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Racers in Isolation: James Calado

Ferrari’s James Calado explains how he’s getting through the current motorsport dry spell…

Photo: Ferrari

Next up in Sportscar365’s regular feature catching up with drivers during the coronavirus pandemic is Ferrari factory driver James Calado (Instagram/Twitter).

The 2017 FIA World Endurance GT champion tells us about his social isolation strategy, his garage DJ setup and tales eavesdropping on Toni Vilander’s in-car radio…

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 pandemic?

I am at home (in the UK), staying safe. We have been told to stay at home unless we need to go out for essentials like food and medicine. Right now everything is postponed or canceled, so we are all sitting eagerly waiting on some good news.

What activities are keeping you busy during this period of inactivity?

Basic every day things really, not really much rest. Lauren has me doing jobs around the house getting things ready for summer in the garden, some DIY things, cleaning, just getting everything nice!

At the same time, we have built a gym in one of the downstairs bedrooms and we are working out daily. 

What have you been watching on Netflix/TV recently?

A lot of Netflix, films, yet to turn to the soaps yet though!! Recently just finished a series called ‘The Stranger.’ Highly recommend!

What music are you into at the moment? Name a song we should all be listening to?

I love most kinds of music but I find myself listening to some nice chilled dance music. I have DJ equipment set up in the garage as well. I enjoy mixing music and playing around with different songs. Can’t say the neighbors are too impressed though!

Do you do sim racing? If so, tell us a bit about your set-up and what games you use. BONUS – Who would win a sim race between all the Ferrari factory drivers?

I am a big fan of sim racing. Before this happened I was really busy and never really had time to do any races. I haven’t got a sim at the moment but I have been in touch with a few friends and it looks like I have one delivered to my house mid-April. I can then start having some fun.

I would win on the simulator, although I heard Davide Rigon is extremely experienced in this area!

Do you have any pets?

Two cats: Duke and Rudy

Favorite section of any race track in the world, and why?

I like Brands GP, Paddock Corner. I remember a test in F3 and I was able to take it flat out one time, will never forget how amazing that felt. Brand new tires at the end of the day, it was reasonably cool, perfect conditions to do it 

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

I will let Toni Vilander answer this one! He is by far the funniest radio talker I have ever heard.

One example was at the 12 Hours of Sebring. He was getting a bit tired in one of the stints, he asked Rick [Mayer] our engineer for a bit of motivation. At that point, Rick came on the radio, “Good job Toni, leading the race, pace good”…

So a very motivational Toni replied shortly after. “Rick why the f*** you are always talking to me on the radio! Stop talking to me!” At that time, me and Ale [Pier Guidi] had the radio live in the motorhome and we were crying with laughter. So funny.

What things you are most looking forward to the first day you return to a race track?

Just getting back in the car and enjoying the sheer performance of what these cars can do. There is no greater feeling.

Photo: James Calado

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