IndyCar: Grace Autosport Indy Dreams Fade Away

Photo-Grace Autosport
Photo-Grace Autosport /

In an IndyCar press release today, Grace Autosport announce they were not going to be able to field an entry into the 100th Indy 500. 

May of 2015, members of Grace Autosport and Katherine Legge took to the stage to announce their intentions to field a car for the 100th running of the Indy 500. Their program to showcase talented women in IndyCar and motorsports and promote careers from educational STEM programs for girls was ambitious and full of hurdles. Todays announcement put an end to the efforts to attempt the 100th Indy 500.

As late as last week representatives from Grace Autosport announced they had everything together to attempt to qualify except a chassis. They had sponsorship, and engine contract and crew ready to go. The reality of a single chassis supplier and the consolidation that has happened within the sport left them without a viable chassis to run. In fact there have been several teams that had announced they were going to make an attempt at the 100th Indy 500 that have fallen aside due to the same issues.

"“The consolidation of teams and the decrease of entries in 2016 reduced the available options for us. Our partner spoke with Dallara about buying a new car after Long Beach but there wasn’t a current 2016 car available in time for the 500. We evaluated an available chassis as late as last week but there wasn’t enough time to acquire all the parts needed to rebuild the car safely. Because of this sequence of events we will not campaign a car in this year’s Indy 500.”"

On Tuesday it was announced that driver Katherine Legge would be driving for Michael Shank racing in the a new LMP2 entry at the Detroit IMSA Sports Car Classic on June 4th. That was the first sign that the efforts of Grace Autosport were coming to an end. The announcement this morning has to be frustrating for Legge whom has never had a quality opportunity to race at Indy. Her rise on the national stage with her performance in the Panoz Delta Wing in 2016 should provide her another opportunity at fulfilling her brickyard dreams.

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As for Grace Autosport they are not giving up on their efforts to promote STEM educational initiatives. They will regroup and find a path forward. With the increase in the numbers of women in motorsports, not just behind the wheel but at all levels, they have an opportunity to touch the lives and future of school age kids nationwide.

"“The Grace Autosport initiative is far more than a race program,” added Paretta. “Concurrent to building the race team, we have been assembling commercial partners and the essential pieces for our STEM educational initiatives to reach the community and the classroom that we set forth a year ago. Thank you again to the many fans for the continued notes of support and appreciation since our announcement last May. We look forward to seeing all of you at the races in the near future.”"

It is disappointing that Grace Autosport and Katherine Legge will not be there running in the spectacle that will be the 100th running of the Indy 500. It would have been a great story that would have attracted new fans to the sport. Their effort for 2016 might be over but do not count them out in the future.