(Courtesy Pippa Mann PR)
Conquest Racing has announced that Pippa Mann will drive for the team in this year’s Indianapolis 500. The British driver joins Sebastian Saavedra to complete Conquest Racing’s line-up for the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500, where Mann will make her debut in the IZOD IndyCar Series driving the #36 car.
The team will be looking to secure two of the 33 available grid slots, in a year where 42 entries have so far been confirmed for the race.
Mann, who was last year’s Freedom 100 polesitter and the first and only female to win a pole at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, spoke about the announcement: "Having the chance to compete in the Indy 500 is something that we have been working extremely hard to bring to fruition over the winter. 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. 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.
"There are a lot of entries for the race this year, so it’s a somewhat interesting time to be a rookie, but my qualifying record on super speedways is good and I’m definitely up for the challenge. 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."
Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart added: "I am delighted to confirm Pippa alongside Sebastian for the Centennial edition of the Indy 500. Pippa is a natural on ovals and we could judge how good she is when we tested her about six weeks ago in Texas. 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 enters the IZOD IndyCar Series off the back of a strong Firestone Indy Lights campaign with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in 2010, where the British driver scored three pole positions, four top five finishes and a dominant win, seeing her finish fifth in the driver's championship.
Mann will be the fourth female confirmed as one of the 42 entries for next month’s Indy 500, but she will be the first ever British female to be on the entry list for the 500-mile race.