The Della Penna Motorsports Next Gen Foundation announced today that it has established two advisory councils to support its mission to empower girls from age 5-16 with opportunities to supercharge a future in motorsports — whether it’s behind the wheel, in the pits, or behind a computer. The Drivers Advisory Council consists of a group of all female drivers currently on the racing circuit, while the Industry Advisory Council consists of pre-eminent leaders in the motorsports industry.
The Della Penna Motorsports Next Gen Foundation Industry Advisory Council is led by motorsports industry veterans Lyn St. James and Beth Paretta. One of the most successful female racecar drivers in history and a recent inductee of the Automotive Hall of Fame, Lyn St. James is now a lauded author and speaker. Paretta is the owner of Paretta Autosports and first female director of performance brand and motorsport for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Through this council, St. James and Paretta will work to provide opportunities for young women to get involved in motorsports and amplify female voices within the industry.
“The work of the DPM Next Gen Foundation is so important to show girls and young women what’s possible if they work hard and work together,” said Paretta. “Racing is a wonderful outlet to work on both individual and team skills, which can translate to school and beyond, and I know my life wouldn’t be the same without it. I’m looking forward to giving back and supporting the mission of the foundation.”
The Drivers Advisory Council consists of acclaimed racing drivers Sabre Cook, a 27-year-old driver with over 15 years of experience in karting, formula cars and sports cars; Michele Abbate, a four-time champion in road racing and professional racing driver; Hannah Grisham, a 21-year-old driver who has over 800 competitive starts over 400 races in cars and karts; and Kelsey Rowlings, who has competed in multiple ProAm competitions and has her Formula Drift Pro 2 License. This council of drivers will share first-hand expertise and experiences with the DPM Next Gen community in addition to mentorship for young women interested in racing.
The foundation was launched in 2021 by Michelle Della Penna to honor the legacy of her father, IndyCar team owner and legend John Della Penna, by encouraging a more diverse motorsports community and nurturing a next generation talent pipeline that provides opportunities to young women to learn more about motorsports and get involved on and off the track.
“I am so honored to have these women on our two advisory councils. They are incredibly talented and knowledgeable, and I’m looking forward to all the doors we’ll open together for girls in this sport we all so deeply love,” said Della Penna. “I’m a big believer in ‘if you can’t see it, you can’t be it’ and having these advisors will go a long way to help our mission of showing girls what a career in motorsports might look like.”
To find out more about the Della Penna Motorsports Next Gen Foundation — how your organization can participate, or how you can donate to the cause — visit www.nextgenfoundation.org.