Female-forward racing team looks to qualify for the Indy 500

Female-forward racing team looks to qualify for Indy 500
Female-forward racing team looks to qualify for Indy 500

DETROIT – The IndyCar Series launched the Race for Equality & Change initiative in summer 2020 to increase the series’ diversity and broaden racing opportunities.

Beth Paretta, the owner and manager of Paretta Autosport, said she wants to get more women into IndyCar and qualifying for the greatest spectacle in racing.

“Like most young girls, I started reading car magazines when I was five,” Paretta said. “I’ve always been into cars and racing. I came to it as a fan.”

After graduate school, Paretta worked for Volkswagen and Aston Martin before she moved on to Fiat Chrysler as the industry’s first woman director of a performance brand and operating chief for the SRT Divison.

As she moved up in the business, Paretta began to notice she was always surrounded by a lot of men. Her idea was to have an all-women or female-forward team. It’s been years in the making and when IndyCar announced the Race for Equality & Change initiative, Paretta called Roger Penske, who agreed to provide technical support to the newly formed Paretta Autosport.

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Simona De Silvestro was announced as the driver -- a veteran of five Indianapolis 500.

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Paretta said she hopes the female-forward team drives more women to enjoy the sport and think about careers in STEM.

The practice begins on Tuesday, May 18 with the qualifying races starting that weekend Saturday, May 22 to Sunday, May 23. Meanwhile, the 105th running of the Indy 500 will be on NBC May 30.

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