January 17, 2022 7:00 AM ET
The last time the NTT IndyCar Series had a female driver signed to a full-time effort was in 2013 with Simona De Silvestro and KVSH Racing, and thanks to a late decision by A.J. Foyt Racing sponsor ROKiT, Tatiana Calderon will take a step towards ending the long representation drought when she takes the wheel of the No. 11 Chevy for the road and street course events.
The 28-year-old will also continue the tradition of Colombian talent being represented in IndyCar as she helps the Foyt team — which RACER revealed in September — realize ROKiT’s desire to have two cars carrying its branding and gives the series an unexpected 26th entry for the entire season. The team is yet to sign a driver for the oval races.
“I’m thrilled and very thankful to ROKiT and A.J. Foyt Racing for the opportunity to race in the NTT IndyCar Series,” said Calderon. “Ever since I started my single-seater career in the United States 11 years ago, IndyCar has been a reference for me and it’s a dream come true to be on the grid this year. I can’t wait to get to St. Petersburg for the first race of the season. I’m well aware of the challenge ahead, but this is the chance of a lifetime and I’m keen on making the most of it.”
In her teens, Calderon spent two years on the Road To Indy with Juncos Racing before turning her attention to Europe in Formula 3, GP2, and F2 along with being signed as a test and reserve driver for the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team. Her open-wheel focus changes in 2020 and 2021 with the Japanese Super Formula series — the same category where reigning IndyCar champion Alex Palou trained through 2019 — where she contested nine races over two partial seasons with a best result of 12th on two occasions. She also made her IndyCar testing debut with the Foyt team last July in her sponsor’s colors at Mid-Ohio.
Calderon’s rookie campaign will come alongside another rookie in 2021 Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood in the No. 14 Chevy and the returning Dalton Kellett who enters his third season with the team in the No. 4 Chevy. She’ll test this week with Kirkwood at Sebring in preparation for her IndyCar debut at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on February 27.
“I’m thrilled with the continuation and expansion of the ROKiT A.J. Foyt Racing Team,” said team president Larry Foyt. “We welcome Tatiana Calderon in car No.11 joining Kyle Kirkwood in car 14, both in the very cool ROKiT liveries. Tatiana showed a lot of potential in her test at Mid-Ohio. With Dalton Kellett in the No. 4 K-Line Insulators Chevrolet, I think our three-car team is in for an exciting season.”
This story has been updated since it was originally published to reflect that Calderon has been signed for the road/street course races, not the full season.