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Pippa Mann gets 3 races at Rahal Letterman Lanigan
14 June 2011
Britain's Pippa Mann will be returning for three more IndyCar races in 2011 after her series debut in last month's Indianapolis 500.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan - which is looking to increase its appearances in IndyCar and return to a full-time program in due course - announced that they had signed up Mann for the IZOD IndyCar Series races at New Hampshire, Kentucky and Las Vegas.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to get back into an IndyCar this year, with Rahal Letterman Lanigan," Mann said. "After I completed Indianapolis, 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 return to Kentucky Speedway, where I won in Firestone Indy Lights last year. Loudon and Las Vegas will both be new tracks for me."
Before her race date at the venue, Mann will test with the team at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on July 5. She said that "I'm looking forward to the test ... in just three weeks time."
Last month the 27-year-old Londoner became the first British female driver to be on the entry list for the Indy 500, driving for Conquest Racing. Despite a large number of cars seeking to make the grid, Mann managed to qualify on Bump Day on the back row of the grid in 32nd place. She went on to successfully finish the race in 20th position.
“Pippa showed her skills in Indy Lights last year, but we were also impressed with the way she handled herself at Indianapolis this season,” said Rahal Letterman Lanigan team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “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," he added.
Mann in turn praised the team with its "great history in Indy car, and a reputation that precedes them for consistently fielding fast cars."
Even before this year's Indianapolis, Mann had strong form on American oval tracks. In 2010 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, including that wire-to-wire victory at Kentucky Speedway in which she led 67 laps.
Mann has also won plaudits for being particularly good with the media, spending a lot of time with reporters during the weeks at Indianapolis and also using social media extensively. She quipped that the team were so used to seeing her tweet from the pit lane that they had even inserted "no tweeting out on track" into her race notes just in case she couldn't kick the Twitter addiction for the three hour race duration.
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