Pippa started 21st on the grid for the Firestone
500 at Texas Motor Speedway and had mechanical
problems on lap 2 and finiahed 24th.
access to this web page:
IRL Race Schedule
2011 IRL IndyCar
Wilson to test at Kentucky with
Date of Birth: August 11, 1983
Birthplace: Ipswich, England
Height: 5' 5"
Hobbies: AC Milan, squash, music, shopping
Favourite Food: Anything I'm not meant to be
Hidden Talent: Does shoe shopping qualify?
Favourite Song: "Little Star", by Kelis
Current Road Car: Audi A3 Quattro - I love it!
Dream Car: An IZOD Indycar, of course!
Favourite Circuits: Indianapolis Motor Speedway,
Watkins Glen, and Kentucky Speedway Favourite Place
on the Planet: Cape Town, South Africa
Favourite Shop: Karen Millen in the UK / DSW in the
Childhood Ambition: Ballerina - though I quickly
realised I didn't have any talent in this area
Nickname you'd give yourself: "Blondie"
Nickname others would give you: "Her" or "The
Favourite TV Show: "House" - I love this type of
Favourite Film: Is it too cliche for a racing
driver to say "Days of Thunder"? Maybe "Pretty
Woman" or "Dirty Dancing"
Pet Peeve: People who just stop in doorways or at
the bottom of escalators - keep it moving
Favourite Food: Anything Italian, but nothing beats
a truly awesome lasagne
Worst Habit: I get grumpy if I'm hungry or tired -
you've been warned!
Favourite Holiday: Christmas - I get to see my
If you weren't a racing driver, you'd be...:
Involved in racing somehow
Born in London but now resident in Aldeburgh,
Suffolk, Pippa Mann started competing in karting
aged 13, racing in the categories of Junior TKM,
JICA and Formula A, competing in the British
Championships and selected races in Europe.
Mann is pragmatic about her expectations for the
season: "This is going to be a learning year for me
as I will certainly be one of the less experienced
drivers in the field. However, this is not a
short-term project and I am confident that with the
expertise and experience of the team I will be able
to fulfil my potential."
Mann Forced Out of Second Consecutive Top 15
Finish. Mann will be back in action on August 18-19
at Spa-Francorchamps in Belguim for the next round
of the 2007 World Series by Renault
Away from the track Pippa enjoys music, squash
and following the fortunes of AC Milan.
Pippa started the 97th running of the Indy 500 in
the 30th spot and finished 30th after being pushed
into the marbles trying to get back to her assigned
position during the yellow.
* * *
For the first time since 2011, four women have
qualified for the 2013 Indy 500. Pippa will start
in the 30th spot on the grid.
* * *
Mann, Howard left on the sidelines for the 96th
* * *
Pippa Mann has been released from the University
Medical Center in Las Vegas, following surgery on
Sunday evening to clean and assess a severe burn
injury to the little finger of her right hand.
The Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver will require
a subsequent surgery in the coming weeks to fully
repair the injury, but is expected to make a full
recovery. She finished the 2011 IndytCar season
ranked 38th, having only participated in 3
* * *
Pippa Mann gridded 28th at Las Vegas and
finished 32 after the race was red flagged
following a horrific crash involving 15 drivers.
Dan Weldon lost his life and Pippa,
JR Hildebrand, and Will Power were
* * *
Pippa Mann had no time at Kentucky and is shown
in 29th on the grid at Kentucky and finished
* * *
Mann won't be on grid at New Hampshire
* * *
Pippa's next Indy Car race will be August 14,
2011 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway - Loudon, NH
* * *
Pippa qualified 31st for the Indy500 and
finished in the 20th spot, 2 laps down from the
* * *
Looks like Pippa has secured an eight race
IndyCar oval program starting with the Indy 500.
* * *
Mann announces IndyCar test with Conquest
* * *
Pippa won most popular Indy Lights driver in
* * *
Pippa Takes 5th in Final
* * *
Pippa does it. She started on the pole and lead
all 67 laps for her first Indy Lights win. She came
in 2nd last weekend, only 0.159 seconds out of 1st.
She moves up to 7th in the overall standings with
one race to go
* * *
Pippa Mann finished 2nd at Chicagoland, .0159
seconds behind the minner.
* * *
Mann started 13th, finished 8th in Toronto and
is currently 11th for the season.
* * *
Mann Second Quickest at Indianapolis Open Test.
* * *
Pippa was gridded 13th at St. Petes inagural
Indy Lights race and finished 13th, having dropped
out with mechnical problems on the 6th lap.
* * *
Mann hopes to announce
plans for her 2010 season over the next few
* * *
Pippa had her highest start this season in 3rd
at Homestead and finished 67 laps in 8th which gave
her a 14th overall for the series.
* * *
Pippa started Chicagoland in 5th and finished 64
laps in 9th.
* * *
Pippa started Infineon in 15th and finished in
14th. She maintains14th place overall.
* * *
Pippa started in 19th (last positoin) and
finished in 15th at Kentucky. She is currently in
15th positoin in the standings.
* * *
Pippa was gridded at 15th on the Edmonton
Airport circuit and finished 11th, one spot ahead
of Ana Beatriz
* * *
Pippa gridded 14th and finished in 17th at
Mann, Howard left on
the sidelines for the 96th Indy 500
Two British drivers you won't be seeing in this
year's Indianapolis 500 race are Pippa Mann and Jay
Howard, and both are having to find new ways
forward to get back into the series.
Two years ago, a young British driver by the
name of Pippa Mann was on pole position at
Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Firestone Indy
Lights Freedom 100, the curtain-raiser event to the
start of the Indy 500 race weekend.
The year after that in 2011, she was on the grid
at IMS again - but this time for the start of the
centennial running of the greatest spectacle in
motor racing itself, lining up in a Conquest Racing
car and going on to finish in 20th place.
So impressed were IZOD IndyCar team bosses with
both her driving and her social media marketing
skills, Mann landed a three-race deal in
late-season oval events with Rahal Letterman
Lanigan Racing. The future looked bright
But in 2012, it's back to square one for the
28-year-old, London-born racer, and she finds
herself on the sidelines at Indianapolis watching
on while others get a chance to compete in the 96th
running of the Indy 500 - but she does not.
