Tatiana Calderón will open another new chapter in her career this weekend as she makes her prototype race debut in the first round of the 2020 European Le Mans Series season.
After a wait of almost six months since her last race, the Daytona 24 Hours back in January, Tatiana will be sharing an Oreca 07-Gibson LMP2 car with Andre Negrao for Richard Mille Racing in the 4 Hours of Le Castellet at the Paul Ricard circuit in France.
Negrao, who races for Richard Mille Racing’s partner team Signatech in the FIA World Endurance Championship, has been drafted in to replace Katherine Legge. The British was set to share driving duties with Tatiana this weekend, the pair having already raced together at Daytona, but unfortunately she was injured in a high-speed crash during pre-season testing earlier this week and won’t be able to race.
The new ELMS season was supposed to begin in April, but like all categories of motorsport worldwide was forced to change its plans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tatiana, who is also contesting Japan’s Super Formula series this year, was able to use the enforced hiatus to work on her fitness, conduct meticulous preparations for the season to come and for the first time get involved in the world of sim racing to keep herself sharp.
This week, the Colombian driver took part in the two-day test at Paul Ricard to familiarise herself with the Oreca and acquaint herself with the team. She completed 52 laps prior to teammate Legge’s crash, which required the car to be rebuilt around a spare chassis.
Boosted by the experience of her temporary teammate Negrao, Tatiana and the team will be taking on an ultra-competitive LMP2 class comprising 15 entries out of a grid of 37 cars in total, motivated by the desire to score a strong result to open their 2020 campaign.
Tatiana Calderón: “I’m super happy to be able to race again after such a long time. Of course, it’s not how we wanted to start the season, but the most important thing now is that Katherine is ok. Hope she has a speedy recovery so we can have her back soon!This weekend we will focus on learning as much as we can, having a teammate that knows the team and the car so well will be very positive for our first race. I want to thank the Richard Mille Racing Team for all the effort and trust. I’m looking forward to scoring a good result for Katherine, we will be racing for her.”
PAUL RICARD WEEKEND TIMETABLE
All times CET and subject to change
Friday June 17
Practice 1 – 12.20pm
Saturday June 18
Practice 2 – 9.00am
Qualifying (LMP2) – 2.20pm
Sunday June 19
Race – 11.00am
2020 ELMS CALENDAR
July 19: 4 Hours of Le Castellet, Paul Ricard
August 9: 4 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps
August 29: 4 Hours of Barcelona
September 19-20: 24 Hours of Le Mans
October 11: 4 Hours of Monza
November 1: 4 Hours of Portimao