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IndyCar: Briscoe and Mann return for Texas night race

Schmidt Peterson Motorsport will field Ryan Briscoe at Texas this weekend, while Pippa Mann will join Tristan Vautier at Dale Coyne Racing.
Ryan Briscoe and Pippa Mann will return to action this weekend in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway, their second appearances of the season in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series.

Briscoe will be back in the #5 Arrow/Lucas Oil Honda for Schmidt Peterson Motorsport, standing in for the injured James Hinchcliffe just as he did in the Indianapolis 500 two weeks ago after the Canadian suffered leg and pelvic injuries in a practice crash the Monday before the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Former GP2 driver Conor Daly took over and sat in for Hinchcliffe last week in the Detroit doubleheader at Belle Isle, but the team has given Briscoe the nod for Texas based on the Australian's track record of success on the 1.455-mile, high-banked oval. In eight starts, he has seven top ten finishes including a victory from the pole in 2010 and four other finishes in the top five.

As a last minute stand-in for Hinchcliffe in the 99th running of the Indy 500, Briscoe climbed 19 places during the race to finish in 12th position, the best improvement of any driver throughout the three hour event. He had only had a one hour solo familiarisation session and then one hour of official Carb Day practice to get used to the car before taking the green flag at the start of the race.

Briscoe was not available to compete at Detroit as he was taking part in practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Corvette Racing co-drivers Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia. The trio won the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this year, and a victory at Le Mans would make them the first drivers in 15 years to win all three endurance races in the same year.

Also returning to action this weekend at Texas is another driver from last month's Indy 500, with Dale Coyne Racing recalling British driver Pippa Mann to take over the wheel of the team's #18 car. Mann competed in a one-off third entry for the team last month at Indianapolis and finished in 22nd place. This weekend will be her ninth Verizon IndyCar Series start and her second with Dale Coyne at Texas - she finished in 24th place in 2013 after a mechanical failure.

The #18's regular driver Carlos Huertas had to drop out of the Indy 500 with an inner ear condition and was replaced in that race at the 11th hour by Tristan Vautier and at Detroit by Rodolfo Gonzalez. Vautier had needed to secure a last-minute release from his commitments with Team Akka-ASP in the Blancpain Endurance Series at Silverstone in order to be allowed to take up the chance to complete in his second Indy 500.

Vautier himself was subsequently retained by the team for Detroit but moved to the #19 car, which is where he remains for this weekend at Texas. The 2013 Sunoco Rookie of the Year recipient finished in fourth place in race 2 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit presented by Quicken Loans on May 31, his best in 22 Verizon IndyCar Series starts. The 25-year-old from Saint-Martin-d'Hères in France last raced at Texas Motor Speedway two years ago while he was running a full season with SPM, and succeeded in gaining six places during the race.

This weekend's race will take place after dark, with the green flag for the 248 lap, 360.84 mile race scheduled for 7.50pm (1.50am BST).

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tristan Vautier at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. (Photo by: Dana Garrett for IndyCar Media)
Pippa Mann at Indianapolis Motor Speedway during practice on Thursday May 14 2015.  (Photo by: Mike Young for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Briscoe steps into the #5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsport Honda in place of the injured James Hinchcliffe. Indianapolis Motor Speedway, May 21 2015. (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
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]
Santiago Urrutia - Schmidt Petersen Motorsport
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]
Graham Rahal celebrates victory in the Firestone 600 at Texas Motor Speedway   (image credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens)
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Owens]
Mikhail Aleshin - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Jones]
Ed Jones - Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing
Scott Dixon - Target Chip Ganassi Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/JOE SKIBINSKI]
Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Shawn Gritzmacher]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
Josef Newgarden - Ed Carpenter Racing [credit: Chris Jones]

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