Calderon joins IndyCar as 1st woman to drive for AJ Foyt

Tatiana Calderon will drive for AJ Foyt Racing this season as the first woman to regularly compete in the IndyCar series since 2013.

The Colombian will drive a third Indy car for Foyt on road and road courses alongside Dalton Kellett and Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood. A driver for the oval races in the No. 11 was not announced Monday.

Calderon will be sponsored by ROKiT Group, a media company which has also pledged to sponsor fellow rookie Kirkwood this season.

IndyCar has not had a female driver compete in the series since Simona de Silvestro in 2013, although de Silvestro raced the Indy 500 last season for a mostly female team.

Calderon becomes the first woman to compete for Foyt, the iconic four-time Indianapolis 500 winner who turned 87 on Sunday. Foyt was one of the few to show grace to Janet Guthrie when she began her quest to become the first woman to race the Indy 500 nearly 50 years ago.

As Guthrie tried to prove she was ready for series officials in a 1976 test in a slow, uncompetitive car, Foyt kindly allowed her to do some laps in her backup. The faster machine allowed Guthrie to level up and earn the right to attempt to qualify for the 500, although Foyt never fielded a car for the trailblazer.

With the support of the ROKiT group, Foyt will now have a woman in one of his cars. ROKiT has supported Calderon since 2020 when it competed in the World Endurance Championship and Super Formula Japan.

“One of our fundamental principles in the overall marketing of the ROKiT brand to the world is our support and promotion of women in motorsport and as part of this principle we have been supporting Tatiana for a long time,” said the CEO Jonathan Kendrick. “We recognized his talent and charisma very early on, which we have seen grow and develop.

“We know that Tatiana is already a role model for many young female drivers around the world and we believe the huge exposure of the IndyCar Series will only serve to increase her reach even further to become an inspiration to many more women. to get involved in motorsport.”

Calderon, 28, has spent the past two seasons in Super Formula in Japan for Threebond Drago Corse and for Richard Mille Racing in the FIA ​​World Endurance Championship. She has also been a Formula 1 test driver for Alfa Romeo for the past four years.

Bogotá-born and currently living in Madrid, Calderon tested the No. 14 Chevrolet at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Ohio last July to start the process for it to join IndyCar.

“Since I started my single-seater career in the United States 11 years ago, IndyCar has been a benchmark for me and it’s a dream come true to be on the grid this year,” he said. she declared. challenge ahead, but it’s the chance of a lifetime and I can’t wait to make the most of it.

Calderon will test with Kirkwood at Sebring Raceway in Florida this week. The season opens on February 27 on the urban course in Saint Petersburg.


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