SPEEDWAY, Ind. — It’s been six years since Simona De Silvestro took a lap around Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
That changes this week when she gets behind the wheel for an open test ahead of May’s 105th running of the Indianapolis 500.
“I’m pretty excited to be back, to be honest. It’s been a while,” De Silvestro said. "Coming here always gives you goosebumps and the older you get, the more you appreciate how big this race is, so I’m really looking forward to getting back in the car.”
De Silvestro will attempt to qualify for her sixth Indianapolis 500 next month and her first since 2015.
She’ll pilot the No. 16 of Paretta Autosport—a newly launched, female-dominant team owned by Beth Paretta. They’re receiving technical support from Team Penske.
Not only do they believe they have a chance to compete, they’re also using the stage to empower women and showcase them in the science and technology field.
“I think it’s a great opportunity," De Silvestro said. "Feel like in the past I’ve proven I can drive a race car and here I have an awesome opportunity to get in this car. Same with the girls on the pit crew they’re practicing with some of the best guys in the paddock and they have this chance and I think that’s what we all realize. We have this chance in front of us.”
De Silvestro won Indy’s Rookie of the Year award in 2010. She finished 14th, her highest finish, in that running of the Indianapolis 500.