PIPPA MANN AND SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS TEAM UP FOR 2010 FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS CAMPAIGN
INDIANAPOLIS -- With preparations well underway for the 2010 Firestone Indy Lights season, Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced today its first signed driver for its campaign with Englishwoman Pippa Mann joining the team.
"I'm really excited to be joining Sam Schmidt Motorsports for 2010," Mann said. "Sam contacted me after the last race in 2009 through my management team and let me know he would like me to test for his team. For me, going into a long winter with no definite plans for 2010, this was a great opportunity to run with one of the top teams in Firestone Indy Lights."
Mann joins the team after her first season of racing in the U.S.-based circuit, where she made 15 starts and earned three top-ten finishes, including her best finish of eighth at the season finale at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Since that race, she has taken part in a handful of test sessions with Sam Schmidt Motorsports, with both driver and team evaluating one another in pursuing a future campaign together.
Mann said, "Overall, the tests went well, and I was extremely impressed not just with the cars, but with the attitude and atmosphere of the entire organization throughout the test, from team manager, to engineers, to the mechanics, and tire guys. I had an extremely tough learning year in 2009, and my goal for 2010 is to bounce back from that, and come back showing everything that I've learned. Sam's team, with their vast experience and history of running championship winning cars, is a perfect environment for me to accomplish that goal."
"The team is quite pleased with what we've seen in Pippa during initial tests this off-season," team owner, Sam Schmidt, said. "Her pace and consistency has been good, and we're confident that we can provide Pippa with the tools that she needs to move up into the front part of the grid in the 2010 season."
With today's announcement, the two sides officially unite and can begin working towards a competitive 2010 season.