IndyCar’s only full-time female circuit racer could soon find herself driverless after just seven starts.
This year, Tatiana Calderon traveled to the United States to compete in the single-seater series with one of the oldest teams in the category, AJ Foyt Racing.
Now, it has emerged that financial issues with main sponsor ROKiT have left the team short of funds for the Colombian to complete the season.
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That means this weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio could be Calderon’s last unless a solution is found.
The news surprisingly came during the team’s weekend preview, which also confirmed that ROKiT-sponsored teammate Kyle Kirkwood will race unaffected.
“The future of the No. 11 Chevrolet beyond this weekend’s race at Mid-Ohio is not guaranteed due to funding issues with title sponsor ROKiT that team president Larry Foyt, attempt to resolve,” the team preview reads.
“We are trying to overcome a difficult situation because I know that ROKiT wants to continue the program, but some problems may prevent that,” Foyt said.
“We will either continue to work it out with ROKiT or try to find alternative funding, which is difficult at best at this stage of the season.
“Entry No. 14 will last the whole season because it’s not solely reliant on ROKiT funding.”
This year, AJ Foyt Racing is entering three cars in the IndyCar series with Calderon, American Kirkwood and Canadian Dalton Kellett.
Assuming the relationship between AJ Foyt Racing and ROKiT ends, it would likely affect JR Hildebrand.
Calderon’s campaign is limited to street circuit and road racing while Hildebrand takes the reins of entry to the ovals.
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Although ABC Supply took the naming rights to this car for the Indianapolis 500, Hildebrand’s entry into the team was initially announced as supported by ROKiT.
If AJ Foyt Racing and ROKiT go their separate ways, it wouldn’t be the first time the company has cut ties with a racing team.
The group briefly sponsored Formula 1 team Williams in 2019 but cut ties with the team before the delayed 2020 season began in earnest.
Williams duly sued ROKiT and won $35.7 million in arbitration after the company pulled out of the two-year deal.
ROKiT Group describes itself as an affordable and world-leading premium products and services provider specializing in telecommunications, bicycles, beverages, games and radio among a diverse portfolio.
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