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Racers in Isolation: Vincent Abril

Vincent Abril on passing the time in Monaco and a pre-race basketball game two years ago…

Photo: Vincent Abril

Sportscar365 is asking drivers from around the world what they’re doing during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they’re coping with the racing downtime.

This edition features Monaco-based GT3 driver Vincent Abril (Twitter/Instagram), who will race for Black Falcon in GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and AF Corse in International GT Open this year.

Where are you sitting out the COVID-19 crisis?

I’m at home in my apartment in Monaco. The strict lockdown was lifted on May 4, but I’m still taking care as the racing season is not meant to resume for some time still.

What are you doing to maintain your fitness level?

My everyday routine hasn’t changed so much in that regard. I’ve been training every day with my neighbor and good friend Andreas Mikkelsen just outside our place.

We try to keep a healthy life, eating clean, learning a new language (Italian in my case, French for him) and not go too crazy.

That worked out pretty well although by Day 4 we both shaved our heads and started to get worried that this was only the first week! It turned out it was a good fit for both, looking at the response.

On the training side,  We are competitors and therefore anytime there is a challenge we are up for it, which is what I need in any form of sports. No challenge, no interest in my book!

What car do you drive on the road?

The two extremes I would say. My daily car around Monaco is an electric smart which is the best thing ever to park and not be late to places. I also drive a C63 AMG that was always one of my dream cars as a kid. 

What’s your favorite holiday destination?

Off the top of my head I would say Mykonos is just insanely beautiful and good fun. Otherwise I always love going to New York or Los Angeles. I love the U.S.

What other sports do you follow? Any favorite teams?

Y’all must know by now I’m a big basketball fan. I probably know more about it than racing!

I’m more of a player fan than teams, but the Golden State Warriors of the last few years have been my team. Two years ago, before the Intercontinental GT Challenge powered by Pirelli race in Laguna Seca, Max Soulet and I went to a game at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.

We drove two hours to watch them play. Steph Curry took off and scored 50 against Washington. We made it to the hotel at 2 a.m., and had practice the next day! Strangely enough, the lack of sleep had no effect on us and he loved it too! 

Is there a track/race still on your ‘bucket list’ that you would like to race one day?

Without a doubt I would love to race in Monaco. I’ve always loved street tracks or old school tracks where the walls are your limit.

There are a few good tracks in the U.S. I haven’t been to yet like Watkins Glen or Road America. Let’s work on that to change it! 

If you could be in charge of SRO for a day, what would you change?

To be honest, nothing! I don’t think Stephane and his team can do a better job than he has done the last few years.

I’ve been witnessing the evolution of the championship for six years now and the ascension they’ve had is nothing short of spectacular.

But if I really must choose something, maybe I’d add a few kilos to all the other cars on the grid before the Total 24 Hours of Spa. After all, if I were in charge, who would tell me otherwise?

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

Winning races! With two top teams and lineups this year, with AMG and Luca [Stolz] and Maro [Engel] in the works car, and my first time ever driving a Ferrari in the best team out there, AF Corse and my good friend Louis, this was shaping up to be one of my most interesting seasons yet to date.

So I really can’t wait to get started. We already had a great test at Paul Ricard with Black Falcon, the team and is great and the familiar faces there reminded me of the successful times!

Motorsport and success in general is achieved by the human beings in charge, and in that case, I like to believe I’m in very good hands this year, so let’s get this thing rolling ASAP!

Photo: Vincent Abril

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