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Derani enjoys successful IndyCar test, would consider future race seat


Joe Skibinski

Sports car star Pipo Derani has said that he would consider a full-time move into the Verizon IndyCar Series in the future should an opportunity arise after enjoying a successful test with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports on Wednesday.

Derani moved away from single-seaters in 2014 after stints in Formula 3 and the Pro Mazda Championship to embark on a career in sports cars.

The Brazilian has emerged as one of motorsport’s brightest prospects, winning both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring last year with Tequila Patron ESM and testing an LMP1 car with Toyota.

Derani has since secured a seat with Ford Chip Ganassi Racing for the opening three rounds of the FIA World Endurance Championship, including Le Mans.

It was confirmed last month that Derani would be joining the IndyCar test at Sebring on Tuesday, piloting the No. 5 Arrow Electronics Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda.

“It went really well. It was very interesting to get back in a single-seater for the first time in almost three years and especially an Indycar,” Derani said of the test.

“We started early and I had an initial 10 lap run and got up to speed quickly. We then started working on the car immediately which was nice, as the team obviously trusted what I was doing at this initial stage so we could start on set-up work.

“The car is obviously quick, but having driven an LMP1 car recently it didn’t take so much getting used to, and it actually prepared me well, especially in the braking capability and overall grip levels. The lack of power-steering is immediately apparent which is nice as it gives an extra physical element to driving.”

Despite it only being a preliminary test, Derani said it has offered a possible way back into single-seaters and he would seriously consider an IndyCar drive in the future.

“It is still early days and it was just a test, but it has opened a new door and given me an understanding of what is needed to drive these cars,” Derani said.

“I am young enough at 23 to look at racing both sports cars and single-seaters so I will look and think very carefully about what I could potentially do if the right opportunity came along in Indycars.

“I have my commitments with Ford Chip Ganassi and Tequila Patron Racing this season so I have to give those programs my 100 percent concentration. But if I got the right opportunity to race Indycars then for sure I would seriously consider it.

“From where I stand now I would absolutely love to race these cars but it would need to be at the right time and with the right preparation.

“I am a professional driver and fortunate in the sense that I have these kinds of opportunities to consider.I think it would have to be a long-term program with good continuity and stability and not just a one off race here or there.”

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