Tatiana Calderón will make her second start in the legendary Le Mans 24 Hours, the blue riband round of the FIA World Endurance Championship, on August 21-22.
Like last year, the Colombian will be tackling the jewel in the crown of the endurance racing calendar with the Richard Mille Racing team in the tightly-fought LMP2 class, alongside her regular teammates Beitske Visser and Sophia Floersch.
Tatiana and her fellow female racers became the first all-female prototype crew to race at Le Mans since 1991 last year, scoring a creditable ninth-place finish with an error-free run in their Signatech-run Oreca 07-Gibson, a result that sets the benchmark for their return to the Circuit de la Sarthe, the 13,6-kilometre, 38-turn semi-permanent track where the enduro runs every year.
This year’s race will have a different look and feel to it, with fans allowed back at the circuit after a behind-closed-doors event in 2020. The August date means there will be more hours of sunlight and fewer hours of darkness, with higher temperatures, while the LMP2 rules themselves have undergone changes, notably including a switch to Goodyear tyres across the board and a power reduction to maintain adequate class separation.
In addition, the return of the traditional test day on Sunday August 15, combined with more track time during race week itself in comparison to last year, should allow Tatiana and her teammates more time to hone the set-up of their Oreca contender as they target another strong showing in one of motorsport’s three ‘Triple Crown’ events.
With three solid results in the bag so far this season in the WEC, Tatiana is hungry to once again display her endurance racing credentials on the biggest stage of all.
Tatiana Calderón: “I’m very much looking forward to tackling Le Mans again with Richard Mille Racing and with the support of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission. It’s one of the most amazing races in the world, but of course this year is going to be different. The car has a bit less power and we’re on the Goodyear tyres, but it still helps to have had the experience from last year, finishing the race and doing as many laps as we could. This year the night will be shorter because the race is taking place in August instead of September, and we have more time to set up the car with the test day. The competition in the LMP2 class will be intense with 25 cars and some very strong line-ups, so we’ll need to improve on our performance from last year. The extra track time and our experience from last year should allow us to attack a little more, but as always avoiding mistakes and being consistent will be the key to a top result.”