INDIANAPOLIS – Nine women have raced in the Indianapolis 500 since 1977. One of them is coming back for the 105th running in May with a team fueled by females.
New IndyCar team Paretta Autosport, launched by motorsports executive Beth Paretta, has submitted its entry for the 2021 Indianapolis 500. Paretta plans to field a crew of women who want to win.
“The idea of seeing a line of women with matching uniforms…You might say, ‘okay that’s cool.’ But to a ten-year-old girl watching that from home, it hits differently,” said Beth Paretta during Tuesday’s press conference at IMS.
Driving for Paretta Autosport is Simona De Silvestro, who was named Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year in 2010. She has not raced IndyCar since 2015.
“I’m super excited to get back into an IndyCar,” De Silvestro said via Zoom Tuesday. “I think it’s definitely so far the one that has fitted the best to me.”
IMS owner Roger Penske is providing technical support for the team. President Doug Boles called Tuesday’s announcement a “trailblazing day.”
“The last twenty-five years, it’s really been the rule, not the exception, that a female has competed in the Indianapolis 500,” Boles said. “But, this takes it to another level. Beth’s vision, and I think our vision, is this gives folks an opportunity, women an opportunity, to get involved in the sport beyond the driver and beyond the owner piece.
The Indianapolis 500 is scheduled to run May 30.