De Silvestro to return to IndyCar ‘probably very soon’

Simona De Silvestro IndyCar

Simona De Silvestro started four IndyCar races in 2022 with Paretta Autosport

Simona De Silvestro is likely to return to the IndyCar field in the near future despite Paretta Autosport skipping this year’s Indianapolis 500.

The former Supercars driver made her IndyCar comeback at The Brickyard in 2021 after four years away and while Paretta did not enter the 2022 edition of the category’s flagship race, they did tackle four road course/street circuit events later that season.

Those four starts were made in partnership with Ed Carpenter Racing, effectively operating as its third car, but that team is already a three-car concern on ovals given Ed Carpenter himself still competes as a driver.

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Paretta had been linked to another Chevrolet team, AJ Foyt Racing, but her female-oriented team will not be on pit road when practice for the 107th Running of the Indianapolis 500 starts on Tuesday, May 16.

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“Sometimes, all the pieces aren’t quite right, and you have to make a tough decision; the right decision, but a tough decision,” she said in a video posted to the team’s Twitter account.

“We know we have a lot of young women and young fans looking up to us, and we want to make sure we have the best opportunity possible.”

Paretta revealed that, so close was she to finalising an entry, a film crew was booked on flights to Zurich, the capital of De Silvestro’s native Switzerland.

Carpenter had already ruled out a tie-up with Paretta Autosport during pre-season, but a Honda team had apparently expressed an interest in fielding Car #16 at Indy.

“I was approached by another team several months ago asking if we’d work with them,” she noted.

“It wasn’t a Chevy team, and it just wasn’t a good fit for us.

“I always want to make sure we have a competitive situation as we can put together, because we want to build and grow this team.

“We want to be a place where young women can see an example that motorsports is for them.

“We’ve seen a lot of progress in the paddock, and we’re very proud of that. There’s been a big surge of young people that have entered our sport or who are curious about positions other than being a driver, and that’s great for our collective future and the health of the sport.”

Concluding her video message, Paretta said, “Stay tuned, you’ll see us again, probably very soon.”

Despite her team’s absence, there will be bumping, with Abel Motorsports now formally confirmed as a 34th entry.

The Indy NXT team will field RC Enerson in the #50 Chevrolet, representing his second attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 after missing out with the now defunct Top Gun Racing in 2021.

Team Penske’s Josef Newgarden, who is yet to drink the milk despite winning the IndyCar Series twice already, was fastest in the Open Test which turned out to be a single-day affair after Friday action was cancelled due to rain.

The season continues next Friday (local time) at Barber Motorsports Park, an event which will be streamed ad-free, live, and on-demand on Stan Sport.

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