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2013 Indy 500: Pippa Mann gets Dale Coyne ride

Britain's Pippa Mann will make a bid for a spot on the grid for next month's Indianapolis 500, after striking a deal with Dale Coyne Racing.
Pippa Mann is to return to IZOD IndyCar Series competition for the first time since Las Vegas in 2011, after Dale Coyne Racing announced that it was to expand to a three-car line-up for the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 in May.

“We have known and followed Pippa from her first interest in coming over to America and the IndyCar series," said Dale Coyne on Tuesday, after revealing that Mann was the official 31th entry into this year's race. "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 [2010], won an Indy Lights race at Kentucky and has been a great asset for the sport," he added.

“I'm delighted to be able to share this news," said Mann, who competed in 2011 Indy 500 with Conquest Racing and who was due to participate in three oval races later in the season with Rahal Latterman Lanigan. One of those was the ill-fated Vegas season finale, which was abandoned after a massive accident claimed the life of Dan Wheldon.

Mann herself was hospitalised for a burns injuries sustained in the crash, and required offseason surgery on her hand. She has not returned to IndyCar competition since then, and has instead been working as a co-commentator on IMS Radio Network's broadcasts of Firestone Indy Lights races, but she's never made any secret of her desire to be back in a race seat again as soon as possible.

"I actually first met Dale several years ago, before I came to the US, at what turned out to be the final Champ Car test at Sebring right before the open-wheel merger," the 29-year-old from London said. "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," she revealed.

"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," she added.

The deal means that Mann will be teamed with Dale Coyne's regular drivers Justin Wilson, a fellow Briton, and also with Brazil's Ana Beatriz. That makes this the first time that two female drivers have ever been team mates together in the same squad for the Indy 500.

A big advocate of social media, Mann took to Twitter after the announcement to field a deluge of messages from well-wishers sending their congratulations at the news.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Pippa Mann with her Rahal Letterman Lanigan team boss Bobby Rahal at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. [Photo credit: IndyCar Media]
Pippa Mann is delighted, giving interviews after succeeding in qualifying for the Indy 500 grid. Bump Day, Sunday May 23, Indianapolis Motor Speedway. [Picture credit: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media]
Pippa Mann sits in her car in pitlane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Pippa Mann on track at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. August 2011. [Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Pippa Mann to enter 2011 Indy 500 with Conquest - IZOD IndyCar Series Media
Alexander Rossi - Andretti Autosport   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Joe Skibinski]
Simon Pagenaud (Team Penske) celebrates winning the 2016 IndyCar title with victory at Sonoma   [pic credit: Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud - Team Penske   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Ed Jones celebrates winning the 2016 Indy Lights championship
Kyle Kaiser (Juncos Racing) celebrates at Laguna Seca
Kyle Kaiser - Juncos Racing
Ed Carpenter Racing crew working on the boss` car   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Indy Lights action
Indy Lights title contender Santiago Urrutia, Ed Jones, Dean Stoneman, Felix Serralles, Kyle Kaiser and Zach Veach   [pic credit: IndyCar Media]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
Will Power - Team Penske
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to victory at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]
Scott Dixon (Target Chip Ganassi Racing) on his way to pole at Watkins Glen   [pic credit: Indycar media/Chris Owens]

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