Sometimes these things are beyond our
control, said Mann. When you know that
you've done everything you can to achieve
something, and it still doesn't happen, it's
frustrating and of course massively
"But I did all I could and to that end, I have
no regrets," she insisted. "Ultimately my only
option now is to pick up, dust off, and get back
Another British driver, 31-year-old Jay Howard
originally from Basildon in Essex, is in a similar
position. He has two top five finishes in the
Freedom 100 and made the grid for the Indy 500 for
the first time in 2011 with Sam Schmidt
Motorsports, but - despite seeming set for a second
outing this year with new team MSR Indy - he too
finds himself on the outside looking in in
"I'm gutted I won't be competing in the race
this year," said Howard. "Qualifying for my first
Indy last year was definitely a dream come true for
me, and I'll never take for granted the opportunity
at attempting to qualify at this special
Even once the MSR Indy deal fell apart when it
was clear Michael Shank's fledgling IndyCar team
wasn't getting an engine supplier in time, Howard
hasn't been far away from the on-track action.
I've been down at IMS every day the cars
have been on track," he said. "Naturally, I'd
prefer to be in the car, but just like the crowd,
I'm also a fan too."
Mann had much the same feeling: "I'll definitely
be watching from the sidelines to see how the rest
of the month pans out," she confirmed. "I can't lie
and say it won't be tough seeing the green flag
wave on Race Day, as I have such good memories of
competing in my first Indy 500 last year, but it's
just one of those things. If it was easy, everyone
would be doing it!"
While missing out on the 2012 Indy 500 is a
bitter pill for both drivers, there's nothing else
for it than to pick themselves up and focus on the
next opportunity down the road.
"We're still looking for sponsorship but I'm as
determined as ever," said Mann. "I know with the
right people, we can put a deal together to run in
the series for the remaining races."
Howard said that he is also turning his
attention to picking up "additional races this
season and for the 2013 season," and in the
meantime would be at the Indy 500 for Race Day
hosting some of his corporate sponsors and also
working as a special social media correspondent for
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway itself.
I believe so much in IndyCar and just want
to see them succeed, said Howard. While
I'm gutted I won't be competing in the race this
year, I'm excited to still have the opportunity to
present our sport to new corporate partners who
were interested in our program."
Mann won't be on grid at
Rahal Letterman Lanigan withdrew the No. 30 car
from the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225 at New
Hampshire Motor Speedway after it made contact with
the outside retaining wall (missing the SAFER
Barrier) exiting Turn 2 during a pre-qualifications
practice session Aug. 13.
Pippa Mann, seeking to make her second IZOD
IndyCar Series start, was awake and alert following
the incident. She was transported to Concord
Hospital for evaluation and was released. X-rays
and a CT scan did not reveal anything fractured.
She will not be cleared to drive by the INDYCAR
medical staff until she undergoes an MRI in
Indianapolis on Aug. 15.
She was 11th on the practice time sheet at the
time of the incident.
Pippa worked very hard this weekend and we
are hoping for a speedy recovery and a return to
the Rahal Letterman Lanigan IndyCar, team
co-owner Bobby Rahal said.
Mann, who competed in Firestone Indy Lights in
2009 and '10, competed in the Indianapolis 500 in
May. She is scheduled to compete at Kentucky
Speedway (Oct. 2) and in the IZOD INDYCAR World
Championship (Oct. 16) at Las Vegas Motor
Mann wastes no time getting up
Yesterday, Pippa Mann and Rahal Letterman Lanigan
Racing successfully completed a one-day test at the
New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.
This was the first outing for the pairing since
they announced that British driver Mann would be
racing the teams #30 Dallara/Honda/Firestone
IndyCar at the Loudon, Kentucky and Las Vegas
rounds of the 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Mann had a solid day, turning 168 laps on the
challenging, one-mile oval. Mann logged 75 laps in
the morning and 93 in the afternoon, whittling
tenths of seconds off of her time until she was
able to circumnavigate the Loudon layout in less
than 23 seconds.
We had a pretty good day overall
today, reported Mann. We worked on a
lot of things, but most importantly, we worked on
achieving good communication between myself and my
Mann was joined at the test by Penskes
Will Power. It was great also having Penske
here, said the 27 year-old Indy Lights race
winner and graduate, as it gave us a
benchmark to work from, and it looks as though on
our very first day working together we are most
definitely in the ball park. I felt good and I look
forward to coming back here next month!
The full days effort allowed Rahal
Letterman Lanigan to try many different variables
on the car, which will give the team a baseline to
work from when it returns for the August race
weekend. It was important not only for the comfort
level of working with a new driver, but also for
working at a new track, since RLL has not been to
Loudon since 1995. The track does have fond
memories for the teams co-owner Bobby Rahal
however, as the three-time Indy Car champion won
the inaugural open-wheel race in Loudon in 1992.
Rahal was on hand today for the test and was
encouraged by the days results.
We finished our first test with Pippa at
Loudon, and I thought it went very well,
Rahal said. Pippa did well with her feedback
and we were able to sort a great number of items
including several key engineering planned test
items. Obviously this test gives both her and the
team a good starting point when we come back here
for the race weekend. Anything you can do to help
improve your chances in this field in a positive
step for all of us.
Speaking about the track itself, Mann added:
Its a very cool, tough little track.
There's a fairly nice bump between one and two,
which while not Iowa-esque is going to have quite a
few people playing catch when we come back here for
race weekend, said Mann. It will be
extremely interesting to see whether pole ends up
being a flat out lap, or whether the pole sitter
will still have to lift. Definitely not an easy
place to try and run full throttle! The pit in and
pit out are very tight, and that will almost
certainly affect the race, and it will be
interesting to see whether we can run two wide
through the corners here! One thing is for sure-
it's certainly not going to be easy!
Both Mann and the team now continue their
preparations for the Loudon race, which is
scheduled to take place on 14th August. This will
be Manns first race since her IndyCar race
debut at the Indianapolis 500 earlier this year,
and first ever race with Rahal Letterman
Mann heads to New Hampshire
for Loudon test
Pippa Mann will get back in an IndyCar tomorrow,
for the first time since completing the
Indianapolis 500 in May - her first ever race in
the IZOD IndyCar Series.
