The Bommarito Automotive Group 500 is just a month away slated for August 23rd and 24th.
One of the reasons the IndyCar Series is growing so fast is because it appeals to both men and women. And women are now working some of the most vital jobs in the sport.
As the popularity of the IndyCar Series grows. So, does the success of women in the sport.
Last season Kate Gundlach and her teammate Danielle Shepherd became the first female engineers to win an IndyCar Championship. They helped Scott Dixon in the #9 PNC Bank Chip Gnassi racing car win the title.
“It's cool. It’s cool to be a part of. Kate and I didn’t even know it was true until somebody told us, "Hey you're the first women to win it," and we were like, "we are really,” said Danielle Shepherd, Engineer #9 PNC Bank Car Scott Dixon.
“I love that people recognize it because it means people are paying attention to the sport and its one of the best forms of racing out there,” said Kate Gundlach, Engineer #9 PNC Bank Car Scott Dixon.
While Kate and Danielle are pioneering their profession, so is Cara Adams, Chief Engineer of Firestone Racing, “If you can dream it you can do it. It sounds cliché but when I was younger I never thought I would be leading the technical organization of designs and developing tires for the IndyCar series. I never thought I could do something like that.”
Cara calls the shots when it comes to the tires. She has a team of engineers and a chemist who work for her. Her street course engineer is female and so is her chemical engineer. Cara says 33% of her Firestone team are women.
“When I started in IndyCar series I was the only one who traveled with series. But this year at Indy 500 we had 8 female engineers on pit lane between, Firestone, auto and race teams.”
These women have similar educational backgrounds which have propelled them into success in the racing profession.
“I have undergraduate degrees in math and physics,” said Shepard.
“My background is mechanical engineering,” said Adams.
“I went to college for engineering. They had a formula SAE program. Then decided I wanted to make racing my career path and went from there,” said Gundlach.
Kate is responsible for fuel economy, fuel strategy and collecting all data for the car. Danielle is responsible for simulation and helping the car prepare during the week for the race. Plus, she is helping determine how the car should run each week.
Cara works with her team to produce the best tires for each individual track. The tires she creates are what the race teams use each week.
All would love to see young women get involved in racing and come check out the Bommarito 500.
The race will be held at the World Wide Technology Raceway in Madison Illinois.
Gates will open on August 23rd and the race day is August 24th.
To learn more about tickets head to bommarito.com.