Rahal Letterman Lanigan Returns To Loudon, Pippa Mann Debuts With Team
HILLIARD, Ohio (August 10, 2011) – The last time a Rahal Letterman Lanigan Indy Car turned a wheel at the one-mile New Hampshire Motor Speedway oval - a young Pippa Mann was contemplating what life as a teenager would be like, having just turned 12 years old.
Now with 16 years and all of the mandatory teenage angst behind her, Pippa Mann is now set to contemplate life as an IZOD Indy Car Series driver as the young Brit prepares to join Rahal Letterman Lanigan in the first event of a three-race partnership. The trio of Indy Car races gets the green flag this weekend at Loudon’s New Hampshire Motor Speedway, where Mann will look to make just the second start of her burgeoning Indy Car career.
"So far this year I have gone from having no races, to one race, and from that race to having three more races!” Mann said. “It feels like it has been a long lay off since the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the Indy 500, and I can't wait to get back on track this weekend for my second IZOD Indy Car Series race, and my first with Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing!”
Mann has big shoes to fill in piloting an RLL Indy Car around the Loudon bullring. Team co-owner Bobby Rahal dominated the inaugural event there in 1992, leading 136 of 200 laps on his way to the victory. In the three races he competed in before the series left NHMS, Rahal finished in the top 10 in each one.
“This is a track that holds great memories for me and any time you win the inaugural event at a track, you are going to remember it fondly,” Rahal recalled. “This place was a big part of my last championship in 1992, and I am glad to see the track hosting open-wheel racing again. I am excited about getting back in the Indy Car series and believe that Pippa has shown the work ethic and the talent that you need to compete and do well here, so we are looking for a good weekend for her and the team.”
Mann tested the #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone last month, getting in a full day of running alongside championship contender Will Power. Mann ran trouble-free all day and believes that the test will prove to be beneficial in a number of areas.
"It's a tricky, rough one mile bull ring, and the experience of running there around 26 other Indy cars is going to be very different from being one of the only cars on track,” reported Mann. “I also have to remember that I am a rookie, and this is only my second event as opposed to everyone else who has been racing all year. That being said, we had a positive and productive test, and I am excited to take to the track and see how we stack up against everyone else out there! I am also pleased to be carrying the colors of National Tire and Battery, and hopefully we'll get the Red #30 up towards the top of the time sheets where she belongs!"