Tatiana Calderon returns to European Le Mans Series, joins Virage in LMP2 entry
Colombian racing star Tatiana Calderon will make her return to sports cars as she joins Team Virage in a LMP2 ProAm entry in European Le Mans Series.
Tatiana Calderon has raced in some of the world's top racing series - including FIA F3, FIA F2, Indycar, Super Formula, FIA WEC, ELMS. The Colombian is now set to return to the top class of European Le Mans Series in 2023, having signed with Team Virage for a LMP2 ProAm entry.
After stints in single seaters on the F1 ladder, Calderon made her sportscar debut in 2020, when she joined the all-female Richard Mille Racing Team in her first ever LMP2 season alongside fellow rookies Sophia Floersch and Beitske Visser.
Calderon soon found herself at ease in the Oreca 07 and the trio claimed a top five at debut at Paul Ricard, followed by two more top-10 finishes.
At her Le Mans debut in the same year, Calderon had a great run to finish ninth in class.
In 2022, Calderon and Richard Mille Racing Team graduated to FIA WEC, where she had more point scoring finishes always at the wheel of the Oreca 07 Gibson LMP2 prototype, despite a combined schedule that saw the Colombian also racing in Japan's premier single seater championship Super Formula.
The deal with Spanish-based Team Virage is great news for Calderon, who returns to a high-downforce LMP2 machine, with the opportunity to bring her experience and speed to the team: she will partner Ian Rodriguez and Rob Hodes in a Pro-Am crew.
"ELMS is a super competitive championship, the LMP2 car with the full downforce kit as wellas the engine mapping that makes it faster than those in the FIA World Endurance Championship is a lot of fun to drive. I’ve already had the opportunity to test with Team Virage and I am very happy with the opportunity they have given me", Tatiana said.
"In Rob and Ian I have two teammates with whom we get along very well and I can't wait to start the new season together.”
Calderon started to climb the ranks of single seaters in 2010, where she raced State-side in the Star Mazda Championship. She then moved to Europe in the European F3 Open - now Euroformula Open - where she would return in 2016. As one of the top female racing drivers in single seaters in the world, she contested seasons in FIA Formula 3 European Championship, Toyota Racing Series, MRF Challenge - where she claimed one victory - GP3 Series, Formula 3.5 - where she scored a podium.
As Test/Development of the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team, she completed her first F1 test at Mexico City in October 2018.
Since her debut in sports cars in 2020, she continued to complete double programs in formulas, before making her debut in Indycar in 2022. In a world class field, Calderon showed very promising improvements while learning the car and the tracks, but unfortunately her season was halted mid-way through the year due to sponsorship issues.
With the support of Colombian pop singer Karol G, Calderon landed a seat in FIA Formula 2 and contested the second half of the season.
With a new challenge in 2023, Tatiana Calderon is now set to make her return to the racetracks: the European Le Mans Series season is set to get underway at Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, on April 22-23.
“I can't believe I'm finally back to racing", Calderon stated. "It has been a very difficult winter, because at times it seemed that no door was opening, but in the end I will be able to take the BICHOTA logo back in the car, carrying the message of the movement that KarolG has started, inspiring more women to fight for their dreams, as she has done with me."
"I want to thank Terpel, AVL RACETECH and Escudería Telmex too, because without them this wouldn't be possible either. We are going for new challenges this season, more motivated than ever."
The calendar includes six 4-hour races, at Imola, Le Castellet, Aragon, Spa Francorchamps and Portimao.
2023 ELMS Calendar
R1: Barcelona, Spain / 23 April
R2: Imola, Italy / 7 May POSTPONED
R3: Paul Ricard, France / 16 July
R4: Aragon, Spain / 26 August
R5: Spa Francorchamps, Belgium / 24 September
R6: Portimao, Portugal / 22 October