Tatiana Calderón banked more valuable FIA World Endurance Championship points at Monza last weekend, the final race of the season before the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The Colombian rising star faced an extra challenge at the legendary Italian track as she and Sophia Floersch took on the six-hour race as a duo in the Richard Mille Racing Oreca 07-Gibson LMP2 in the absence of their regular teammate Beitske Visser.
Although the team couldn’t quite match the finish it achieved in the previous round of the WEC at Portimao, Tatiana and Floersch still came away with eighth position in the ultra-competitive LMP2 category, not helped by a late full-course yellow period.
Tatiana was handed the responsibility of taking the start in the Richard Mille car, remaining on board until around the 1 hour, 20 minute mark for a double stint. Just shy of half-distance, she took the controls back from Floersch, knuckling down for another gruelling double stint before Floersch took over again for the final hour and 40 minutes.
Although the team’s strategy didn’t work out in the closing part of the race, costing them the chance to match its Portimao finish, the Monza race has given Tatiana and the team a clear direction to work in as they turn their focus towards delivering a strong performance next month at Le Mans, the biggest race on the sportscar racing calendar.
Tatiana Calderón: “Overall it was a difficult weekend. We missed some track time in FP1 with some brake issues, and we tried some things that didn’t work out in FP3, which made qualifying difficult for Sophia. At the beginning of the race, we had good pace but most cars in the class had very similar pace which made it hard to overtake. We also lost some time having to push back the car twice during pitstops as most cars around us pitted at the same time. I had some good battles on-track in my first stint, but I was left with really old tyres for my final stint, so it was a case of just surviving and not losing too much time. The full-course yellow probably cost us P5 or P6, which would have been a good result. That said, we are still missing some pace, but I want to thank the team for working through the night replacing the engine after qualifying. The weekend was still a useful preparation for Le Mans, which remains our main goal for this season.”
Next up for Tatiana and Richard Mille Racing is the Le Mans test day on August 15, which precedes the famous race itself on August 21-22.