IndyCar adds first female driver in nearly a decade

Tatiana Calderon, IndyCar (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Tatiana Calderon, IndyCar (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images) /

Colombian driver Tatiana Calderon became the first woman since Simona de Silvestro in 2013 to earn a regular spot on the IndyCar grid.

28-year-old Colombian driver Tatiana Calderon was chosen by A.J. Foyt Enterprises to run the 12 road and street course races on the 2022 IndyCar schedule in a third entry for the team.

The GP3, Formula 2, and World Endurance Championship veteran will become the first woman with a regular ride in America’s premier open-wheel racing series since Simona de Silvestro ran every race for KV Racing Technology in 2013.

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Calderon’s #11 Chevrolet will join forces with Dalton Kellett, who is set to return to Foyt’s team for the third year and the second behind the wheel of the #4 Chevrolet as a full-time driver, as well as reigning Indy Lights champion Kyle Kirkwood, who is set to replace Sebastien Bourdais behind the wheel of the #14 Chevrolet.

Calderon started in karting at the age of nine and has spent the last four years as a test driver for the Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team. She also raced for Richard Mille Racing in the World Endurance Championship last year as well as Japanese Super Formula the last two years.

She won’t run in this year’s Indy 500 or the season’s other four oval races, but she said that she would “love to do Indy 500 one day.”

Calderon and Kirkwood will both have ROKiT as a primary sponsor, while Kellett will sport a K-Line Insulators livery for the second straight season.

The 87-year old Foyt will join Andretti Autosport, Chip Ganassi Racing, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, and Team Penske in fielding three or more cars for the 2022 IndyCar season. Andretti and Ganassi plan to run four each.

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The #11 entry brings the 2022 IndyCar field to 27 full-time entries, including entries for full-time newcomers Kirkwood, Devlin DeFrancesco and David Malukas. Callum Ilott and Christian Lundgaard will run in the series full-time after participating in three and one races last year, respectively. The season is scheduled to get underway on Sunday, February 27 on the streets of St. Petersburg.