Pippa Mann lands Indy 500 drive

Pippa Mann Pippa Mann and Dale Coyne Racing have announced the British driver has joined the team in an attempt to make her second start in May’s 97th running of the Indy 500.

Mann will drive the team’s Honda-powered Dallara as teammate to Justin Wilson and Ana Beatriz. In 2011, Mann became the first British female (and eighth overall) to qualify for the race, she started 31st and finished 20th for the Conquest Racing team.

“I’m delighted to be able to share this news,” said Mann, who recently has been an analyst on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway radio network’s broadcasts of Firestone Indy Lights races. “I actually first met Dale (Coyne) several years ago, before I came to the U.S., at what turned out to be the final Champ Car test at Sebring right before the open-wheel merger.”

“We’ve sort of had an on-going conversation ever since then, and I actually got very close to getting in one of Dale’s cars on Bump Day last year. A year later, we’ve now put this program together, and I cannot wait to be back on track with Honda and running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.”

Mann, who won an Indy Lights race from the pole at Kentucky Speedway and earned pole for the Firestone Freedom 100 race at the Speedway in 2010, will take part in a refresher course on the 2.5-mile oval. Opening Day for the Indy 500 is May 11th, with Pole Day on May 18th and the race set to run Sunday, May 26th. 

“We have known and followed Pippa from her first interest in coming over to America and the IndyCar Series,” concluded Coyn. “Her hard work and dedication are commendable and have shown results. She has qualified for Indy, qualified on pole at Indianapolis for the Indy Lights race, won an Indy Lights race at Kentucky and has been a great asset for the sport.”

Meanwhile, in Brazil, Pippa’s new teammate Ana Beatriz was back in her native Sao Paulo preparing for this weekend’s Sao Paulo Indy300 race and took the opportunity to visit the site of the Arena de Sao Paulo, which will serve as the city’s World Cup venue next summer.

Beatriz said she was excited to visit the stadium, which is about 70 percent complete and expected to be completed by the end of the year and located in the eastern part of Brazil’s largest city and 13 miles from Anhembi Park where the IndyCar race takes place. 

“Arena de Sao Paulo will be the most modern stadium in Brazil,” said Beatriz. “It was cool to have the opportunity to visit it before it’s ready and understand the whole project.”

In addition to hosting five World Cup events, including the opening match of the tournament and a semifinal, Arena de Sao Paulo will serve as the home stadium for Corinthians, Sao Paulo’s popular soccer team. By James Foreman

Written by