Two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Pippa Mann, besides her on-track time and searching for sponsorship, has worked very diligently over the last few years to help create fan awareness of the IndyCar Series through her social media presence and active at-track activities.
With the 2014 season now actually “in range” after the four or five months since Fontana last October, Mann and devout IndyCar fan Amy Woedl are working on organizing a fan tweet-up two weeks before the season opener in St. Petersburg. The Indy Fans Tweet-Up will be held March 16 at Fastimes Karting indoor go-kart track in Indianapolis, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Karting, prizes, and surprises will all be on the agenda for the day. Kids over 53 inches can drive the junior karts, with Woedl organizing activities for those under. Glass Hammer Racing and Miles Ahead will both have a presence at the event, and other special guests could potentially make an appearance from the IndyCar media side, and the Mazda Road To Indy driver side. More information is available here.
Months of planning go into these tweet-ups, which can be either formal or informal meet-ups of IndyCar fans to get together in person after interacting on Twitter. In Mann and Woedl’s case, that’s how they met to begin with.
“Amy and I first met at a Glass Hammer Racing Tweet-Up at Mid-Ohio in 2011,” Mann said. “He (Woedl’s son Gage) showed up with a really cool picture of my racing car he had drawn, and was wearing a Pippa cap… As a racing driver we meet a lot of people, but that’s the kind of thing you remember, and that really sticks with you.”
It stuck so much, in fact, that upon Mann’s return to the 500 this past year in Dale Coyne’s No. 63 Cyclops Gear Honda, she presented Gage with the chance to hold onto her steering wheel.
“The Indy 500 was incredible, and he still talks about how cool it was to see a garage on the inside and how the wheel felt,” Woedl explained. “She has given Gage some pretty incredible memories, and the mom side of me is always grateful to Pippa for that!”
“His face when I handed him the steering wheel to look at was a picture!” added Mann.
As for the tweet-up itself, it’s not the first such IndyCar-related version. The Official Winter Indy Tweet-Up, organized by Monica Hilton and Elizabeth Lenzi in years past, is not going ahead this year due to other obligations and commitments.
“They are the reason the fans wanted an event this winter, and they are the reason we even had the idea to try and organize a fan event in Indy before St Pete,” Mann said.
Both Mann and Woedl have discussed the idea of doing more such events throughout the year at IndyCar events, as their time and schedules permit.
It’s an active, fan-friendly event that should do a good job of gathering a collection of IndyCar aficionados in one place and at good rates to generate excitement for the 2014 season, and it’s cool to see an active driver and devout fan put it together.