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Racers in Isolation: Pipo Derani

Pipo Derani introduces Sportscar365 to his dogs and checks in from the island of Ilhabela off the coast of São Paulo…

Photo: Pipo Derani

Sportscar365 is contacting drivers from around the world to ask what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

Three-time Sebring 12 Hours winner Pipo Derani (Twitter/Instagram) tells us what he’s doing instead of driving the Whelen Engineering Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

I decided to fly back (from Miami) to Brazil and stay with my family during this difficult time. We are at my father in law’s house at Ilhabela. Ilhabela is a very big island sitting on the coast of São Paulo. 

To get here we have to cross with a ferry boat which takes about 25 minutes and at the moment we are locked down. No one is allowed to exit or enter the island but at least food and supplies are allowed to come in and out. 

Supermarkets are still full and at the moment it seems like the COVID-19 is not as bad here in Brazil as in other countries. 

Every commerce is closed for the moment and not many people on the streets so it feels a little bit like being on the TV series “Lost”. 

What’s your go-to for food when no-one feels like cooking?

Like I said before, supermarkets are still doing good. We bought enough food so that we don’t have to order delivery or anything else. It has been a good cooking experience in the last eight days. 

Current favorite Netflix/TV show?

My wife and I just finished the second season of Game of Thrones.

Do you have any pets?

I do and both of them live here at the beach. One of them is a Golden Retriever and the other is a French Bulldog.

They are funny and it’s been nice to spend some time with both of them. Apart from both of them, there’s also a German Shepherd from my father in law. 

Favorite section of any race track in the world?

There are plenty of nice race tracks but right now if I could choose a track to drive it would be Road Atlanta and to go flat out through the esses. That’s an awesome track to drive a DPI. 

The funniest thing you have heard or said over a team radio?

Don’t remember any!

What’s the one thing you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?

I’m really looking forward to being back at the track and realizing how special and fortunate we all are for doing what we love. I’m also looking forward to jumping back in the car and having that awesome feeling of driving an awesome car like the Cadillac DPi-V.R.

It will take some time before we can get to do that again but I am really looking forward to it and to be reunited with my awesome Whelen Engineering Action Express Racing team!

Photo: Pipo Derani

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