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Tavo Hellmund wanted partnership with Honda or Mercedes for Manor F1

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American-Mexican businessman Tavo Hellmund says that held talks with both Honda and Mercedes regarding a partnership with Manor Racing before his bid to buy the Formula 1 team collapsed, resulting in its closure.

Manor entered administration last month amid ongoing financial difficulties, with team owner Stephen Fitzpatrick unable to secure enough backing to keep the operation going through 2017.

Fitzpatrick said in November that terms had been agreed with an investor – Hellmund – only for the deal to collapse following its demotion to last place in the constructors’ championship.

Hellmund played an instrumental role in getting both the United States Grand Prix and Mexican Grand Prix on the F1 calendar in recent years, the latter being one of the sport’s best-attended events in 2015 and 2016, but was looking to turn his hand to team ownership.

Speaking to the Austin-American Statesman, Hellmund revealed that he had held talks with both Honda and Mercedes that would have seen Manor link up in a similar way Haas has done with Ferrari.

“We were looking to form a partnership with one of the big manufacturers, Mercedes or Honda,” Hellmund said.

“We had conversations with both. That way you can get motors — discounted motors — and get a driver. It’s almost like being a Triple-A [baseball] team.”

Hellmund also revealed that it was his investment group’s second attempt to buy the team, having previously made an offer back in 2015.

“The first go-round, we were even going to involve Anthony Hamilton, Lewis’ dad,” he said.

“We made two stabs at it. We offered £22 million a year and a half ago.”

Following Manor’s closure, the F1 grid for 2017 is down to just 10 teams, but perhaps more pressingly over 200 people were left without a job.

“It’s a shame those people are now out of work,” Hellmund said.

Pippa Mann returns to Dale Coyne Racing for seventh Indianapolis 500 bid

Photo courtesy Dale Coyne Racing
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Pippa Mann announced Tuesday that she plans to drive in her seventh Indianapolis 500 on May 27.

The native of Ipswich, England will once again return to race for Dale Coyne Racing, with new sponsorship by Donate Life Indiana.

She had previously been sponsored the last four years in the 500 by the Susan G. Komen organization. She’ll continue to carry logos of that organization on the front wing of her car in the 500, Mann said.

Mann, 34, has raced six times in the 500, with a best finish being 17th in last year’s race.

Mann will fill out the four-car Dale Coyne Racing field for the Greatest Spectacle In Racing. She’ll be teammates with Sebastien Bourdais (No. 18 Team SealMaster Honda in a partnership with Vasser-Sullivan), Pietro Fittipaldi (No. 19 The Paysafe Car Honda) and Conor Daly (No. 17 U.S. Air Force Honda in a partnership with Thom Burns Racing).

Mann will make her first practice laps for this year’s 500 on Tuesday, May 15. Qualifying is May 19-20.

Mann’s No. 63 Honda will have a significantly different look than in the last few years. Instead of pink, her car will feature a silvery blue and light green paint scheme wrapped around a Donate Life Indiana logo.

“I am honored to have been asked to drive the Donate Life car this May and to partner with Donate Life Indiana as an ambassador to raise awareness on our mission to help reach even more Hoosiers through our education efforts,” Mann said in a media release. “This is obviously a campaign with a pretty deep personal meaning for me, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to join the racers carrying this cause forward.

“I also want to thank Dale and Gail Coyne for once again giving me this opportunity to pilot one of their entries this May. This will be my sixth year with Dale Coyne Racing and I’m truly grateful that they allow me to do this every year.”

Mann will also serve as a spokesperson for the organization and to raise awareness for youth education initiatives in Indiana, most notably organ, tissue and eye donor registration.

In addition to her driving duties in the 102nd running of the 500, Mann will also visit schools across the Hoosier State to speak about the importance of organ donation and transplantation.

“Our education team is committed to partnering with Pippa and students and teachers across the state to bring the message of organ donation and transplantation to as many students as possible,” said Steve Johnson, board chairman for Donate Life Indiana.

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