Now, the popular British driver is set to make
her debut with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, as
she and the team head to the New Hampshire Motor
Speedway to test on the 1.058-mile oval, ahead of
the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225, to be held there in
August. Next months event will be Manns
first race with the Rahal Letterman Lanigan team,
so she hopes to make the most of their track time
in New Hampshire tomorrow.
Looking ahead to the test, Mann said:
Ive been counting down the days until
we arrive in Loudon, and Im very excited to
be getting back in an IndyCar so soon after the
Indy 500. The team have been working very hard
since the announcement to get prepared for this
test, and Im confident that well be
able to extract a lot of useful information from
our running time around the speedway tomorrow.
This will be the shortest oval Ive
run on in an IndyCar, so getting some good mileage
under my belt will be important, as well as gelling
with the team and getting used to working with my
engineer and crew. Its been a very positive
experience so far, getting to know everyone at
Rahal Letterman Lanigan over the past month, and
now Im just ready to get in the car!"
Pippa signs with Rahal
Letterman Lanigan Racing
Rahal Letterman Lanigan today announced that Pippa
Mann will join the team for three IZOD IndyCar
events later this year.
The Firestone Indy Lights race winner and 2011
Indianapolis 500 rookie will drive the RLL #30
Dallara/Honda/Firestone at the Loudon, Kentucky and
Las Vegas races. The 27 year-old Briton will
complete two tests with the team as part of the
program, the first of which will take place at
Loudons New Hampshire Motor Speedway on 5th
"Im absolutely thrilled to have the
opportunity to get back into an IndyCar this year,
with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, said
Mann. The team has a great history in
IndyCar, and a reputation that precedes them for
consistently fielding fast cars.
After I completed my Indy 500 program, I
didn't know what lay ahead for me, and I'm
delighted not to have had too much time off before
getting back in an IndyCar. I'm especially happy to
have the opportunity to return to Kentucky Speedway
- where I won in Firestone Indy Lights last year.
Loudon and Las Vegas will both be new tracks for
me, so thats really exciting, and Im
looking forward to the test in New Hampshire in
just three weeks time!
Team co-owner Bobby Rahal added: Pippa
showed her skills in Indy Lights last year, but we
were also impressed with the way she handled
herself at Indianapolis this season. She showed
patience during the month and kept finding speed in
the car, and her racing resume has shown that she
will continue to get better every time she puts in
a lap. We are looking forward to seeing her
progress as the year goes on.
Last month, Mann became the first British female
to qualify and compete in the Indy 500, where she
battled from 31st on the grid to finish in a solid
20th place. I would like to thank Conquest
Racing and Eric Bachelart for giving me my first
opportunity to drive an IndyCar, and for making it
possible for me to run at the Indy 500 this year.
One opportunity often leads to another, and I will
always credit and be grateful to Eric for being the
person who had enough faith in my abilities to give
me that very first run. I had an amazing month in
Indianapolis and owe such a huge part of that to
Eric and the team."
Pippa Mann completes
Conquest Racing's Indy 500 line-up
Conquest Racing has announced that Pippa Mann will
drive for the team in this years Indianapolis
The British driver joins Sebastian Saavedra to
complete Conquest Racings line-up for the
100th anniversary of the Indy 500, where Mann will
make her debut in the IZOD IndyCar Series driving
the #36 car.
Mann was last years Freedom 100 polesitter
and the first and only female to win a pole at the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The British driver,
from Suffolk, will be the fourth female confirmed
as one of the 42 entries for next months Indy
500, but will be the first ever British female to
be on the entry list for the 500-mile race.
Mann completes maiden
Pippa Mann completed her first test in an IndyCar
yesterday, after she took to the Texas Motor
Speedway with Conquest Racing. The test, originally
scheduled for Monday, was postponed due to bad
weather, with the team electing to remain in Texas
in the hope that conditions improved overnight.
Tuesday saw clear blue skies above the speedway,
and Mann was able to get her first feel for driving
the Conquest Racing IndyCar.
The British female driver got up to speed
quickly, wasting no time as she consistently began
running laps, producing competitive times and
steadily extracting more and more from the car. In
the afternoon, a fuel pump issue interrupted
running, however the team worked hard to get the
problem resolved, and they were able to resume the
The Firestone Indy Lights race winner had the
added task of passing her official rookie test at
Texas, which she did without problem.
Speaking about the test, Mann said: "Today has
been a very good day - it's the first time I have
driven an IndyCar, as well as my first run at Texas
Motor Speedway, so before we got started I really
didn't know what to expect. I was able to get
comfortable and up to speed very quickly, which
meant we were able to get on with our testing plan.
We ran some competitive lap times, both on new and
used tyres, and although we lost some track time
during the middle of the day with the fuel pump
issue, the teams hard work ensured we were
able to get back out again.
Mann added: Overall I'm not only pleased,
but excited by how the test went. I loved
everything about driving an IndyCar, and Im
excited about the prospects for the coming season.
Were still working very hard to put together
a full oval program for 2011, and I hope to be able
to provide an update on that shortly.
Mann announces IndyCar
test with Conquest Racing
Pippa Mann has announced that she will be taking to
the wheel of an IndyCar with Conquest Racing later
this month, when the British driver tests with the
Indianapolis-based team prior to the 2011 season.
The one-day test is scheduled for Monday 28th
February at Texas Motor Speedway, and it will be
Manns first outing in an IndyCar.
"It feels like it has been an extremely long
off-season, said Mann, and I cant
wait to finally get back behind the wheel of a race
car. We have been working exceptionally hard
throughout the winter to put together a program for
me to run in the IZOD IndyCar Series, and while our
main focus has been on the Indy 500, we would
obviously like to run as many of the 2011 races as
possible. We are most likely now looking at a full
oval program, which will hopefully bridge the gap
to a full-time drive in the series in 2012.
"The upcoming run will serve as my rookie test
for the IZOD IndyCar Series, and also work as good
preparation for the program we are trying to put
together. Eric Bachelart and Conquest Racing have
been especially interested in what we are trying to
achieve, and I'm extremely excited to have the
opportunity to drive one of their cars."
Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart added:
Ive watched Pippa race in the Indy
Lights series and shes constantly progressed
over the course of the two seasons. Im
pleased to be able to give her the opportunity to
drive an IndyCar for the first time and I
cant wait to see how she will perform behind
the wheel of the Dallara. From a team perspective
it will be a special moment as she will be the
first woman to test with us. Im looking
forward to it.
