2010 was a great year for female drivers in the IZOD IndyCar Series. We had the following ladies compete in IndyCar, the most ever for a season:
-Simona de Silvestro
With the winter meetings of IndyCar, however, more credible rumors are starting to surface for next year's grid. We suspect that Milka Duno is gone to ARCA, and know Sarah Fisher has focused on being a team owner. So where does that leave us for 2011? Here's what we know about the current possibilities:
-Danica Patrick: Back with Andretti Autosport
-Simona de Silvestro: Back with HVM
-Ana Beatriz: Nothing concrete yet, but could go back at least part-time to Dreyer & Reinbold
-Pippa Mann: Speculated to run at least a couple of races in 2011.
-Katherine Legge: A surprise showing in Indy for the winter meetings! Perhaps the biggest question mark as far as what her plans are.
|The Kat Comes Back to open-wheel?|
So, the same number of potential female participants as last year, right? Consider this: Milka's gone, most likely. That means that if all 5 of these ladies show up for Indy, there's at least a chance they at least tie last year's record number of female 500 qualifiers (4). Now, obviously, it's still silly season, but that's a good group of potential drivers right there, and there's reasonable hopes of seeing them all at some point in 2011.
Simona, Danica, and Bia have all proven their talent. Pippa Mann blazed a path through the latter half of her 2010 Lights season. Kat Legge already showed her talent in ChampCar. I also can't help but idly wonder that if she's not preggers by May, perhaps Sarah Fisher might be persuaded to give Indy one last go...
Even if no records are broken for female participants in an IndyCar season or to qualify for the Indy 500, 2011 should be at least as good as 2010 was for the female driver in IndyCar. I have a feeling my daughter will approve.
Photo by Crosathorian. Used under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.