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IndyCar to have two female racers in Road America field | Sports

Simona de Silvestro completed 2d on the Houston Grand Prix, the 3rd to final race of the 2013 IndyCar season, and stormed into the KV Racing truck to confront the house owners.

“Me! You need to hire me!” the Swiss racer advised her bosses. They had been in quest of a alternative for Indianapolis 500 winner Tony Kanaan, who had officially introduced at some point previous he was once leaving the crew. De Silvestro was once no longer at the brief record for his seat.

She completed the following two races with KV Racing — her one and solely season with the crew — after which her four-year IndyCar run was once over. She made 3 begins in 2015 using for Michael Andretti, and was once the one girl in final yr’s Indianapolis 500, using for the all-female Paretta Autosport crew.

The highway again to a standard trip has been lengthy and winding, and de Silvestro will make her first IndyCar get started of the season on Sunday at Road America in Wisconsin. It’s the primary of 3 races Paretta Autosport plans to go into this season, and de Silvestro will sign up for Tatiana Calderon within the box to provide IndyCar two ladies coming into more than one occasions for the primary time since 2013.

“It’s a shame it was a long period the last couple of years that we hadn’t had somebody in the top level of single-seaters,” stated Calderon, who will make her 5th get started of the season for A.J. Foyt Racing. The Colombian’s best possible end was once fifteenth at the highway route at Indianapolis; she solely competes at the highway and boulevard lessons.

“There are females that can compete against men in a very competitive championship,” she persevered. “I hope that together we can keep that momentum going and to see more females.”

De Silvestro can not assist however replicate on what would possibly were if investment and the politics of racing have been somewhat other in 2013. Her lowest end within the ultimate 9 races of that season was once 14th and he or she closed with 5 consecutive top-10s. In the general level standings, she was once thirteenth — wedged between Sebastien Bourdais, the driving force who did exchange Kanaan at KV Racing, and Josef Newgarden, who was once in his 2d season of IndyCar and on his method to stardom.

“In racing, definitely money makes a big difference,” stated tde Silvestro, who’s 33. “In ’13, I finished in front of Josef in the championship. He ended up going to Penske and then won the championship two times. You need to get the right shot. You need to get people behind you who really want to support you.

“I think as a female driver, we do get the opportunities, but I think also sometimes it’s really quick when we have a bit of a bad season. The support then isn’t really right away. I think with some guys, they get more chances at it.”

Road America will be de Silvestro’s 70th career start in IndyCar and the team, which is owned by motorsports executive Beth Paretta, also plans to race at Mid-Ohio next month and Nashville in August. She last raced at Road America in 2008 in the Atlantic Championship.

The team last year at Indianapolis was backed by Roger Penske, who wanted a woman in the field, and Paretta aimed to staff her team exclusively with women. This year’s version is comprised of 60% women but also relies on an alliance with Ed Carpenter Racing.

“We are so happy to be back in the IndyCar Series and working on road and street courses,” Paretta stated. “It is a great opportunity for us to learn and grow as a team with new venues, new fans, new challenges. We have to keep pushing forward if we’re going to be successful.”

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