In 2009, Mann competed in the Firestone Indy
Lights Series with Panther Racing, securing three
top ten finishes during her debut year.
The following season she moved to Sam Schmidt
Motorsports with whom she inscribed her name in the
history books as the first female to win a pole at
the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. That same year,
despite breaking her hand during practice for the
Toronto 100, Mann took her first Firestone Indy
Lights victory just seven weeks later at Kentucky
Speedway - where she led the race from start to
finish. Mann scored three pole positions, four top
five finishes, and a dominant win during the 2010
season, seeing the young Brit finish fifth in the
Pippa Man Dominates
Pippa Mann dominated the Kentucky 100 to take her
maiden victory in the Firestone Indy Lights Series,
completing a perfect weekend for the young
After winning the pole on Friday, Mann led from
the green flag at Kentucky Speedway on Saturday,
and instantly pulled out a lead of four car lengths
to Martin Plowman (AFS Racing). However, a
collision on lap two involving Manns team
mate Phillip Major, and the Bryan Herta Autosport
cars of Daniel Herrington and Stefan Wilson, led to
the race being red flagged on lap three.
On the re-start, Mann was under pressure from
Plowman, and as the pair ran side-by-side, he tried
to drive around the outside of the #11 car. Mann
refused to give up the lead, and her pace was too
much for Plowmans #27 machine. She pulled
away, and by lap 10 had extended her lead to just
over a second.
From that point onwards, nobody had an answer
for Manns pace. The Sam Schmidt Motorsports
driver controlled the race from start to finish,
and took a superb victory in the Drive Smart Buckle
Up Kentucky 100. Underlining her dominance, the 27
year-old racer crossed the line almost seven
seconds ahead of second-placed man James
Hinchcliffe (Team Moore Racing), having led all 67
laps on the 1.5 mile oval.
Speaking about the win, Mann said: I joked
yesterday that I was going to run away and hide
today, but I didnt really think it would
happen. I got my legs underneath me, started
pedaling and no one could catch me. Last week at
Chicagoland, it was fast racing, but this is a
handling track. You have to set the car up to run
the fastest line and we focused on that. If we got
into deep traffic today, I dont think we
couldve run as well, but we took a little bit
of a gamble on the set up and it paid off. Im
extremely happy for the Sam Schmidt Motorsports
team and obviously the #11 crew they
thoroughly deserve this.
The result puts Mann in seventh position in the
2010 Firestone Indy Lights championship standings.
The series now heads to Florida where the final
race of the season will play out at Homestead-Miami
Speedway on 2 October.
Mann strickes from the pole for first
Pippa Mann did everything right to win her first
Firestone Indy Lights race. J.K. Vernay did just
about everything right during the season and
just enough in the Drive Smart. Buckle Up Kentucky
100 to virtually wrap up the series
Mann, the pole sitter, jumped to a large lead
after a Lap 5 restart and cruised to the victory on
the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway. Shes the
second female (Ana Beatriz at Nashville and Iowa)
to win in Firestone Indy Lights.
This weekend, we started out right and got
it in qualifying and took it in the race,
said Mann, whose previous high finish was second a
week earlier at Chicagoland Speedway. I said
my game plan was to run away and hide, but
realistically I didnt think it would happen.
I am so pleased and my team gave me an awesome
I was praying that a caution didnt
come out because if a caution didnt come out
we had a really good chance of winning. I was
praying that no one got into it behind
James Hinchcliffe, driving the No. 2 TMR-Xtreme
Coil Drilling car, finished 6.8372 seconds back and
Vernay was third in the No. 7 Lucas Oil/CJ/Sam
Schmidt Motorsports car. He takes a 48-point lead
over Hinchcliffe into the season finale Oct. 2 at
Homestead-Miami Speedway and only needs to take the
green flag to clinch the title.
Pippa Takes 5th in
Firestone Indy Lights driver Pippa Mann offers up
her latest entry in her 2010 driver diary. This
week, she goes for a top-five finish for the
Homestead-Miami was the championship weekend for
the IZOD IndyCar Series and Firestone Indy Lights.
While the IZOD IndyCar Series championship was
still wide open going into the race weekend, ours
was almost tied up - all J.K. Vernay had to do was
start the race.
The middle of the points for FIL was much more
interesting though. From where I was sitting in
seventh, down to 11th was only separated by a few
points. Just like oval racing, anyone who made a
mistake would get dropped to the back of the pack.
I had a much larger point gap to the two cars in
front of me, but given our recent form with the
white #11 car, I felt fifth place in the
points standings was in the cards.
My weekend started at 4 a.m. on Thursday morning
in Indy, to catch a flight at the crack of dawn.
You all know by now that I am absolutely not a
morning person, however theres some reprieve
to it when it involves getting in a race car, in my
book theres pretty much none when it involves
As we drove into the track, it became apparent
how much rain there has been in Florida recently,
even since our test at the track. If we were hoping
for the track to be a little less green and
slippery on race weekend, it didnt look like
we were going to get any luck. The wind, although
blowing at a much more manageable and constant
speed, was also going in completely the opposite
direction to when we were testing. I was glad the
gusts were down, but I knew the complete about-turn
in wind direction would change the handling of the
car fairly significantly.
Homestead is a fairly interesting oval for a
driver. It is a paperclip shaped oval rather than
the other mile and a half ovals that we race on,
which are D-shaped ovals. On paper both ends of the
track look almost exactly the same, and the
radius of the corners are almost entirely
consistent. In reality, on the track, both ends are
nearly always completely different. You always end
up living with the car as loose as you can one end
to compensate for the understeer at the other end,
or with as much understeer as you drive one end so
as not to be completely loose back at the
The first (practice) session started fairly
well. The wind had changed the handling of the
track, and it quickly became apparent that Turn 4
was going to be the main problem corner for
everyone out there this weekend. We were fairly
good again in clean air, one of the quickest no tow
cars out there, and not bad moving through the
traffic. But, as the session went on, we started to
realize that we were still struggling to make the
car turn enough through Turn 4, and as a result it
was quickly wearing out my right front tire. Other
people seemed to be having the same issues, but we
wouldnt win the race if we were struggling to
The second (practice) session was at the same
time of day as we would be racing on Saturday
afternoon. We came out of that one with slightly
long faces. I had destroyed my right front tire a
whole 10 laps before complete race distance. In our
qualifying simulation test, the balance was OK, but
the time was not even nearly fast enough. Suddenly,
I was staring down the barrel at possibly only a
top-five qualifying rather being in the hunt for
pole where I had hoped to be, and possibly
struggling to hang on in the top 10 in the race.
