Tatiana Calderon achieved three top ten finishes – including a fifth place – in the opening round of the 2013 Cooper Tires British Formula 3 International Series at the world-renowned Silverstone circuit (25-26 May).
The former title-winning Double R Racing team fielded three cars for Calderon and her team-mates Antonio Giovinazzi and Sean Gelael for the British F3 season opener.
Having contested rounds of the FIA F3 European Championship at the Northamptonshire venue earlier this year, the Colombian racer went into the weekend in high spirits, keen to master the circuit’s fast, flowing confines.
A rain-soaked Silverstone denied the British F3 drivers of any meaningful running in Friday’s free practice sessions, with Calderon ending the day in the wall.
However, the Colombian lady racer returned to the track on Saturday with renewed vigour and showed a decent turn of speed on the unfamiliar Cooper Tires by qualifying tenth for the first of the weekend’s three races.
Round 1 was held on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Calderon made up several places and soaked up unremitting pressure from behind to finish within sight of the podium, six tenths adrift of team-mate Gelael.
Tyre wear was an issue on Sunday and left Calderon vulnerable to the chasing pack. The 20-year old held position in fifth until Felix Serralles made a move in the final ten minutes of the 16-lap encounter and a valiant attempt to re-pass the Puerto Rican at Copse corner also opened the door to Nicolas Latifi and Jordan King
A resolute Calderon continued plugging away as her tyres deteriorated to take a solid seventh place and then consolidated a strong weekend by finishing Silverstone’s final British F3 race in ninth.
“I had a nice experience at Silverstone and I’ve made a big improvement since my first visit to the circuit earlier this year,” said Calderon. “I was much closer to the pace, but there is still a lot more room for improvement.
“Overall, I’m happy with the weekend and I felt far more comfortable with both the car and the circuit. It was my first outing on the Cooper Tires and I was able to run at a similar pace to those around me.”