The Indianapolis 500 confirmed driver/car count has grown by one, as Pippa Mann confirmed she will attempt to qualify for this year’s race with Dale Coyne Racing.
Mann, who qualified for her only prior 500 appearance in 2011, joins the DCR team as a third driver alongside teammates Justin Wilson and Ana Beatriz.
“I’m delighted to be able to share this news!” she said in a release. “I actually first met Dale several years ago, before I came to the U.S., at what turned out to be the final Champ Car test at Sebring right before the open wheel merger. We’ve sort of had an on-going conversation ever since then, and I actually got very close to getting in one of Dale’s cars on Bump Day last year. A year later, we’ve now put this program together, and I cannot wait to be back on track with Honda and running at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May.”
Coyne, an IndyCar team owner for 30 years but notorious for his delays in making driver announcements, weighed in on the move.
“We have known and followed Pippa from her first interest in coming over to America and the IndyCar series,” Coyne said. “Her hard work and dedication are commendable and have shown results. She has qualified for Indy, qualified on pole at Indianapolis for the Indy Lights race, won an Indy Lights race at Kentucky and has been a great asset for the sport.”
Further details to the entry – car number, sponsors and notable crewmembers – will be announced at a later date.
The confirmation brings the number of driver/car combinations to 31 for this year’s race, with two more to go before a full field of 33 is achieved.
The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.
IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.
This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.
INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists
IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.
“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.
“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”
It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.