Fifth place in the drivers championship was
starting to evaporate.
I sat and talked with my engineer about what I
needed from the car for qualifying to make it
faster. I told him I thought we needed to change
the balance to be fast around Homestead. This is
one of those places where, certainly in qualifying,
as the old adage goes - loose is fast. Now if
youre too loose, you end up correcting the
wheel too much and scrubbing speed, or more
seriously, backwards in the fence. However there
was a bonus point for pole position, and we wanted
I was ninth in line to go out on track to
qualify. The sun dropped behind the main
grandstand, and the track temperature immediately
started to cool with the falling temperatures. The
times posted on the board were fast. What we had in
testing didnt even look like it would be
enough to keep us up in the top 10.
My time to go came. I remembered from the
previous year here that the warm up lap at
Homestead is so important. If you go too fast out
of the box, the tires fall away so quickly that
your timed laps can be slower than your warm-up
one. My engineer told me afterwards he thought my
warm-up lap was too slow, and I wouldnt have
been able to get up to speed in time for my first
flying lap. The other problem with running a slow
warm-up lap is you get no feel of the balance of
the car before you go. Going into Turn 1, on green
flag Lap 1, flat out at over 185pmh, was the first
time I was really able to feel the balance out.
It was better than the afternoon, but I was
still turning the wheel a fraction too much. Every
turn scrubs off ultimate speed. I decided I could
run the car looser, and made an adjustment in the
car. Then going into Turn 3, coming off the back
straight, as I straightened my hands on the wheel,
the car started to turn itself. I knew it was fast,
but I also knew that one false move, and I would
have an expensive mess on my hands.
Across the line for the first flying lap. The
time was good. My instincts were right. Now I just
had to hold it all together for one more lap.
The second lap was fast too - provisional pole.
Its probably worth noting though that I
dont think I have ever backed off from
something quite so soon after crossing the line at
any other point so far in my short oval career! We
put the car on the edge, and it survived, but I
wasnt going to drive my in lap like that.
I sat watching the monitors. With one car left
to run I started to smile. When he was done, we
were all smiling. Pole No. 3 of the year for the
#11 crew, but even more importantly one more
bonus point to help in the pursuit of fifth in the
Race day dawned with the wind still blowing the
same way as the previous day. Despite the good
qualifying run, we knew we hadnt really
solved our issues with the race car, but we were
hoping to stay up front as long as we could anyway.
There are two more bonus points for leading the
most laps. If at all possible, I wanted those too.
We thought we would be better in the first half of
the race, rather than the half that mattered, due
to tire wear, so the plan was to try and lead the
race from the front and get those two points early
on. At the same time we tried to set the car up to
help us conserve the tires, so we would still have
something left at the end.
My start went absolutely according to plan and
was perfect. I started the race right when I
wanted, and got a great jump. Unfortunately as we
headed into Turn 1, it became apparent that I just
wasnt picking up speed fast enough.
Third-placed Brandon Wagner was simply able to
sweep around the outside of me as though I was
lifting, yet my foot was firmly planted to the
floor. Another car did the same, and I was first to
third on the first lap. But we were starting to get
up to speed.
The balance was much better than it had been the
previous day, most of our changes had worked. But
we were lacking straight line speed, and although I
could run well through the corners, I was still
struggling to stay in the tow of the first two guys
going down the straights. We had just gone a little
too conservative on our aero, the track wasnt
as slippery as we had thought it would be. The good
news was I actually felt confident for the first
time that we would have tyres left at the end of
We had one restart in the race, and again I
struggled to get up to speed quick enough. I worked
hard with my tools inside the car to make sure I
was doing everything I possibly could to save the
front tires. Every time the balance of the car
started to feel good, I dialed more oversteer back
in to make sure I was keeping the right front
underneath me. Towards the end, I realized I had
gone a little far, and I was starting to slide a
little from the rear, but it didnt bother me.
I just used my tools again, re-adjusted, and
started to use my front tire a little more.
With five laps to go, I was clear in fourth
place and working my way through lapped traffic.
Thats right about when my heart stopped, and
I had my biggest moment of the race.
Going into Turn 4, I went to the inside lane of
the car I was coming up to lap. I dont know
if his spotter didnt tell him I was there,
but he came down right in front of me, taking all
the air off the front of my car. I had to jump out
of the throttle to avoid hitting him, which made
the back of the car snap away. At the same time,
the sudden change in air at the front of my car
made that end take off too. I was careering up
towards the Turn 4 outside wall, trying to get back
to throttle, desperately trying to find enough grip
to save the car.
Adrian Campos Jr., who had been five car lengths
back, was just far enough back to avoid the drama,
and swept up the inside of both me and the car I
was trying to lap going into Turn 1. Four laps to
go, my tires were nearly done and covered in
rubbish from getting so high through Turn 4, and
now I had to go three wide through Turns 1 and 2,
high on the outside, in even more junk and
My car was as sideways as the dirt cars I saw
racing at Eldora speedway the previous weekend.
That I made it out the other side was nothing short
of a miracle!
But fourth place in the race was gone. The big
picture was still fifth in the championship though,
and by my rudimentary math sitting there in the
car, I reckoned we had it. It was time to rein my
neck in a bit. I had a huge gap back to the next
car, the next car to lap was far enough ahead that
if I cruised a little I probably wouldnt have
to worry about him before the end. Sometimes in
racing, as in life, you have to make the mature
decision. This was one of those moments where I saw
the bigger picture.
No more dramas, no more moments. We came home in
the race in fifth place. It might not have been the
sheer pleasure, and almost disbelief at finally
winning at the previous race, but it was a warm
feeling that washed over me as we came down
pitlane. My crew have stood by me through thick and
thin this year, and bringing them home that result
along with the win a few weeks earlier goes a long
way to pay them back for their time, effort, and
The biggest story of the race was rightly
Brandon Wagner, a guy who has come up through dirt
track racing here in America, winning his first
race for a small team on a day at the race track
when car control was king.
