Conquest Racing has announced that they have signed British driver Pippa Mann to drive their second car entered into next month's hundredth running of the legendary Indianapolis 500.
The 27-year-old Londoner becomes the first British female driver to be on the entry list for the 500 Mile Race, and will be hoping to qualify for the 33-car starting grid and make her first IZOD IndyCar Series race appearance.
"I tested with Conquest Racing earlier this year, and given how well that test went we have since been working tirelessly to put this deal together," said an excited Mann. "The past few months have been a rollercoaster ride for me, and I'm just thrilled that we're now able to tie things up."
Mann has strong form on American oval tracks. Last year she became the first female pole sitter for a top race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by heading the grid for the Firestone Freedom 100 while competing in the Indy Lights series. She finished 16th in that race and 5th in the championship overall despite breaking her hand in July. In September, she won her first race in the series on the 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway oval from pole position as part of a strong run of four top-five finishes to end the season.
"Pippa is a natural on ovals and we could judge how good she is when we tested her about six weeks ago in Texas," said Conquest team owner Eric Bachelart. "She has been part of the team since then and we are all looking forward to working with her at the Speedway this year.”
Mann conceded that "there are a lot of entries for the race this year" (the entry list confirms 42 cars seeking to qualify for the race) and that getting onto the starting grid for May 29 was going to take a lot of work. "But my qualifying record on superspeedways is good and I'm definitely up for the challenge."
Mann will be working alongside Conquest's regular full-season driver, Sebastian Saavedra, and takes up the seat of the #36 car that previously listed the driver as 'TBA' for Conquest Racing in the official entry list
published last week.
“For obvious reasons, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of my favourite ovals, so I can't wait to get out there in the #36 car and see what we can achieve.”