MotorSportsTalk continues its look through the drivers who competed in the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series season. Pippa Mann is next up, having completed six races as an oval specialist for Dale Coyne Racing.
Pippa Mann, Nos. 18 and 63 Dale Coyne Racing Honda
2014: Competed in Indianapolis 500, and full-time IndyCar Radio analyst
2015: 29th Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 13th, Best Start 17th, 21.8 Avg. Start, 18.7 Avg. Finish
Mann remains a fan favorite and, as one of two oval-only drivers this year, a driver utilized more frequently than in recent years. Indianapolis, Texas, Fontana and Pocono provided respectable finishes, most notably at Fontana where she ran as high as eighth and ended 13th.
Six starts, interestingly, were the most she’d made in a single season since her last full year in Indy Lights in 2010. To her credit, she was top finishing Coyne driver in four of her six starts, and was one of only six drivers to finish all three 500-mile races (Scott Dixon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Simon Pagenaud, Carlos Munoz and James Jakes).
The Milwaukee and Iowa short ovals were always going to be difficult for her in her first running in a high downforce setup in IndyCar, and fighting handling issues. A return to Pocono brought a return of the same comfort level as experienced in 2013, even despite an early race gearbox issue, with her best qualifying and race results of her career to show for it.
Her pluck and grit often shines through in the face of adversity, which she faced in her starts this year, but did not knock her down. Ever the fighter, consistently determined, she’ll keep working to continue to improve and remain a part of the paddock.
“I’m so excited to join Andretti United Extreme E,” Munnings said in a release. ““I was really intrigued when I first heard about Extreme E, I just knew I had to be involved. The male / female racing partnership is a fantastic and exciting new concept. The season has incredible locations and the racing will be very exciting. It will be a new challenge for the teams and drivers, and I’m so thrilled to be working with such a strong team.
“The championship is a really innovative concept, it’s combining motorsport and science and will produce an important legacy in each race location. Bringing the platform that motorsport has in line with the awareness that the planet needs right now is awesome and a really important message.”
Said Hansen: “Going into the Extreme E will be a new chapter in my career, one that I am extremely excited about. It is something brand new, not only for me, but the whole of motorsport. The format is something
we’ve never seen before. I’m also delighted to be able to carry the message of something bigger – talking about the environment and doing something good for the world – that’s something that really drives me. It’s going to be a big adventure in life to see these locations and I’m going to do my best in carrying this responsibility and hopefully making people aware of the challenges we have in the world, together with our passion for racing.”