Pippa Mann, who sat on the pole for the Firestone Freedom 100 last May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, will attempt to be among the 33 starters for the 100th anniversary Indianapolis 500.
Mann will drive for Conquest Racing, joining full-time entrant Sebastian Saavedra, in the No. 36 car. Mann is the fourth female and sixth rookie confirmed as one of the 42 entries for next month’s Indy 500, and she will be the first British female to be on the entry list for the 500 Mile Race.
“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,” said Mann, who won the Firestone Indy Lights race at Kentucky Speeday from the pole last September. “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 superspeedways is good and I’m definitely up for the challenge.
“For obvious reasons, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is one of my favorite ovals, so I can’t wait to get out there in the No. 36 car and see what we can achieve.”
In 27 Firestone Indy Lights starts over two seasons, Mann earned seven top-10 finishes and three pole starts. She closed 2010 with a flourish — after breaking her hand in July — with four consecutive top-five finishes (including the win on the 1.5-mile Kentucky oval).
“Pippa is a natural on ovals and we could judge how good she is when we tested her about six weeks ago in Texas,” Conquest Racing owner Eric Bachelart said. “She has been part of the team since then and we are all looking forward to working with her at the Speedway this year.”