Indy 500 car shortage forced all-female team to miss 2016 race

The Grace Autosport team that planned to enter this month's Indianapolis 500 has announced it could not enter the race owing to a shortage of cars

Indy 500 car shortage forced all-female team to miss 2016 race

The all-female team launched its intention to compete in this year's 500, the 100th running of the event, last May ahead of the 2015 edition of the race, and signed Katherine Legge to drive its entry.

Grace Autosport had the backing of the FIA's Women in Motorsport Commission, and had eyed opportunities to run in partnership with existing IndyCar teams.

But with current teams reluctant to commit to supplying any more Dallara DW12 chassis, it was forced to abandon those plans and did not appear on the 33-car entry list earlier this week.

"We met with many teams in the IndyCar paddock late last season to determine partnership feasibility and discovered numerous teams had chosen to scale back their plans for 2016," said team principal Beth Paretta.

"We were ready to announce a team partnership for the Indy 500 at Long Beach in mid-April but a change in terms proved unsound for Grace's sponsor partners and unfortunately we had to step away from the deal.

"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."

Despite the setback, Paretta insisted that the outfit was evaluating future opportunities to race.

"Grace Autosport is not interested in just making the grid and running at the back," she said.

"We wanted to put forth a respectable effort and we wanted to be competitive, while keeping safety at the very forefront.

"We will not give up and are now working closely with our partners to map out Grace's future."

The 2016 Indianapolis 500 will be the fourth race in as many years since the introduction of the DW12 chassis where all cars entered for the event will qualify, with only 33 cars recorded on the official entry list.

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