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STRONG SEBRING PACE BUT MORE HEARTBREAK FOR TATIANA AND CREW

Tatiana Calderón and her Gradient Racing teammates put on another competitive showing in the Sebring 12 Hours, despite the race ending in more heartbreak. 


Along with her co-drivers in the #66 Gradient Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk, Tatiana was in the running for a top-five finish at the Florida airfield circuit until a late crash for Legge put paid to the team’s hopes of a strong result once again. 


Monk took the start of the race from 12th on the grid in the GT Daytona class and 45th overall, but it wasn’t until around three hours in that Tatiana got behind the wheel for the first time. Belying her lack of experience at Sebring, the Colombian set the car’s best lap of the race up until that point in her hour-long stint before handing back to Monk.


Later in the race, Tatiana was installed in the cockpit for another single stint at around the six hour, 10 minute mark, keeping the team in the thick of the class battle, and was due to take over the car for a third time with around three hours left on the clock. 


But unfortunately, just before the changeover was due to take place, Legge was sent into the barriers at Turn 17 after making contact with a Porsche GTP car, leaving the Gradient Acura terminal damage and marking the team’s second retirement in succession. 


Legge luckily escaped the crash unharmed as she was checked and cleared from the infield car centre, but it marked another case of unfulfilled potential for Tatiana and the Gradient squad after a similarly promising run at Daytona ended in a mechanical DNF. Nonetheless, the colombian can reflect positively on a competitive first outing at historic Sebring, while the team proved its speed once again until Legge’s accident. 


Tatiana Calderón“Like at Daytona, it was not the end we were all hoping for. Unfortunately Katherine had a crash coming into the pits when I was about to take over for my third stint, and we were running P5. That was encouraging and I think we showed some really good pace throughout the race. I had new tyres for my first stint and I felt really good out there, but in the second stint the balance shifted quite a lot. We were hit on the first lap, and then we were hit on the side, and the car was doing great lap times considering the damage we had. To be running P5 despite that was a great showing. Again, we go away without the result, but the most important thing is that Katherine is ok and we showed we had the pace to be up there fighting. Thanks to the team and all my sponsors, some of which came to support me this weekend: Wandr Studio, ConCora Foundation, AVL Racetech. Now there is a big break until Watkins Glen, so I’ll be training hard and doing my best to familiarise myself with the track as much as possible, and hopefully we can get a better result there.”


The third round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup is set to take place at Watkins Glen International on June 23.




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