Paretta Autosport returning with Simona de Silvestro at Road America, Mid-Ohio, Nashville

Chris Owens/Penske Entertainment
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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.

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.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10-3 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 7 p.m. to USA Network. Peacock will have flag-to-flag coverage.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III