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Pippa Mann back at Dale Coyne for Texas

4 June 2013

Britain's Pippa Mann will be back in action this weekend in the IZOD IndyCar Series championship, after behind selected to take up the seat of the #18 car fielded by the Dale Coyne Racing team.

The car was in victory circle at the weekend in Detroit, after Mike Conway piloted it to victory from a front row start in the first race of the Chevrolet Indy Dual double-header.

Conway also put the car on pole position for the second race on Sunday, and finished on the podium again after crossing the line in third place behind Simon Pagenaud and James Jakes.

However, there was no possibility that Conway would choose to continue his winning momentum and be persuaded to stay on for this forthcoming weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway, or for the following three races at Milwaukee, Iowa and Pocono.

Conway decided at the end of the 2012 season that he was no longer comfortable racing on ovals any longer, and dropped out of his full-time ride with AJ Foyt Racing at short notice ahead of the season finale at Auto Club Speedway at Fontana, California.

So while Conway delivered well above expectations at the street course on Belle Isle at the weekend, the team were well aware that they would need to find a new driver to take over at Texas. One option would have been to return Brazil's Ana Beatriz to the seat, after she ran the first five races of the current season for the team.

Instead, Dale Coyne has decided to keep an all-British feel to the driver line-up and picked up Pippa Mann for the vacant berth alongside the tea's regular driver, former F1 driver Justin Wilson from Sheffield. Mann drove for the team as part of a three-car Dale Coyne Racing line-up at Indianapolis alongside Wilson and Beatriz, which marked the first time that two female drivers had ever been team mates in the Indy 500.

“We are excited to have Pippa back with the team for Texas,” said the team owner. “She was moving up through the field during the Indianapolis 500 and if she wouldn't have had contact with the wall I think she would have had a top finish that day.”

“I am very excited to be back with Dale Coyne Racing for the Firestone 550k at Texas Motor Speedway," said the 29-year-old from London. "We had a great car at the Indianapolis 500 and I am looking forward to bringing the team a good finish there Saturday night under the lights.

"It's exciting to be in the No. 18 car that finished 15th in the Indianapolis 500 and finished first & third this past weekend in Detroit," Mann added.

Mann's Texas outing will be sponsored by Cyclops Gear, which also backed her appearance in the Indy 500 last month. While she has not raced at Texas before, she did have her very first IndyCar test there in 2011 with Conquest Racing.

Mann had been scheduled to run in four races in the 2011 season but that included the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway; she was injured in the tragic multi-car accident early in the race that also claimed the life of compatriot Dan Wheldon, and as a result she spent 2012 recuperating from burn injuries to her hand while seeking a race deal for a series return which took until last month to come to fruition.

"First time in a LONG time that I've gotten to get back in an racing car this soon! I'm a little excited," Mann subsequently posted on the Twitter social network after the official announcement was made on Tuesday.


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