Women-led race team gearing up to run in Indianapolis 500

Full Screen
1 / 8

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

FILE - In this May 12, 2015, file photo, driver Simona de Silvestro, of Switzerland, watches during practice for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. Beth Paretta and Simona de Silvestro will be teaming up to put another woman on the Indianapolis 500 starting grid this May. On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, Paretta Autosport and IndyCar officials announced they would work together to put a predominantly women-run team in the series' biggest race as part of an outreach to create more diversity in motorsports. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

INDIANAPOLIS – Beth Paretta has a vision for her new IndyCar team.

She wants to send the first female driver to victory lane at the Indianapolis 500 with the support of a predominantly female cast. And then Paretta hopes to turn it into a full-time pipeline for women in racing.

On Tuesday, she announced the formation of Paretta Autosport and the intention to run this May at Indianapolis. Additional races could be added later this year, she said, with the hope of competing in every IndyCar race next season.

“I didn’t grow up in a racing family, I grew up as a racing fan and I could not have dreamed this for myself," Paretta said at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. “It’s that idea if you find something that you love and you work hard at, maybe the result isn’t a race team but there’s somewhere you can fit. There's something there for you.""

Paretta certainly wants to make an impact on girls, who might feel left out in what has largely been a male-dominated sport.

But she also wants to send another message: Don't give up on big dreams.

Paretta took this route once before when she announced she would form an all-female team with driver Katherine Legge to qualify for the the 100th running of the 500 in May 2016. But when Paretta’s team couldn’t find a suitable car just weeks before the race, the effort stalled.

“The car we had wasn’t race worthy, really," she said. “Could we have run it? Maybe. But there’s extra scrutiny on a program like this."