Game Changer | Beth Paretta launches first all-female IndyCar race team, Grace Autosport

Game Changer | Beth Paretta launches first all-female IndyCar race team, Grace Autosport

Our friend, Beth Paretta, who has a winning record in the racing world working with the SRT brand of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), has launched a game changer–an all women’s racing team for the 2016 IndyCar season, with plans to compete in next year’s Indianapolis 500.

Meet the Grace Autosport Dream Team

All-female IndyCar team Grace Autosport

(L to R) Grace Autosport representatives: Jessica Rowe, Barbara Burns, Catherine Crawford, Beth Paretta and Katherine Legge

Grace Autosport is made up of five incredible women who have dedicated much or all of their professional careers to motorsports and racing.

Beth Paretta, who’s responsible for launching this inspiring initiative, has a passion for both motorsports and women. We spoke with Beth shortly before today’s news was released and learned just how much enthusiasm she has put behind Grace Autosport. Paretta hopes to use her platform (and hopefully the top platform after the 2016 Indy 500!) to create a “friendly jumping off point for women” in the racing industry.

Catherine Crawford will serve as the team’s aerodynamicist (I can’t begin to imagine the high-level of science and math that goes into that role!). She’s unique in that Crawford is one of the few women world-wide to supervise a race team, which she currently does for the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

Lauren Elkins will wear several hats for Grace Autosport, serving as the team’s motorsports engineer, track support technician and data analysis manager. She’s got the chops to do it, too, with several years working in IndyCar and sports car racing.

“The race has been around for 100 years, and it’s time.” — Grace Team principal, Beth Paretta, in a video clip for The RACER channel on YouTube.

Jessica Rowe is a junior design engineer with a variety of race experience, both at track and in the design office.

Barbara Burns is Team Grace Autosport’s mouthpiece. Burns has long specialized in media and public relations for the motorsports world, including providing media training for young professional athletes and drivers.

Paretta hopes that in addition to winning races, her team can win over young girls and encourage them to pursue STEM programs — that is, schooling in science, technology, engineering and math.

“For us, true success will be measured by how many girls and women we can encourage to pursue a STEM career,” said Paretta in a press statement. “Having said that, we are here to win and our goal is within 10 years to make sure a woman’s face will grace the BorgWarner trophy.”

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Melanie Batenchuk founded Be Car Chic in 2009 as a way to help consumers make smart decisions when buying and selling their cars. Her prior work at the dealership, trade association and manufacturer levels has provided her a deep understanding of the complex facets within the auto industry, making her a leading woman in her field.