Women in Motorsports NA (WIMNA) co-founders Lyn St. James and Beth Paretta welcomed many WIMNA supporters and women participants to Daytona during the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Rolex 24 At Daytona weekend.
St. James, who started racing in 1974 and is a seven-time Indy 500 competitor and 2022 Automotive Hall of Fame Inductee, is also an author, mentor and speaker, with an emphasis on leading a pathway for women in motorsport.
Beth Paretta, team principal of Paretta Autosport, the first female-forward team in INDYCAR, including the 2021 Indy 500, is a strong advocate of STEM education and supporting all roles in motorsports for women.
WIMNA organized a photo at Daytona International Speedway today with many WIMNA members, supporters and IMSA motorsports participants. Although not all the all the women currently working at the 61st annual Rolex 24 At Daytona race weekend were able to participate in the photo shoot, it was a terrific opportunity to have a brief gathering and see so many participants and supporters at the first IMSA race of the 2023 season.
“It’s wonderful to finally be able to connect with so many supporters and women in the sport at Daytona,” said St James.
“There’s nothing better than winning races, whether it be as a driver, team owner, engineer, or crew member to demonstrate how women are and can be successful in motorsports. It’s so exciting to have the Iron Dames and Iron Lynx teams and a number of other drivers competing here in Daytona. We’ll be cheering on all the women competitors at Daytona this weekend and all women worldwide throughout the season.”
“I’m so happy to be here to welcome the Iron Dames and Iron Lynx teams to racing in North America in IMSA starting with the 24 Hours At Daytona – one of the most challenging events on the global racing calendar,” said Paretta.
“Having six women in WeatherTech and four in the supports series is terrific. It is incredible to see the result of our collective years of hard work in the expansion of roles and representation of women in the paddock across the teams, series officials, and suppliers. This truly is a sport for all and I wish all our friends and colleagues a great race as we kick off the 2023 season.”
There are six women IMSA WeatherTech drivers in the 24-hour race, two in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge Cup and two in the Mazda MX-5 Cup support races this week at Daytona.
“We are pleased to welcome so many women here for the 61st Rolex 24 At Daytona serving in a variety of roles – from drivers, to engineers, to mechanics, to manufacturer and team leadership and beyond,” said IMSA president John Doonan.
“Seeing the number of women in the paddock grow every year and having seven women drivers – including the all-female Iron Dames team – on the grid is a positive sign that with all of our combined efforts, we are reaching more and more women and creating opportunities in the IMSA paddock and throughout motorsport.”