Listen Live

INDIANAPOLIS — The goal for Paretta Autosport is twofold. The first is to field a competitive team in order to qualify for the Indianapolis 500. Second, to give women an avenue to have a viable career in motorsports.

“We want to be a place for women already in motorsports to come to,” said team principal and founder Beth Paretta. “But, also to be inspirational to women who might have been fans of it and that didn’t necessarily know there was a place for them in motorsports.”

Paretta announced the formation of her team in January with an emphasis on bringing more women into the IndyCar ranks. As the team begins practice this week for Indianapolis 500 qualifying, they bring a staff that is made up of 70-percent women and 30-percent men.

She clarifies that the top goal of the team is to be competitive on the track.

RELATED | Beth Paretta’s Goal For The Indy 500: “I just want us to make the show.”

“A lot of people have sort of latched onto this idea about being 100-percent women,” she explained. “As I said even when I started talking about this as a concept, there aren’t enough women at the pro level to put a full team together.”

She said in order to get the team off the ground it had to be a “co-ed effort.”

“You may have some women in the junior ranks as a junior mechanic or junior engineer, but they’re not necessarily at the pro-IndyCar level yet,” she added. “What we’re trying to do with this team is provide the opportunity.”

An opportunity to move up within the ranks. Paretta also wants you to know that the goals of fielding a competitive racing team and bringing more women into the sports are linked yet separate efforts.

Under the banner of Grace Autosport in 2016, Paretta tried to field a female driver for the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. But that effort fell through at the last minute.

Now she uses Grace Autosport as an outreach organization to teach young women, and even young boys, about pursuing STEM education that could eventually lead to a career in motorsports or other career fields.

“Grace Autosport is all the stuff off the track,” said Paretta. “That’s the school appearances, the community experiences. With Grace Autosport I can go to the Andretti’s, Penske’s, IMSA’s of the world and get other teams to support this effort.”

She says with Grace other teams can participate in the effort of bringing women into motorsports while keeping her own competitive team with Paretta Autosport separate.

Paretta’s ultimate goal is to have a competitive team, with mostly female crew members, competing with other current established racing teams. First, the goal is to qualify for the Indy 500 this year and with backing from Team Penske and sponsorship that comes with it, Paretta is confident they have a great chance at making the show.

Beth Paretta on the current makeup of the team:

Beth Paretta on the goal of Grace Autosport and its separate goal from Paretta Autosport: