Tatiana Calderón came away from a challenging second round of the Euroformula Open championship with more vital points in wet conditions at Spa-Francorchamps.
Banking another four points for finishing eighth in a second race held in typical Spa weather, Tatiana remains the only one of Teo Martin Motorsport’s four drivers to have scored so far in 2016, although this came as scant consolation on a weekend where she had been aiming much higher.
The 23-year-old began the event relatively strongly, as she finished Friday’s first practice session up in fifth – although this form was sadly not to last, as she concluded second practice down in P18 before making an error in first qualifying at the fast, downhill Turn 9 left-hander and crashed. That relegated Tatiana to P19 on the grid for Saturday’s first race, and a problem with her car’s battery robbed her of yet more pace and ensured she would be able to manage no more than P13 at the end of a frustrating day.
However, the arrival of rain on Sunday after qualifying offered the Colombian the chance to transcend the limits of her machinery and display the skill that saw her lead in European Formula 3 at Spa last year.
Sure enough, Tatiana made the most of this opportunity by climbing three positions from her P13 grid slot on a tricky opening lap, before going on to pick off both Antoni Ptak and Damiano Fioravanti later in the race to finish in eighth place, right on the tail of Julio Moreno.
As a result, Tatiana slips two positions in the drivers’ standings to 10th on 12 points, with her three Teo Martin Motorsport teammates all still yet to score.
Tatiana Calderón: “Unfortunately, it was another tough weekend because we simply didn’t have the speed to compete at the front of the field in normal conditions. Admittedly, I crashed in first qualifying, which made the whole weekend a little bit more difficult, but in the first race we had battery issues that made it even harder to keep up with the opposition. We were again lacking some speed in second qualifying, but thankfully it rained in the race and I managed to make up a few positions and score some more important points for eighth place.”
The next round of the Euroformula Open series takes place at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France on June 3-5.
Euroformula Open points standings after Spa: 1. Pulcini 89 2. Aitken 71 3. Habsburg 51 4. Menchaca 44 5. Fioravanti 38 — 10. Calderón 12