De Silvestro’s Team Penske tie up
By Mat Coch
Wednesday 20th January, 2021 - 9:34am
Simona De Silvestro will have the support of Team Penske as she looks to compete in this year’s Indianapolis 500.
The Swiss driver has been named by Paretta Autosport as its pilot for the May race, with the entry to receive technical support from the IndyCar powerhouse.
The team is an extension of IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s ‘Race for Equality & Change’.
“I am very excited to have this incredible opportunity to return to Indianapolis and the Indy 500 with Paretta Autosport this year,” said De Silvestro, who raced full-time for Kelly Racing in the Supercars Championship from 2017-19.
“My career really took off through my time competing in IndyCar and the Indy 500, so returning to compete with Beth [Paretta] and her new team in alliance with Team Penske is a special and rare chance in my career.
“Being part of the goal of diversity and inclusion for everyone, and especially women in IndyCar, and in motorsports in general, is very important to me and how I would like to see the future of racing.
“I want to thank the NTT IndyCar Series for taking such an important leadership role in providing gender and overall diversity inclusion in motorsports.”
Headed by Beth Paretta, the team will look to provide opportunities for women in competition, operations, and administrative roles.
“Today is the beginning of a commitment to gender equity in sport, to encourage women to work hard so they can earn their seat at the table or spot on the grid,” Paretta explained.
“IndyCar has been a leader and a welcoming place for women for many years because of the hard work of many women and men before us, but now we have a stronger commitment with IndyCar’s ‘Race for Equality and Change’ to make sure opportunities continue in the future.
“Our team, along with our technical alliance with Team Penske, will work hard to give Simona the best car we can provide so she can achieve her best results. Competition drives us.
“The Indy 500 is the greatest race in the world, and one day soon we hope to have a woman’s face on the Borg-Warner Trophy.”
De Silvestro has five previous Indy 500 starts to her name, her best finish coming at the 2010 event in which she finished 14th.
After leaving the Supercars Championship at the end of 2019, she signed on as Porsche’s Formula E test driver, having filled a similar role with Venturi the previous season.
She was also named as part of Porsche’s GT Masters effort for 2020, has had a number of GT outings with the Weissach brand since, and remains a works driver.
Team Penske has won the Indy 500 on 18 occasions, most recently in 2019 with Simon Pagenaud.
Its technical relationship with Paretta Autosport will therefore effectively see its effort expand to five cars for the May 30 event.
Josef Newgarden, Will Power, Pagenaud, and rookie Scott McLaughlin will pilot the squad’s four in-house entries.