INDIANAPOLIS — IndyCar team owner Beth Paretta announced Tuesday she intends to bring back her team for three races this season but doesn’t intend to return in the 2022 Indy 500.
Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro will pilot the No. 16 Chevrolet at all three stops – June 12 at Road America in Wisconsin, July 3 at Mid-Ohio and Aug. 7 on the streets of Nashville, Tennessee.
Last May, Paretta Autosport worked with series powerhouse Team Penske to get de Silvestro’s car into the Indianapolis 500. This year, Paretta has formed a technical alliance with Ed Carpenter Racing, which already intended to run three cars in the series’ marquee race.
🏎️BIG NEWS!🏎️ @kiwico_inc and #ParettaAutosport are teaming up to drive creativity and innovation among kids around the world. Details here: https://t.co/I7NpWYqr9C #ReadySetKiwiCo #KiwiCo #INDYCAR @IndyCar @IMS @TeamChevy @ECRIndy @simdesilvestro @FirestoneTires pic.twitter.com/zZ3CIQw9RZ
— Paretta Autosport (@ParettaSport) April 19, 2022
ECR will supply a Dallara-Chevrolet and several team members to Paretta Autosport for its 2022 races, augmenting the returning members from last year.
“We had a great first year working with Roger Penske and Team Penske in 2021 as part of the Race for Equality and Change initiative and since then I have been working on building the right structure and opportunity to continue to grow our team,” Beth Paretta said in a statement. “This new technical alliance with Ed Carpenter Racing is exciting for us and will allow us to continue to grow and compete in multiple races this season.
“Additionally, I am proud to continue our association with Chevrolet who has valued, supported, and championed our efforts for diversity and inclusion from the beginning.”
Paretta said running three times rather than once as the fourth Indy 500 car on Carpenter’s team is a better investment toward her goal of making her team a full-time participant in the series.
Paretta also announced a new team sponsor, KiwiCo, as the official STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art, math) learning company that develops engaging hands-on projects and activities to spark children’s curiosity and creativity. The team will collaborate with the company to highlight STEAM learning. The University of South Carolina also returns as an associate sponsor for a second season with the team.
“We’re excited to partner with Paretta Autosport in the NTT IndyCar Series,” Katie Soo, Chief Marketing Officer for KiwiCo, said in a release. “There are so many exciting career opportunities within a race team. We want to open kids’ eyes to those possibilities and get them excited about the science and technology that goes into engineering every single IndyCar. Everything from learning how wheels grip the track, the physics of aerodynamics and so much more.”
Paretta Autosport’s quest to become the first all-female team to qualify for the 500 was one of the most compelling stories last year. Despite struggling to get up to speed, de Silvestro survived an agonizing Bump Day to earn the 33rd and final starting spot in the traditional field. She finished 31st.
“I’m incredibly grateful to Beth that she keeps having the trust in me and to be able to get one step more into our journey that we’ve started together last year at the Indy 500,” de Silvestro said. “I’m excited to get this opportunity and am really looking forward to going to the places we’re going to. These are tracks that, in the past, I’ve been quite strong at, so for me it really gives me a lot of confidence. I have a huge smile on my face and I’m really looking forward to it. Associating with Ed Carpenter Racing is going to be great.”
De Silvestro will become the second woman on the IndyCar grid this year.
Tatiana Calderón is driving in road and street course races this season with A.J. Foyt Racing. The Colombian rookie became the first woman driving regularly in IndyCar since Simona de Silvestro in 2013. Last year, de Silvestro was the lone woman to start the Indy 500, which had no female drivers in its 2020 race for the first time since 1999.
There are 32 cars entered for this year’s Indy 500, but Penske Entertainment CEO Mark Miles said Tuesday he expects to have enough cars to fill the field and possibly a 34th entry.