With the departure of Danica Patrick to NASCAR in 2012, the field was left wide open for the remaining women of the IZOD IndyCar Series. How did they do this season? The road was long and difficult for the three women who competed this year, and for the series' first female owner.
Simona de Silvestro - de Silvestro, who finished 24th overall in 2012, made all 15 races in 2012, but suffered problems from the start with the Lotus engine, which her team, HVM Racing, will not be using in 2013. de Silvestro had a best-finish of 14th twice during the season, on the streets of Belle Isle Park in Detroit and on the oval at Iowa Speedway, but had a disappointing 32nd-place finish at the Indianapolis 500; she was running at the finish of only six races this season.
Katherine Legge - Legge, a rookie in the 2012 season, finished 26th overall in 2012 with 10 races on her resume. After seeing the problems with the Lotus engine early on in the season, her team, Dragon Racing, made the switch to Chevrolet, but could only get one Chevy lease agreement for the two-car team; Legge and her teammate, Sebastien Bourdais, split the season after the Indy 500, with Legge driving the oval track races and the Sonoma road course. On the ovals, Legge's performance improved as the season wore on, ending with a ninth-place finish at Auto Club Speedway at Fontana, California in the series' finale.
Ana Beatriz - Beatriz finished 29th in 2012 standings, but raced only twice for Andretti/Conquest Racing. Beatriz competed in her homeland of Brazil in the Sao Paulo Indy 300, finishing 20th, and in the Indianapolis 500, finishing 23rd after qualifying 13th.
Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing - former driver Fisher teamed up with businessman Willis "Wink" Hartman to continue her racing team, which she started in 2008. 2012 marked the first time the team ran a full-time schedule, with rookie and 2011 Indy Lights champ Josef Newgarden behind the wheel. Newgarden finished 23rd in points, competing in 14 of the 15 races on the schedule, missing the race in Baltimore due to a broken left index finger; Newgarden's best finish was an 11th-place run in the season-opener at St. Petersburg, and he finished 25th in the Indy 500. Bruno Junquiera replaced Newgarden at Baltimore, finishing 19th, and a second SFHR team, with driver Bryan Clauson, finished 30th at Indy.
Paula is a long-time auto racing fan who also covers the sport at Skirts & Scuffs.
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