Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Star Mazda Championship Unsung Hero: Tatiana Calderon

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted November 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm Star Mazda, Unsung Hero

Tatiana Calderon
(Photo: Ryan – JuniorOpenWheelTalent.com)

Name: Tatiana Calderon
Born: Bogota, Colombia
Date of Birth: Mar. 10, 1993

Website: www.tatianacalderon.com

Current Series:
Star Mazda Championship

Final Standings: 10th

Average Finish
(1st Half of Season): 13.67
Average Finish
(2nd Half of Season): 10.14

Previous Experience:
Started Karting: Age 12
Karting Experience: 5 years
Car Experience: 2-years

  • Skip Barber Karting Scholarship
  • Radical European Masters- 2009
  • Star Mazda- 2010

Why she was chosen:

Last March, at Sebring International Raceway, Tatiana Calderon jumped right into the deep end of car racing without a hint of reticence. She didn’t have much open-wheel car experience, but she committed to the 2010 season with Juncos Racing; the same team who had been overseeing her development behind the wheel of a go-kart.

While one might argue (myself included) that the USF2000 National Championship might have been a better choice for her development in 2010, Calderon certainly showcased her ability behind-the-wheel of a Star Mazda car as the season wore on. She qualified a measly 22nd out of 23 cars in her first race. In the race, she finished 20th, three laps shy and almost five seconds-a-lap off eventual winner Tristan Vautier’s fast time.

Graduating straight to Star Mazda was a huge leap.

Calderon wouldn’t be discouraged easily, though, and continued to work hard developing her skills. It wasn’t long before her hard work and persistence paid off. The 17-year-old Colombian secured her first top-10 finish in just her third Star Mazda race. She started 16th at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and drove through the field to finish an impressive ninth. In her first six races, her ninth-place result stood as the only top-10 and she had two DNFs; bumping her average finish down to 13.67. Still, she was showing promise and an insatiable hunger to improve each time she was in the cockpit.

She made some big gains at the midpoint of the season, starting with another ninth-place finish during the second race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. She landed inside the top-10 on four occasions in the next five races; including a career best seventh-place finish at Autobahn in late July. Off the track she continued to work hard as well, devoting to a strenuous fitness program under the guidance of Jim Leo and PitFit. The results were evident at the checkered flag. She finished every race during the second half of the season and increased her average-finish by over three spots.

With one full season of Star Mazda competition under her belt, Calderon has made it to the shallow end of the pool. Watch for bright things from the young Colombian in 2011, especially if she returns to Star Mazda.

Related Reading: 2010 Unsung Hero Awards

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2 Comments

  1. Miguel on November 11, 2010 6:00 pm

    It was great seeing her progress throughout the season. Star Mazda was indeed a bit of a big step and racing next to Conor Daly made her look awfully slow to the casual viewer, but I’m expecting some good things from her next season. Maybe not yet a title, but regular podium finishes should be within arms reach if she stays with Juncos Racing.

    My compliments with this article, and the blog in general.

  2. Ryan on November 11, 2010 9:03 pm

    Thanks Miguel, I appreciate the kind words.

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