CONQUEST RACING ROOKIE SCORES TOP 20 INDIANAPOLIS 500 FINISH
INDIANAPOLIS – Conquest Racing’s Pippa Mann had an impressive performance in her Indianapolis 500 IZOD IndyCar debut. One of only two rookies still running at the finish in the caution-filled race, Mann came placed 20th in the No. 36 Armando Montelongo/Loctite Conquest Racing car after starting on the inside of the last row.
The British driver made a clean start and worked her way through the field up to 27th position when the KV Racing Technology – Lotus car of Takuma Sato hit the wall and brought out a caution. Discovering that her in-car water bottle was not working with temperatures in the 80s and climbing, the Conquest Racing team knew their rookie driver was in for a tough afternoon.
The team tried to keep Mann hydrated during pit stops, but by lap 162 it was evident that Mann was struggling with arm and leg cramps caused by the dehydration she was suffering in the cockpit. With around 20 laps to go, the cars ahead of Mann began to peel into the pitlane to take on fuel. The team radioed to Mann that she needed to save fuel in order to make it to the end without having to pit again. Mann battled through the pain to achieve the finish she worked so hard for.
Immediately following the race, Mann was transported to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway infield care center for treatment for dehydration.
“I think I realized when my water bottle wasn’t working on lap one that it was going to be a fairly long race,” Mann said. “But, I’m not sure I realized exactly how long! Before the halfway point at around lap 80, I was starting to go into cramp down my right-hand side from dehydration. The last half of the race was extremely tough.
“To bring the No. 36 Armando Montelongo/Loctite Conquest Racing car home safely after 500 miles was our goal, and I’m so proud that we were able to achieve that today. We managed clean pit stops and re-starts throughout the race, and towards the end, we were just trying to save fuel. We were trying to get to the finish without having to pit again. Thankfully I was able to do what the team needed me to do and we made it to the end of the race.”
Conquest Racing team owner Eric Bachelart said, “I’m happy with how today went. I think Pippa did a really good job, and she’s done a solid job all month. We had a good a car today. The crew and engineers did a good job. Unfortunately we had a problem with the water bottle, and without that we could have been a little bit stronger.
“It was a good solid effort from the whole team and I’m thankful to all the crew that worked on this one-time effort. I can’t praise enough the work that Pippa’s done throughout her time with us. This was her first time ever in an IndyCar and her performance has been very impressive.”
-source: conquest racing