Some good news to report for two of IndyCar’s cohort of female racing drivers, with reports in that Ana Beatriz has secured a full-time IndyCar drive with Dreyer & Reinbold for the 2011 season, while Danica Patrick has taken the best-ever finish for a female NASCAR driver.
Beatriz made her IndyCar debut last season, participating in four races with Dreyer & Reinbold, taking a best finish of 13th in her maiden appearance on home soil at Sao Paulo.
She takes over the seat vacated by the Andretti-bound Mike Conway, and was one of several drivers who substituted for the Briton after he was sidelined by his huge Indianapolis 500 accident. Beatriz will be team-mate to former F1 driver and IndyCar frontrunner Justin Wilson.
Beatriz has had an impressive rise through motorsport, and made history by becoming the first female driver to win in the Indy Lights series.
“It’s a dream come true that this has all come together,” she said when the announcement was made.
“Last year was important for me to run four races to get adjusted and for this year I feel more prepared than ever.
“It’s great to be back at DRR, they know me already and what it takes to make me grow as a driver.”
“We’ve put ourselves in another great position to have two very competitive entries and we couldn’t be happier,” added Dreyer & Reinbold co-owner Robbie Buhl. “[She] is an exceptional driver and we are thrilled to have her on board with us.”
Meanwhile, fellow IndyCar driver Danica Patrick has made history by taking the best-ever finish for a female driver in a NASCAR National Series event, when she finished fourth in yesterday’s second-tier Nationwide Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Starting from 22nd place, Patrick kept her nose clean and took advantage of an opportunistic strategy call to conserve fuel and remain on-track when many of the race’s frontrunners pitted for a late splash-and-dash in the 200-lap race.
“It was tough racing, it was good racing, and I like that, that’s what I come for. I’m happy, I’m proud of everyone that worked really hard. Good day!” she said after the race.