My story of the race was more about having a
fitting final chapter to the story of my year in
Firestone Indy Lights. We faced adversity more than
once, but we stood up every time and faced it head
on. We have come back from the depths, and ridden
out the end of the year on a wave. This was my goal
coming into the weekend, and on a weekend where we
didnt have it all our own way, we still
achieved that goal.
As a final thought in my final race diary entry
of the year, when people talk about my finish to
this year, and how it did get us fifth in the
points, I can actually think back to another race,
which really made all the difference. Not winning
in Kentucky, and not the run to second in
Chicagoland, but Edmonton.
Edmonton - where I was ran my second race on a
second consecutive weekend with a fully displaced
broken bone in my left hand, at the most physical
track of the year. Everyone told me I was (crazy).
The pain was like nothing I can even begin to
describe to you. We sat out so much of the running,
we were merely guessing on set up. Hanging on for
the entire race distance, grimly determined to beat
whomever I could, and not fall off. At that moment,
with so little gained, for so much suffering and
pain, I wondered whether I had really made the
right call to put myself through that. Was it
really worth it?
If I had bailed out on that race, been unable to
fight through, I would not have had the result to
this season we were looking for. To use another old
adage - no pain, no gain. This weekend I finally
realized just how much forcing myself to stand
strong through Edmonton had done for me. Grinding
out a result, when it shouldnt be possible,
is sometimes what its all about. Those are
the tough, dark weekends of the year that can
define where you finish a championship as much as
the good weekends.
And in answer to the question posed above? Was
it worth it? Yes. Undoubtedly, unequivocally and
Mann Second Quickest at
Indianapolis Open Test
Pippa Mann has completed the first official 2010
test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having set
the second quickest time of the day. With a lap of
190.225 mph, Mann narrowly missed taking the top
spot, which was set by the #10 car of Gustavo
Yacaman who managed to turn a lap of 190.511
Jeff Simmons was third (190.072), Charlie
Kimball fourth (189.864), and defending race winner
Wade Cunningham took fifth position (189.672) in
Mann spoke about the result: The car feels
great in traffic, and I had a lot of fun today
running side by side at IMS. Weve got some
work to do on the solo lap to make sure we
have the speed without a draft, but there are some
places we know we can make up some time, and
regardless, Im confident we will have a good
race car for the Freedom 100.
Mann will next take to the track on the morning
of Thursday 27th May, when the Firestone Indy
Lights series will complete their final practice
session before qualifying for the Freedom 100 later
Pippa Takes on Indy
Firestone Indy Lights driver Pippa Mann offers up
her latest entry in her 2010 driver diary. This
week, she brings us to the Firestone Indy Lights
Indianapolis Open Test with her Sam Schmidt
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a magical
place. This time last year, I turned my first ever
laps around this amazing track, and although I had
a good car by race weekend, the test prior to
opening day didnt go so well. I came out of
it with some trepidation about the race weekend,
and still as an after effect I went into this
years test with a little trepidation
remaining as well.
Driving a car really fast around an oval in
clean air is a little like a black art, but once
youre mastered it, you start to understand
its all about the tiny details which make a
big difference. Last year for me, driving around
very fast in clean air and qualifying up front
regularly was something that I was able to achieve,
and I discovered the true black art is learning how
to drive the car around an oval fast in traffic and
dirty air. How to have the confidence to stay
inside or outside without even thinking about
lifting while racing two by two at over 180mph with
inches between your wheels. That is the true black
This year only the rookies had a test on an oval
before we went to Indy for our Open Test, so Indy
would be the first place where I would really be
able to explore what my No. 11 Sam Schmidt
Motorsports car could really do. Last year at this
Indy test, no one really ran side by side - whoever
was on the inside on the way in took the turn, and
whoever was on the outside gave it up. The first
time the Firestone Indy Lights cars really ran side
by side last year at Indy was on Race Day, so going
into the test I thought the best that was going to
happen was that I could work on following, and work
on my timing to get that pass just right down the
straight without lifting.
About 10 minutes after the green flag dropped, I
headed out onto the track for my first run. As I
headed into turn one for the first time I wondered
whether Id forgotten how fast this place was,
then as I headed down the back stretch into turn
three, my brain went into oval mode and
190mph became normal and I started to feel out my
car. By lap three, I was running flat out and
immediately into the top five in times. It felt
good to be back.
For the rest of the morning, we spent time
working on the car, working on the driver, working
on going fast. And then in the afternoon session we
decided to start look for people to play with - and
that was when the fun started.
After getting a few runs, and passing a few
people in the usual Indy test way, where you make
the pass on the straight rather than running side
by side through the corners, and similarly getting
overtaken by the occasional car in my tow in the
same way, I decided to have a look on the outside
going into turn three 75 percent throttle. I
held the outside line, waiting to see how it would
feel, how the car would handle. And the answer was,
it felt pretty good. A couple of laps later I
decided to really find out what I had and see if it
could stick the whole way around the outside. Last
year whenever I did this, my heart was in my mouth,
I could feel the back of the car trying to escape
from behind me, and I had to remind myself to
breathe while trying to make a pass. This year, in
this car, I suddenly discovered that when my car
likes the outside as much as the inside, I like the
outside as much as the inside.
For about 10 laps I had a mini race-style battle
with one of the other drivers. In oval racing, you
cant block, you cant change your line,
but if youre fast enough to hold the outside
all the way around, and confident to get close
enough to make really good use of the side-draft
coming off onto either the long front or back
stretch at Indy, I discovered I could make my car
very difficult to pass. I started working on always
being the car ahead over the start finish line, and
I think in those 10 laps I was the car across the
line first nine times. According to most of the
people watching, we put on quite a show, and inside
or outside, for the first time in my oval career,
with this great car underneath me, I was loving
every minute of it.
We pitted for a set of matched special
staggereds (Days of Thunder quote - actually
we just checked tire pressures) and went back out
into the fray again. I found someone new to run
outside or inside of, and I liked it just as much
the second time around. When the chequered flag for
the session came out I was just ahead of one of the
two guys I had been running with. Sure it means
nothing, but psychologically of course it means
something. Find me a racing driver who doesnt
like coming out of a dice to the flag first, even
in a test session.
