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Racers in Isolation: Toni Vilander

Ferrari’s Toni Vilander tells us the meaning of the Finnish word ‘Varikko’ of which his family restaurant is named after…

Photo: Toni Vilander

In a new regular set of features, Sportscar365 asks drivers from around the world what they’re doing during the coronavirus pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

Toni Vilander (Twitter/Instagram), driver of the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 Evo in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship is the focus of this edition.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

We are spending time with our family in our lake house (in Finland). Training a bit and fixing all the things that should have been done over the years. I should be starting to organize my garage… trophies, racing suits, helmets and so on.

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

I really like eating food from our restaurant, ‘Bar & Grill Varikko’ (‘Varikko’ means ‘Paddock’). So sometimes pizza, salad or even a burger.

Current favorite Netflix/TV show?

I liked Narcos and Narcos Mexico. Also the Formula 1: Drive to Survive Season 1 and 2 were good, but I was hoping for a little bit more. Disappointed that Kimi only featured a few seconds in Season 2!

Do you do sim racing? If so, tell us a bit about your set-up and what games you use.

Sim racing is an interesting thing… I haven’t had enough time to focus on it at all. But I just contacted my friends at so maybe something interesting will be happening soon. Let’s wait and see.

Do you have any pets?

No. Wife Erja and three boys Luukas, Elias, and Topias are enough for now.

Favorite section of any race track in the world?

I like Laguna Seca and coming down from the Corkscrew.

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

I’m quite bad on a radio…. I guess in the heat of the race you can hear me saying during the same stint “don’t talk to me” and 40min later “keep talking and motivating me”. I know that can be a bit confusing!

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

Just seeing my teammates, my crew and team bosses. I just like the environment where I am racing right now and it really hurts not to be able to do what I have done for the last 34 years. I hope all this is over soon and life goes back to normal.

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