Tatiana Calderón has made it to the halfway point of her 12-round programme in the NTT IndyCar Series following last weekend’s Sonsio Grand Prix at Road America.
The Colombian driver’s first visit to the famous Elkhart Lake track was not one to savour, as a litany of problems restricted the #11 AJ Foyt Racing ROKiT-Chevrolet to 25th at the finish.
Tatiana managed to outqualify both seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and fellow female racer Simona de Silvestro for 25th on the grid, but any hopes of a strong result were more or less dashed from the outset of the 55-lap race due to a telemetry issue.
This meant that at Tatiana’s second pitstop, not enough fuel was taken on board, resulting in the ROKiT-backed #11 car running out of fuel. Considerable ground was lost getting the car restarted again as air had made its way into the fuel pump.
To compound matters, Tatiana didn’t have a working pitlane speed limiter for the entire race, which meant she was called in for pitlane speeding penalties twice, costing her further precious time and extinguishing any faint remaining hopes of a strong finish.
The net result of all these problems was a 25th-place finish, a lap down on the leaders, marking a character-building end to a difficult but enjoyable first half of the season that has seen Tatiana learn so much about Indycar racing on both street circuits and road courses.
Tatiana Calderón: “It was a weekend to forget really. We didn’t have full telemetry during the race, so I ran out of fuel and we had to stop the car and restart it. There was also air in the fuel pumps, so it took a while to get it going again. We also need to check again what happened to the pitlane limiter because I was penalised for speeding twice. Unfortunately my engineer was sick and he was unable to attend on Sunday, so it was just not our weekend in general. I just want to thank the AJ Foyt Racing team for their hard efforts, they’ve been on the move since before the Indy 500 last month. I’m really looking forward now to Mid-Ohio, where I did my first IndyCar test last year. All the lessons from these first six races will no doubt helps us have a stronger second half of the season.”
The next round of the NTT IndyCar Series takes place at Mid-Ohio on July 3 after a short summer break.