De Silvestro returns to Indy 500 with women-managed team

Popular former IndyCar driver Simona De Silvestro will return to the Indy 500 this season, with a Paretta Autosport-Chevrolet that will receive technical support from Team Penske.

The team, created by former SRT Motorsports director, becomes part of Roger Penske’s 2020-initiated program “Race for Equality & Change” and will showcase women in motorsports.

Paretta Autosport will “integrate women in the team to ensure that it provides opportunities, including competition, operations and administrative roles such as logistics, marketing and public relations” according to the IMS statement.

Said team principal Paretta: “Today is the beginning of a commitment to gender equity in sport, to encourage women to work hard so they can earn their seat at the table or spot on the grid.

“IndyCar has been a leader and a welcoming place for women for many years because of the hard work of many women and men before us, but now we have a stronger commitment with IndyCar’s ‘Race for Equality & Change’ to make sure opportunities continue in the future.

“Our team, along with our technical alliance with Team Penske, will work hard to give Simona the best car we can provide so she can achieve her best results. Competition drives us. The Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world, and one day soon we hope to have a woman’s face on the Borg-Warner Trophy.”

Said Mark Miles, president and CEO of Penske Entertainment Corp.: “We are pleased to welcome Beth and her Paretta Autosport team to INDYCAR this year. Her team’s addition to the IndyCar ‘Race for Equality & Change’ program this year will ensure that IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500 continues the legacy of having a female driver qualify for the 2021 Indy 500.

“Of course, it will be up to Simona and the team to qualify the car for the grid, but knowing Beth, I know that her team will be up for the task.”

De Silvestro, 32, who became the 2010 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, started a total of 67 IndyCar races, the highlight being a runner-up finish at Houston street race in 2013 with the now defunct KV Racing. She spent three seasons in Supercars in Australia and is now a works Porsche driver.

“I am very excited to have this incredible opportunity to return to Indianapolis and the Indy 500 with Paretta Autosport this year,” De Silvestro said. “My career really took off through my time competing in IndyCar and the Indy 500, so returning to compete with Beth and her new team in alliance with Team Penske is a special and rare chance in my career.

“Being part of the goal of diversity and inclusion for everyone, and especially women in IndyCar, and in motorsports in general, is very important to me and how I would like to see the future of racing.

“I want to thank the NTT IndyCar Series for taking such an important leadership role in providing gender and overall diversity inclusion in motorsports.”

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