Beth Paretta is racing Paretta Autosport’s announced final event of its three-race IndyCar program with Ed Carpenter Racing already eyeing more.
It could happen in just a few weeks. Paretta told IndyStar Thursday in an exclusive interview that the potential fourth race for this year that she hinted at at her team’s new conference in April is getting closer to reality.
“I was hoping we would have figured that out by now, and I’m not going to say anything is done, but maybe even by the end of the weekend…” Paretta said, as she sat down. stopped. “We are just waiting for feedback on an agreement. It’s that far, but I’m never someone who would count his chickens before they hatch.
After:Paretta Autosport and Simona De Silvestro sign three-race alliance with Ed Carpenter Racing
The same goes for Paretta’s potential long-term expansion with ECR and driver Simona De Silvestro, who Paretta said wants to be in IndyCar for her future in motorsport. Although Paretta noted that she and Carpenter haven’t sat down to figure out what kind of program makes the most sense for 2023, options like running De Silvestro full-time or even part-time while sharing a car for that Carpenter continues to run ovals is possible.
And that’s more important now than ever. In June, Chevy Racing program manager Rob Buckner told a group of reporters that the engine maker would not be able to support more than 13 full-time programs for 2023 during what is expected to be being the last year of the current engine formula. Running 11 full-time drivers this year, before the loss of AJ Foyt Racing’s #11 car due to sponsorship issues, Chevy will add a third full-time car for Arrow McLaren SP next year, and Juncos Hollinger Racing is considering a second full-time car. time car too.
This would mean that if Foyt could only support two full-time cars next year, there would be one more full-time seat left before the series ran out. A Honda official has repeatedly told IndyStar throughout this season that, despite claims from Dale Coyne Racing, which is set to add a third full-time car, no such deal will be available in the current landscape. At the moment Honda supports 15 full-time entries, which it considers its maximum, so unless a current entry is dropped from next year’s field there is no room .
Attrition aside, this latest Chevy engine would be the last full-time seat in IndyCar until another engine maker arrives – which doesn’t seem to be on the immediate horizon. The other most promising tandem hoping to break into full-time IndyCar next year, Don Cusick and Stefan Wilson, told IndyStar this week they were in talks with a Chevy team they declined to name. .
And given the status of the various Chevy programs — including the bond Paretta has created with ECR — it seems the potential landing spot for Cusick and Wilson would likely be at Foyt.
“I know Ed is happy, and I know Chevy is really happy that we worked together,” Paretta told IndyStar. “I know (Chevy) would support us because they’re happy to have us for the reasons we know.
“It’s great to see that the premise of our program (to be a female attacking team that helps bring more visibility to women in IndyCar) is helping us get deals the way we wanted. If some of these companies had wanted to race before, they might have been from the start, but our story resonated enough to turn heads and bring people to the table who wouldn’t have thought of it at all.
At the moment, Paretta says she has a dozen women — plus De Silvestro — either working full-time on the program or being coached to be able to do so in the future. Earlier this week, ECR held several for pit stop training to learn the nuances of how ECR gets the job done, compared to the work they had previously done at the Team Penske store in North Carolina. . To add to that, Paretta also added the occasional intern, and in Mid-Ohio they even allowed some local high school kids to observe different parts of the curriculum for the weekend.
In a similar vein, next Monday, Paretta and De Silvestro are scheduled to visit a local Nashville school in partnership with Chevy to help ring in the new school year and spread information about IndyCar and engineering. Add to that the 10 guests Paretta Autosport is hosting from new title sponsor Acumatica for Sunday’s Big Machine Music City Grand Prix, plus others from partners Winnebago and The Henry Ford, among others.
In many ways, this race weekend on the streets of Nashville feels like a short-term culmination of the alternate route that Paretta decided to take back in the spring trying to set up Paretta Autosport for the long haul.
“Looking back, I think we absolutely made the right call,” Paretta said of choosing to hold three or four races starting in June, rather than just one Indy 500 race. Simona the opportunity to have a lot more time in the car, she had a test day at the IMS on the road course as well as so many days in the simulation, and she wouldn’t have had that if it was around 500.
“If we want to do more next year, she’s in a good position to do that because of the schedule we’ve made. And for the rest of our team, because they’re either new to IndyCar or new to racing, and so many others are just flying for the weekend, it’s great for these women to see what it’s like and how they might be able to juggle their families.
After:Simona De Silvestro patient for her return to IndyCar
Part of Paretta’s confidence beyond this weekend is the energy she’s seen from sponsors signaling interest beyond just this couple’s race.
“Acumatica said to me on our first call, ‘Hey, this is not unique. We want to work with you more,'” Paretta said. I have agreements for next year. Things are moving in the right direction, and I am more than delighted.
“I hope the more visible we are, the less of a curiosity we are, and I kind of want that novelty to wear off.”