Tatiana Calderón will make her long-awaited return to Japan’s Super Formula championship in this weekend’s fourth round of the season at Autopolis.
The Colombian rising star made an impressive debut in the series, which boasts some of the fastest single-seaters outside of Formula 1, in the opening round of the delayed 2020 season at Motegi in August, going wheel-to-wheel with some of Japan’s top domestic racers.
Unfortunately, the East Asian country’s strict 14-day quarantine requirement for foreign arrivals imposed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic ruled Tatiana out of competing in the following two races at Okayama and Sugo, as she turned her attentions to seeing out her European Le Mans Series campaign with Richard Mille Racing.
With her ELMS duties now complete for the year, Tatiana has been able to return to Japan to prepare for the final four races of the Super Formula season. After this weekend’s Autopolisround, the remainder of the calendar comprises a double-header at Suzuka in early December and a title-deciding race at Fuji Speedway later that month.
The 4.673-km Autopolis track, which is located on the westernmost of Japan’s four home islands, Kyushu, features a demanding mixture of medium and high-speed corners thatare sure to test Tatiana and her ThreeBond Drago Corse team to their fullest.
The Colombian racer will also experience in-race pitstops, as the mandatory tyre change was re-introduced to the series for the second race at Okayama – providing an extra layer of challenge and opportunity.
Tatiana Calderón: “I’m excited to finally be back in Japan after two-and-a-half months and return to the series. The team has done a lot of progress in the last couple of rounds with Koudai, someone who has a lot of experience, so I am looking forward to jumping back in the car and working together with the ThreeBond Drago Corse team. Of course, in such a competitive series it will be challenging to come back after having missed two rounds, and considering I still have very little experience of the car, I think we just have to take things step-by-step. It will also be my first time at Autopolis, and the conditions will be much colder than they were when I last raced at Motegi, so there will be a lot to get used to.”
AUTOPOLIS WEEKEND SCHEDULE
All times JST (GMT +9) and subject to change
Saturday 14 November
Practice 1 – 10:05
Practice 2 – 14:45
Sunday 15 November
Qualifying – 10:15
Race (42 laps) – 14:40