For the first time in the history of the Indianapolis 500, two women will be on the same team as Pippa Mann announced today she will be joining Ana Beatriz and Justin Wilson at Dale Coyne Racing for the Indianapolis 500.
Mann returns to Indianapolis two years after her only appearance in the Indianapolis 500 to date. She finished twentieth in 2011, the second highest rookie behind Charlie Kimball who finished thirteenth. Mann made one more start at Kentucky and was in the abandoned Las Vegas round where she suffered a pinky injury in the lap 11 accident that halted the race.
Mann's history in Indy Lights at the Speedway is not much to brag about. A twenty-first and sixteenth in her two Freedom 100 starts, however she was the pole winner for the 2010 Freedom 100 and went on to win at Kentucky later that season while finishing second at Chicagoland.
Mann is the thirty-first announced entrant for the Indianapolis 500 and the sixteenth announced Honda-powered car. Honda previously announced seventeen engine packages would be prepared for the Indianapolis 500 with Schmidt Peterson Motorsports, Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing and AJ Foyt Racing all rumored as potential teams to run an additional car at Indianapolis.
Meanwhile, many names have been thrown around running a Chevrolet this May. Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star reported Townsend Bell is likely to end up at Panther Racing, Bryan Clauson is working on a deal at KV Racing Technology, Buddy Lazier has bought the DW12 chassis used by Fan Force United and Jean Alesi last year and Ed Carpenter Racing is the rumored destination for the 1996 Indianapolis 500 winner. This leaves 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice, Jay Howard and Jaques Lazier on the outside looking in for the month of May. Chevrolet has not put out a limit on Indianapolis 500 engine programs.
Practice for the Indianapolis 500 begins Saturday May 11th. This weekend IndyCar will be racing on the streets of São Paulo for the fourth edition of the Itaipava São Paulo Indy 300. Look out for the For The Love of Indy Track Walk later this week.