaves had the overall points lead until the past few weeks. But Chaves responded this past weekend by blowing away the field at Putnam Park Road Course in Indiana, setting a track record.

Last week's issue of the Christian Science Monitor published a cover story about Chaves and his family. This month, the kid finally turns 16.

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Thomas Francis