Pippa Mann Homestead test summary

PIPPA MANN IMPRESSES ON OVAL DEBUT AT HOMESTEAD Pippa Mann has this week completed a successful first oval test for Panther Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The young Briton, who had previously only turned laps in the...

PIPPA MANN IMPRESSES ON OVAL DEBUT AT HOMESTEAD

Pippa Mann has this week completed a successful first oval test for Panther Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The young Briton, who had previously only turned laps in the Firestone Indy Lights car on the Sebring road course, ended the day inside the 2008 pole time and a couple of tenths ahead of team mate and fellow Brit Martin Plowman also on his first oval test for the team.

The British duo successfully completed Firestone Indy Lights rookie testing, clearing the way for them to compete for the Firestone Firehawk Cup in 2009. Mann and Plowman ran nearly 300 miles of testing under the supervision of Firestone Indy Lights executive director Roger Bailey and Firestone Indy Lights driver coach Rick Mears.

"The test went very well," Bailey said. "Both were very impressive and running times comparable to (Raphael) Matos in the last race here. Both Pippa and Martin did a very good job of understanding the car and the changes being made to the car, and I think they will be assets to the series."

Mann found the first few laps tough: "The car felt very unsettled in the corners and it took me a while to find the confidence to go flat, but once we mastered this I really enjoyed it. It knocks the breath out of you though I had to remind myself to breathe, which sounds stupid I know, but it's true!"

Mann faces a steep learning curve as she prepares for the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season: "It is one thing being able to turn laps on your own, but running in traffic will be a totally different experience," said Mann, "however it's been a really positive day for us here in Miami, and I'm looking forward to my next run."

Mann's next test will be in two weeks time at the Houston Road Circuit in Texas.

-credit: pmPR

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Series INDYLIGHTS