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.