Our Woman of the Week for this week is Tatiana Calderon. The Colombian driver started her career in karting as a young girl. She has since competed for Juncos Racing in the Star Mazda Championship, Team West-Tec in the European F3 Open series, and Double R Racing in both European and British Formula 3 championships. She currently drives for Carlin Motorsport in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship.
BS When did you first get involved in motorsport?
TC I started racing when I was 9 years old. I have always love sports, but since I tried go karts for the first time, I knew I wanted to be a racing driver. I started on a rental go kart track in Colombia. After going there every day after school me and my sister convince my parents to buy as a go kart. So since 2003 my passion for this sport its been growing and growing. Racing is my life.
BS How supportive have your family been about your racing aspirations?
TC I’m very fortunate to have such a supportive family, I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. My dream is now our dream, and it is unbelievable to have them supporting me in the good and bad moments.
BS How do you support your racing career financially?
TC Up until now, my family has been supporting me in that area as well, but I am at a stage in my career where I need big financial support to move up the ladder and to achieve my goal, which is F1. I´m trying to get as much support as possible but it is not easy.
BS Describe your career thus far?
TC Although I have been racing for more than half of my life and have done a lot of championships over the years, there is a lot more that I want to achieve. I love racing, it is my life and for what I wake up every morning. Like everyone I have had ups and downs along the way, but I have showed that I have the speed, passion and dedication to make it to the top so I hope I can get a chance to show it.
BS Any awards or distinctions you'd like to share?
TC For me the most special memories are the big wins. The 2008 Stars of Karting East coast championship in Jica; I am the first and only female driver that has won that championship. In 2011, the Star Mazda Championship where I scored two podiums. My 2013 British F3 podium at Nurburgring, where I was also the first female to score a podium finished in the championship. 2014 Florida Winter Series race win in Sebring, Florida, where Max Verstappen, members of the Ferrari Driver Academy where participating. And finally, the 2015 MRF Challenge where I scored three podiums in Abu Dhabi.
BS What are the biggest challenges you face in racing?
TC Unlike other sports where you depend mainly on you and your performance, in motorsport you depend a lot on the car performance as well. There are a lot of factors that you don’t control so it makes it very difficult but very interesting as well.
BS Do you find that people within the community treat you differently as a girl?
TC Maybe they do when they don’t know me. As a girl in motorsport you always have to prove yourself more than anyone else.
BS Who/what has been your greatest help in your career thus far?
TC Without a doubt my family, without them and they’re support I wouldn’t be racing today.
BS What are your career goals/aspirations?
TC I want to race in Formula 1
BS What advice would you give to girls and young women trying to build a career in racing?
TC I would encourage them to follow their passion, in motorsport unlike many sports we can compete equally against men. So dare to be different!