So what else did I learn from the test day?
Well, I still need to find a little solo speed, but
we have two whole weeks to work on that. However,
as second quickest on the time sheets, were
obviously good in a tow, and with a car that runs
either side out there, I know well be coming
to the front in a big hurry on race day. I also
learnt that whoever is leading the race,
doesnt have the tow, and whoever doesnt
have the tow is going to get passed by the car
behind. But then I learnt that when someone is
trying pass me on the inside I can sometimes drive
all the way around the outside of them and hold on
anyway, or if theyre trying to pass me on the
outside, I learnt I can hold on to the inside and
stay ahead that way too. I learnt I can pass on
whichever side is open, and the timing of the pass
to go to the front will be the key to winning the
There are a lot of other good people out there,
but my team and my car is very good too, and this
year, were coming to play. My last thoughts
as I went to sleep last night, and my first
thoughts as I woke up this morning were all about
different scenarios - who Im going to be
racing up there, and how Im going to time
that pass right, and get that pass done to make it
across the line hopefully P1 at the
Watch your mirrors boys - Im coming.
Mann Achieves Top 10 in
Pippa Mann scored a season-high eighth place in the
Firestone Indy Lights, Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Climbing four spots from the start of the race,
Mann put in a strong performance at the Californian
event, to take her first top ten finish of the
The race got underway without incident, and at
the end of lap one, Mann was in 13th position,
having just dropped a place to team mate James
Winslow. By the halfway point of the race, Mann had
worked her way up to 11th position, when Adrian
Campos Jr. ran wide and into the tyre barrier right
in front of her. Mann responded immediately and
managed to avoid any contact, moving herself up
into the top 10.
From there, Mann continued to push, and where
other drivers came unstuck around the challenging
streets of Long Beach, Mann kept her composure.
Finally crossing the line in a deserved eighth
place, the young Brit achieved her best ever finish
on a street circuit.
Mann commented on the result: Overall
Im really pleased while Ive had
results on ovals and road courses, weve never
been so far forward on a street circuit. There were
a lot of cautions, but I managed to make no
mistakes and put people under pressure, which paid
off in the end. Hopefully we can take this momentum
forward through the rest of the season.
The result places Mann 10th in the point's
standings going into the next race, when the
Firestone Indy Lights drivers prepare for the 2010
Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Mann Taken Out of 2010
Pippa Mann was forced to retire from the opening
round of the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights
championship, after sustaining damage in a first
corner incident which took her out of
The Sam Schmidt Motorsport driver managed to
start the race, despite suffering from an ongoing
virus which had hampered her throughout the
build-up to the St Petersburg event. As the race
got underway, Mann was positioned well for the
first corner, however Adrian Campos Jr (Team Moore
Racing) made a dive down the inside line from a
number of car lengths back and appeared to miss his
braking point. Campos Jr made heavy contact with
the side of the #11 car, and Mann could do nothing
to avoid the incident.
Continuing on regardless, the field slowed for a
full course yellow brought out by a further
incident, and Mann struggled to keep the car facing
the right way under caution. As rain fell over the
Florida street circuit, a red flag ordered all
drivers into the pits to change tyres, and with the
car stationary on pit road, the team were able to
diagnose the problem. The first corner incident had
ruptured the oil cooler on Manns #11 car, and
her rear tyres were covered with oil.
Unable to continue, Manns tough weekend
came to abrupt end. Speaking about the race, Mann
said: I got a good start and went to turn in
at the first corner, and from nowhere I got tagged
heavily from the inside. Ive been battling
with illness throughout the weekend but regardless,
Im gutted to be out of the race. Ive
just got to focus on getting healthy now and coming
back strong at Barber Motorsports Park in a couple
of weeks time.
Throughout the off-season,
Firestone Indy Lights driver Pippa Mann will share
her job hunt with race fans through a blog
firestoneindylights.com. Today, she takes testing
with Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
Since my first outing back
in a car a couple of weeks ago at Kentucky, I've
been keeping busy with all the other stuff racing
driver's do in the off season.
I've been training myself
into the ground with the kind help of those at
PitFit, and also down at the Sam Schmidt
Motorsports workshop - debriefing from Kentucky and
preparing for my next outing at Barber Motorsports
Park in Alabama.
My manager also came to
town, and we had a week of meetings, which meant
eating at a number of very nice restaurants. It's
lucky he doesn't come to town too often, as if I
ate at those places all the time I'm sure I would
soon be too big to fit in a car at all!
Talking of fitting back
into a car. I was pretty excited about my next
outing with the team. I may love the ovals, but as
a European driver, I come from road racing and the
big famous European circuits back home.
My next test would involve
me turning right more than I did left, as I would
be getting back to my racing roots running at
Monday morning - the day
of the test - started early. Part of the reason for
the early start is the light seems to start and end
early in Alabama at this time of year.
This meant we were out on
the track by 8:30 a.m., and would have until 4 p.m.
before the light ceased to cooperate. I had already
been told that this car would require a different
driving style to what I was used to, and I knew I
would have a lot to learn. So, I was the first car
out onto the circuit, getting the sound of the
engine echoing around the facility, and knocking
the cobwebs off remembering how to turn right after
nearly three months of running on ovals.
The car really was
different, but I just started driving it, and began
to enjoy lap after lap. My pace was improving
throughout the morning and the lap times came
tumbling down - things were looking
Then, just before lunch
time, I kind of stalled out. It became apparent
that to go faster again I needed to work on a
different driving technique - one that's completely
new to me as a driver.
Back home in Europe, I
went straight from Formula Renault 2.0 to Formula
Renault 3.5, and I completely skipped a 'middle
series' such as Formula 3. This Indy Lights car was
much more like an F3 car - so back to school for me
The afternoon was spent
working on putting into practice the things which
were so easy to say and understand when in the
pits, but actually much more difficult to do when
out on circuit. Unlearning what you know, and
learning something new, even just the smallest
detail, is basically trying to get rid of bad
habits - and it's not easy! However I gradually
started to get better at kicking my bad habits, and
the lap times certainly showed their appreciation!
It's a great feeling knowing you're starting to do
something right, but that still doesn't make the
road ahead any easier
In the end, I set my best
lap time of the day as the track surface and
temperature were going away from us right at the
end of the test.
