Pedro Chaves was the first Portuguese driver to launch a career on the international circuit. He won the Portuguese Formula Ford Championship in 1985 and the British F3000 Championship in 1990. He had a disastrous season in F1 in 1991 failing to pre-qualify for 13 Formula One Grands Prix with Coloni. Chaves spent three years in Indy Lights, before turning to rallying, twice winning the Portuguese Rally Championship. He also competes in sports car racing.
Pedro Matos Chaves was born in Bonfim, Portugal. He was the first of his countrymen to launch a racing career on the international circuit.
Chaves won the Portuguese Formula Ford Championship in 1985 and went international in 1987, racing in British Formula Ford. In 1990 he won the British F3000 Championship with the Madgwick Motorsport outfit, also racing in a few rounds of the FIA F3000 series.
In 1991, he suffered a disastrous season in F1, failing to pre-qualify for 13 Formula One Grands Prix with Coloni. After failing to pre-qualify for the Portuguese Grand Prix, Chaves quit the team, taking the remainder of his sponsorship money with him.
In 1992, Chaves returned to F3000, first with GJ Racing and later in the season moving to the more competitive Il Barone Rampante, with no result. Chaves then spent three years in the American Indy Lights series, winning one race, in Vancouver.
Since then, Chaves has won twice the Portuguese Rally Championship, with his co-driver Sérgio Paiva, in a Toyota Corolla WRC and the Spanish GT Championship in a Saleen S7. He has also driven in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA GT Championship. As of 2005 he drives a works Renault Clio S1600 in the Portuguese Rally Championship.