Swiss woman has historic Indy500 victory chance
Simona de Silvestro competes in the Indy 500 for a women’s team and could make history. Penske supports the project.
Victorious team owner banished to the stands
De Silvestro has competed in the Indy 500 five times. In 2010 she finished the race for HVM in 14th place – making her the best newcomer. She finished on the podium once in 69 IndyCar races and came second in Houston in 2013. Her appearance in 2011 was remarkable: in a serious training accident, she rolled over. The car caught fire on the roof. Despite suffering second degree burns on her hands, she started the race.
Simona de Silvestro competes in the Indy 500 for a women’s team
In 2015 Simona de Silvestro competed for the Andretti team for the last time in the Indy 500, since then she has been a test driver for Sauber in Formula 1, for Andretti in Formula E, and most recently with Porsche in the ADAC GT Masters. De Silvestro is also a Porsche works driver.
So far, nine out of 782 Indy 500 drivers have been women. Janet Guthrie was able to qualify for the Indy 500 for the first time in 1977 with a Lightning Offenhauser – six years after women were even allowed in the paddock. When Ray Keech won the Indy 500 in a Miller Simplex in 1929, team owner Maude Yagle was not allowed to sit against the pit wall, but had to watch in the stands.
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The most successful woman to date in the IndyCar and the Indy 500 was Danica Patrick: In 2008 she won the Motegi race, at the Indy 500 she led the field for 29 laps in all of her starts, and in 2009 she was third for the Andretti team.
These are all records that Simona de Silvestro could beat with Paretta / Penske. “Today is a commitment to gender equality in sport. It’s meant to encourage women to work hard so they can earn their place in management or on the starting grid, “says Paretta.
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And: A second woman may come to Indy. Jackie Heinricher, team owner in the US sports car championship, is considering an Indy 500 start in collaboration with Meyer Shank Racing. A possible driver would then be Katherine Legge.
Previously confirmed drivers for the Indy 500
Scott Dixon (40 / Ganassi-Honda)
Marcus Ericsson (30 / Ganassi-Honda)
Alex Palou (24 / Ganassi-Honda)
Tony Kanaan (46 / Ganassi-Honda)
Josef Newgarden (30 / Penske-Chevrolet)
Will Power (40 / Penske-Chevrolet)
Simon Pagenaud (37 / Penske-Chevrolet)
Scott McLaughlin (27 / Penske-Chevrolet)
Simona de Silvestro (32 / Paretta / Penske-Chevrolet)
Colton Herta (21 / Andretti-Honda)
Alexander Rossi (29 / Andretti-Honda)
Ryan Hunter-Reay (40 / Andretti-Honda)
Marco Andretti (34 / Andretti / Herta-Honda)
Patricio O’Ward (22 / McLaren SP-Chevrolet)
Felix Rosenqvist (29 / McLaren SP-Chevrolet)
Juan-Pablo Montoya (45 / McLaren SP-Chevrolet)
Graham Rahal (32 / Rahal / Letterman / Lanigan-Honda
Takuma Sato (44 / Rahal / Letterman / Lanigan-Honda)
Rinus VeeKay (20 / Carpenter-Chevrolet)
Ed Carpenter (40 / Carpenter-Chevrolet)
Conor Daly (29 / Carpenter-Chevrolet)
Jack Harvey (28 / Michael / Shank-Honda)
Hélio Castroneves (46 / Michael / Shank-Honda)
Sébastien Bourdais (42 / Foyt-Chevrolet)
Dalton Kellett (27 / Foyt-Chevrolet)