- Hyundai Motorsport’s Home Shakedown continues with WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup driver Gabriele Tarquini speaking from Italy
- As restrictions in the country begin to ease, Gabriele is now relishing the opportunity to exercise along the beach and return to the local golf courses
- To keep himself race-ready, Gabriele has also been reviewing a wide variety of videos of past seasons to stay prepared for the return of on-track action.
The 2018 WTCR drivers’ title winner has used his time away from the world’s racing circuits to tackle long deferred jobs around the house, such as cataloguing items he has accumulated through his career – some which hadn’t been seen for nearly forty years.
With restrictions in Italy beginning to ease, Gabriele has been able to resume running outdoors, having clocked an impressive 350km on his treadmill, and visiting his local golf course. In a bid to stay race-ready for the return of on-track action, he has also been studying various videos of races from the past ten years and staying in weekly contact with team members from BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse.
Home Shakedown with Gabriele Tarquini
How are you Gabriele?
“I am fine, fortunately. My family and I have been able to pass through this difficult moment in time for everybody without any problems.”
You’re at home in Italy with your family?
“Yes, myself, my wife, my daughter and my son are all at home. Luckily we have enough rooms in the house because everyone needs their own space and separate computers. My children are 14 and 15 and studying over the internet and need different rooms to speak with their teachers.”
Italy was one of the first European countries to go into lockdown, how is the situation now?
“For the first month of lockdown in Italy, it was very difficult to leave your house. Everything was closed and it was a psychologically tough moment for everybody. From May 18th we were allowed to move around the region, and this has made a real difference. We have to stay within 30 kilometres of our home, but we can now drive and exercise outside.”
What does your exercise regime now entail?
“In the last two months, I had run more or less 350km on the treadmill, but I was starting to get bored. Now I am allowed to run outside. We live close to the beach and the sea, it’s a really beautiful place to exercise and keeps my motivation going. The golf course in our region has also opened up recently. I fell in love with golf a few years ago so I’m glad I can start playing again.”
How else have you been keeping busy?
“In the beginning I was able to keep training indoors with my running machine and some weights – it’s not really a fully-equipped gym, but enough to keep exercising. I’ve also been doing almost daily interviews with Italian journalists. It’s been nice to spend some time with my family. I don’t often stay home for this long so I’ve been doing some jobs around the house, and organising things that I’ve accumulated over my career, but which have been abandoned in a pile for another day. Some of them are from forty years ago and I haven’t looked at them since! It kept me occupied for ten days as I went through and catalogued everything and, without the lockdown situation, I don’t think I would have done it, so I’m making the most of this time.”
Have you been keeping in touch with the team?
“Yes, especially with the team manager of BRC Hyundai N LUKOIL Squadra Corse. We’ve spoken every week; he calls to ask how I am. I have been in contact with Andrea Adamo as well, just to keep informed about when we might go racing again.”
You haven’t been tempted to join the esports craze?
“No, I don’t think it is for me! I have driven on a simulator in the past, but I think starting from zero I would be too far behind to be competitive. Instead I’ve been concentrating on real-life racing and watching videos from the past ten seasons. I’ve focused on finding videos from different angles that I’ve never seen before. Before lockdown I wouldn’t spend much time doing, but it’s been good to use the time to learn something.”
Do you have a message for fans missing racing?
“I hope that we are past the worst. Here where I am, everything is restarting around us. I hope that our sport and normal life can resume as soon as possible. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I miss racing, I miss the cars, and I hope to be back at it again soon.”
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