Suffolk-raised Pippa Mann confirmed for sixth Indy 500
- Credit: Archant
A Suffolk-raised motorsport star who has carved a career in the US has been confirmed for this year’s 101st Indianapolis 500.
Pippa Mann, 33, who grew up in Leiston and lived in Ipswich, will drive for the Dale Coyne Racing IndyCar team in the prestigious race on Sunday, May 28, widely considered to be one of the top three motorsport races in the world with the Monaco Grand Prix and 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The race will be Mann’s sixth time at the famous ‘Yard of Bricks’, returning to the Dale Coyne team and being reunited with race engineer Rob Ridgeley.
“For me, I am in this incredibly fortunate position where I know I have a team standing behind me, who actively want me in one of their cars.
“I have a team owner who believes in me, and who helps me to make this happen,” she said.
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“It’s still a process that requires a huge amount of hard work on all sides, and finding the sponsorship to make everything come together is still exceptionally tough, but we always approach this from the point of view that we’re trying to work together again, and we’re both going to do everything we can to make that happen.”
Last year Mann finished 18th – her best result at the 2.5mile speedway, but is aiming for a top 15 finish this year and a “stretch-goal” of trying to crack the top 10.
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The team has already been buoyed by a win in the first race of the season for ex-F1 driver Sebastien Bourdais, who came from the back of the field to win in St Petersburg.
Dad Clive Mann will be making the trip from Suffolk to Indianapolis to show his support on race day, having been the one responsible for her becoming a race fan, and then competitor.
Uniquely for a race driver Mann will be racing with the traditional pink and white colours marking her continued tie-up with Susan G Komen – one of the world’s largest breast cancer charities – and aims to help raise money and awareness.
In the last two years she has helped raise more than $100,000 for the cause.
“The more time I spend working with Susan G. Komen, and the more women and men, and families I meet, all who have been touched by breast cancer, the more important this tie-up becomes to me personally.
“At the same time, women I meet are still passing away, so it’s never enough,” she said.
“I always said growing up that I would never be the girl in pink at the race track, and look at me now!”
To follow Mann’s progress, follow @PippaMann on Twitter or visit her website here.
The race will be broadcast live on BT Sport on Sunday, May 28.