INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis 500 is not feasible for Beth Paretta and her predominantly female IndyCar team this year, but that does not mean they don’t intend on growing.
Paretta Autosport will actually be a lot busier this season with plans to run three road and street course races on the NTT IndyCar Series calendar this year. Those races include Road America on Jun. 12, Mid-Ohio on Jul. 3, and the Streets of Nashville on Aug. 7.
“The goal is to grow to be a full-time team,” Paretta said at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Tuesday. “These new partnerships will allow us to do that. This pivot is an investment in our future.”
The partnerships include a brand new technical alliance with Ed Carpenter Racing and Chevrolet as the engine provider. The team is also signing KiwiCo as their new primary sponsor. KiwiCo is a company that helps empower creativity in kids through certain mail-order projects and gadgets they can put together.
Finally, the team is sticking with Simona de Silvestro as their driver for the three-race slate in the #16-car.
“I’m really looking forward to these opportunities,” Silvestro said. “We started last year and we are really hoping to grow with Ed Carpenter Racing. It’s still a ways to go.”
Silvestro and Paretta crashed out of the Indianapolis 500 a year ago finishing 31st. It was the only race they were able to run during the 2021 season.
So, it begs the question of why the Indianapolis 500 is not in the cards for the team this year despite their plan to grow into a full-time team. Paretta said it simply comes down to a lack of personnel as well as logistically issues that would have worked for either her team or Ed Carpenter’s.
“I started working on this after the 500 ended last year,” Paretta said. “I knew my arrangement with Team Penske was not going to be the same. The people we had last year have been redeployed to a different racing program, so I didn’t have the availability to work with them.”
“If Ed is going to be running three cars at the 500, it wasn’t as appealing to be a fourth car in Ed’s system,” she continued. “It’s a smart competition decision and a smart business decision. Both those things are weighed equally. So the decision was they’re going to do the three cars for the 500 and then we have the ability to do these races later in the year.”
This means Paretta’s team will be a de facto third car run by ECR for races at Road America, Mid-Ohio, and Nashville.
Paretta said she is undeterred from her goal of promoting the sport of auto racing to a new demographic, specifically young women and girls considering a career in the sport, whether it be in driving, auto mechanics, marketing, etc.