Luis Felipe 'Pipo' Derani is a Brazilian racing driver who achieved notable success in the sports car racing on the international level.
His most successful year so far was 2016 when he won two greatest North American endurance races - Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours. He repeated victories at Sebring in 2018 and 2019.
Derani was also successful in the FIA World Endurance Championship, finishing third in the LMP2 standings in 2015 and scoring GTE Pro class podium at Le Mans 24 Hours in 2017.
Luis Felipe Pipo Derani
Pipo's father was a racing driver
Pipo Derani was born in Sao Paulo, in a family of racing driver Walter Derani. Pipo was following the footsteps of his father, entering karting competitions at the age 10.
Six years later, in 2009, he progressed to car racing, competing in the Formula Renault 2.0 with Motopark Academy team. Scoring two podiums, he finished seventh in the Northern European Cup. He also made a debut also in the Formula Renault Eurocup, driving for Motopark in three rounds.
In November 2009, Pipo also participated in two rounds of the Brazilian GT3 Championship, driving a Ferrari F430 GT3. In one of those two rounds, he was sharing a car with his father.
Pipo spent two F# seasons with Fortec Motorsport
Four seasons in the Formula 3
In 2010, Pipo stayed with Motopark but made a step up into the German Formula 3 Championship. In 18 races, he scored no wins or podiums, finishing 10th in the points. In 2011, he moved to the British Formula 3 Championship, driving for Double R Racing. With one podium, he was 15th in the points.
Pipo stayed in the British F3 for one more season, driving for Fortec Motorsport in 2012. He was a race winner two times in the #3 Dallara-Mercedes, at Oulton Park and Brands Hatch, finishing 8th in the points. The peak of Derani's F3 career was the 2013 Formula 3 European Championship. He was driving for Fortec, scoring three podiums on a way to 8th-place finish.
Pipo Derani's helmet
2014 - leaving open-wheelers and moving to sports prototypes
In 2014, Derani moved to the Pro Mazda Championship, driving in three rounds for Team Pelfrey. It was the end of his open-wheel racing career, after that, he moved to sports car racing.
He joined Irish team Murphy Prototypes in the last two rounds of the 2014 European Le Mans Series. He was driving the #48 Oreca 03R-Nissan in the 4 Hours of Le Castellet (3rd) and in the 4 Hours of Estoril (DNF).
Derani was third in the FIA WEC LMP2 class in 2015, driving for G-Drive Racing
2015 - third place in the LMP2 class of the World Endurance Championship
In 2015, Pipo joined G-Drive Racing as the full-time driver in the FIA World Endurance Championship. He was sharing the #28 Ligier JS P2 prototype with Gustavo Yacaman and Ricardo Gonzalez. In his FIA WEC debut, Derani finished second at Silverstone and then won the race at Spa-Francorchamps.
In June 2015, he made a debut at Le Mans 24 Hours. A trio in the #28 Ligier finished fourth in the LMP2 class, third among crews eligible to score FIA WEC points. Later in the season, Derani was on a podium four more times, finishing third in the final standings of LMP2 drivers.
In 2016, Derani has won both Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h
2016 - victories both at Daytona and Sebring
For 2016, Derani joined Extreme Speed Motorsports with a plan to competed both in the IMSA SportsCar Championship and FIA World Endurance Championship. The start of the season was fantastic, as Derani was the winner in two greatest North American endurance races – Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours.
His co-drivers in the #2 Ligier JS P2-Honda were Scott Sharp, Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown. Derani participated in two more endurance races, the Watkins Glen 6 Hours (9th) and Petit Le Mans (2nd), finishing second in the North American Endurance Cup (NAEC).
Celebrating Sebring victory
FIA WEC season with Extreme Speed Motorsports
While he had a part-time schedule in the IMSA Championship, Derani participated full season in the FIA World Endurance Championship with ESM's Ligier JS P2-Nissan. His partners in the #31 car were Ryan Dalziel and Chris Cumming.
Their best result was second place at Silverstone and Spa. At Le Mans, they were 8th in the LMP2 class. At the end of the season, they finished fourth in the LMP2 class.
In 2016, Derani also participated at Spa 24 Hours, as a guest driver for Garage 59 team in the #60 McLaren 650S GT3. He was sharing a car with Bruno Senna and Duncan Tappy, not finishing the race.
Second place in the GTE Pro class at 2017 Le Mans 24 Hours: Pipo Derani, Harry Tincknell and Andy Priaulx
Double programme again in 2017
For 2017, Pipo has a double programme again. He stayed with Tequila Patron ESM in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, driving the #2 and #22 Nissan DPi in seven races. His best result was a victory at Road America alongside Johannes van Overbeek. He ended a season ninth in the points.
In the FIA World Endurance Championship, Derani joined Ford Chip Ganassi Team UK to drive the #67 Ford GT along with Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell. He stayed with the team in three races, winning at Silverstone and scoring second place in the GTE Pro class at Le Mans. In the fourth round, at Nurburgring, Derani joined Rebellion Racing in the #13 Oreca 07-Gibson, finishing fourth in the LMP2 class.
Pipo Derani and teammates at 2018 Sebring 12 Hours
Two more Sebring 12h victories in 2018 and 2019
In 2018, Derani focused on the IMSA Championship exclusively, driving the #22 Nissan DPi for Tequila Patron ESM and finishing 9th in the championship. Sharing a car with Johannes van Overbeek and Nicolas Lapierre, he won Sebring 12 Hours for the second time in a career. His second win in 2018 was at Laguna Seca.
Outside IMSA Championship, Derani recorded only one race, joining AF Corse at 24 Hours of Le Mans and finishing fifth in the GTE Pro class in the #52 Ferrari 488 GTE.
For the 2019 IMSA season, Pipo Derani joined Action Express Racing to drive the #31 Whelen Engineering Cadillac DPi-V.R, alongside compatriot Felipe Nasr. The highlight of the season was a victory at Sebring 12 Hours, where they were joined by third co-driver Eric Curran. They won one more time in the season's finale at Road Atlanta (Petit Le Mans), finishing second in the overall classification and the winners of the Michelin Endurance Cup.
Pipo Derani joins Action Express Racing for the 2019 IMSA Championship season