Ladies first as IndyCar welcomes all-female Paretta Autosport team

Simona de Silvestro

Simona de Silvestro

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The first all-female team in IndyCar history will tackle this year’s Indianapolis 500 after Paretta Autosport lodged its entry.

It will run a Chevrolet-powered Dallara, driven by Simona de Silvestro and crewed by an all-female engineering team. Team Penske will offer technical support.

Paretta Autosport has developed from the Grace Autosport concern, which was founded in 2015 by former Dodge SRT director Beth Paretta as an educational programme. The initiative will now head to the Brickyard as a fully-fledged team.

Paretta Autosport IndyCar team car

All-female Paretta Autosport team will have back-up tech from Penske

Paretta Autosport

Peretta said: “This marks the beginning of a commitment to gender equality in sport, to encourage women to work hard so they can earn their seat at the table or spot on the grid. We have a commitment with IndyCar’s Race for Equality & Change to ensure opportunities continue in the future. One day we hope to see a woman’s face on the Borg-Warner Trophy.”

Grace Autosport attempted to tackle the race in 2016 with Katherine Legge as its driver. However, a shortage of cars led to the plan being abandoned.