Everybody else had slowed
up a bit at that point, but I was still learning,
and still getting quicker. I didn't run as fast as
I wanted to at the start of the test, but I still
ran much better than I had done previously this
year on a road course.
The main thing is that not
only had I started the process of putting
understanding into action on the track, but if you
can understand why you're fast, you stand a better
chance of being faster everywhere you go.
a new ride Oct. 23, 2009
Throughout the offseason,
Firestone Indy Lights driver Pippa Mann will share
her job hunt with racefans through a blog
firestoneindylights.com. Today, she details the
beginning of the search for a ride for
I woke up on Monday
morning (Oct. 19), just over a week after the
Homestead-Miami finale, and my one, over-riding
thought is that I currently don't have a
There are lots of people
out there in this situation at the moment, and in
racing, at the end of each season, it's kind of
normal for drivers to find themselves looking to
the following season not yet sure what they'll be
driving. It might be normal, but it's still a
stressful time of year.
To put together a deal for
the following year requires money, but sponsors are
always hard to come across. Good teams always want
good drivers, but teams have to be able to pay
their bills too, or it will go out of
I train at PitFit, and on
that Monday morning, the training was a chore.
Normally, despite their consistent and varied
attempts to kill me, I actually quite enjoy the
challenge. However, for one of the first times
ever, it just felt like a chore.
Then at lunchtime, I had a
phone call from my manager back home in England. He
asked whether I would like to go and have a seat
made for a test at Kentucky this Thursday. Of
course! And with Sam Schmidt Motorsports? Even
When I drove down to the
SSM shop for the first time on Tuesday morning I
felt like the new girl at school. I checked my kit
bag probably a hundred times, and I was still
convinced I was going to forget something obvious
and look fairly stupid on my first day. Thankfully
for once, I didn't
In my meetings with the
engineers before the test, they told me about how
they run their cars, and given me a good idea what
to expect when I got in. I knew it was going to be
a bit different from what I was used to, so I took
in all the advice they could give me. At 10 a.m. on
Thursday, the car was in pit lane, and we were
ready to rock 'n' roll.
My first few laps went
something like this:
Lap 1 - It's cold out here
Lap 2 -- Yep I'm still sliding
Lap 3 -- This is more like it
Lap 4 - Going flat out, now let's find out where
this car likes to run
Lap 5 - Okay - now we're talking
The car was completely
different in handling terms from the car I've been
driving all year, but immediately I started to
understand and like driving it. The lap times
followed suit and Lap 5 was the first 'money lap'
of the day. Despite the different handling, I was
running fast, consistent, and above all, enjoying
We had plenty more of
those money laps over the course of the day, and
overall, it was a great day's testing. I was so
comfortable and confident in the car that I wished
that the track was full of cars so that I could get
a feel for driving it in traffic. If the car
handled that differently by itself, I couldn't wait
to find out what it would be like in a pack - bring
Well next up for me - we
do have plans to run again, perhaps on a road
course. You'll have to watch this space!
Wilson to test at Kentucky with SSM
Pippa Mann will return to the
cockpit of a Firestone Indy Lights car when she
tests with Sam Schmidt Motorsports.
The one-day test is
scheduled for Oct. 22 at Kentucky Speedway, where
the team will be running Mann and Stefan
"The only Firestone Indy
Lights car I have driven up until now has been the
#16 Panther Racing car, so it will be extremely
interesting for me to test with another team," Mann
said. "The chance to do so with an outfit as highly
regarded as Sam Schmidt Motorsports is a great
opportunity for me, and I'm really looking forward
to getting onto the track. Although we're still
undecided on plans for next year, this gives me a
positive feeling about what we're trying to
Mann completed her debut
Firestone Indy Lights season with Panther Racing,
achieving a string of top 15 finishes, including
three top ten results. The rookie driver also
managed to claim a top ten qualifying spot in all
of the oval races, and started her final race of
the season from third on the grid.
"I have had the
opportunity recently to speak with Pippa at length
about her goals and ambitions in motorsports and
was extremely impressed with her drive,
determination, and focus to be successful," said
Sam Schmidt Motorsports owner Sam Schmidt. "She has
a very disciplined and technical approach, and we
are very much looking forward to testing with
Mann hopes to announce
plans for her 2010 season over the next few
In 2001 she decided to concentrate full time on
karting and moved to Italy, the home of karting. As
well as racing, Pippa found time to learn Italian
(which she now speaks fluently) and to write for a
number of motoring journals.
By 2003 Pippa was driving for one of the leading
kart teams, CRG, and taking part in the highly
competitive Italian, European and World
Championship Kart races. In a field dominated by
male drivers (maybe two or three women in every 80
drivers), Pippa is the only British female to have
won an international kart race.
In 2004 Pippa returned to the UK and started
racing in the UK Formula Renault Championship.
During her first season Pippa held her ground in a
very competitive field, racing against drivers with
two or more years' experience in single seaters.
Drove in the Formula Renault 2.0 UK for Team
In 2005 Pippa secured a two-year contract to
drive for Comtec Racing in the Formula Renault
Eurocup. Comtec is the only UK team to compete in
the Formula Renault Eurocup. Her first year in
Eurocup saw her peaking at 14th, however Pippa says
her highlight was qualifying 7th at Donington Park.
2005 also saw Pippa competing in the French
Championships. Despite being new to the circuits
and having only 40 minutes' testing at each race,
Pippa was able to get into the points, the first
female driver to do so in about ten years.
In 2006 Pippa raced in the Formula Renault 2.0
UK Championship as well as the Eurocup. She had a
frustrating season but managed to achieve some of
her best results ever, which led to her
participating in some World Series by Renault tests
over the winter.
In January 2007, Pippa signed for Cram by P1
Europe to become the first female to race in the
World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship. She
scored a point in her debut in the World Series by
Renault 3.5 Championship. Earned a pole position in
the World Series by Renault 3.5 Championship.
In 2008 she comepted in the World Series by
Renault 3.5 for P1 Motrorsport with best finish of
seventh at the Nurburgring. Raced with Team
Eurotech in the Porsche Carrera Cup Great Britain
in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup 997.
Results (Grid/Finish/Qualifying Speed/Laps
Contact in practice
2010 Indy Lights
Streets of Long Beach
Streets of Toronto
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