Plowman to Start 11th at Watkins Glen, Teammate Pippa Mann 15th
Panther's Firestone Indy Lights Teammates Hope Luck will Turn on Scenic Upstate NY Track

WATKINS GLEN, NY. (July 3, 2009) -- Panther Racing Firestone Indy Lights driver Martin Plowman led the team's qualification efforts Friday in preparation for tomorrow afternoon's Corning 100 at Watkins International Raceway with an 11th-place qualification effort. Plowman's teammate, Pippa Mann, qualified in the 15th position as both English drivers will be making their first career start on the 11-turn, 3.37-mile permanent road course.

During the 45-minute qualifying session, Plowman posted a best lap speed of 123.005 mph, 1:38.6298 seconds. Pippa's best lap of the session was clocked at 120.726 mph, 1:40.4924 seconds, and marked her best qualification effort of the season on a non-oval course, besting her previous high of 20th, recorded earlier in the year on the Streets of St. Petersburg.

Both rookie drivers collected their career best finishes during a recent stretch of oval races, with Plowman posting a fifth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway and Mann recording a ninth-place result at the challenging Milwaukee Mile.

The Corning 100 will take place tomorrow afternoon, at 1:00 pm., with coverage provided by and will also be re-broadcast on VERSUS.

The Camping World Grand Prix at the Glen will be broadcast live on ABC on Sunday, July 5th at 1 p.m. with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network and Sirius XM Channel 211.

Martin Plowman, No. 15 Firestone Indy Lights

"Coming into this weekend I was very confident that we would make a difference at this kind of track and we knew all along that only 45 minutes to get up to speed and get the car right is just hard. On top of that we had a little technical problem in the morning practice but I was confident that I could find the time in qualifying. We improved one second from our morning time (during qualifying), but it was still not enough to get us up there. To start in 11th place is not what we look for when we get to the track, but we will continue to improve tomorrow in the warm-up and the race."

Pippa Mann, No. 16 Firestone Indy Lights

"We lost a big part of the first session this morning and a bit of qualifying because of an oil leak that appears to be fixed now. This is a very cool circuit and I liked it a lot but there is a lot of stuff that I still need to learn about how to get around here quick. We closed the gap from this morning, and improved the car, but no racing driver is happy about qualifying 15th on the grid. We will keep improving tomorrow during the morning practice and again during the race and hopefully get a shot at the Top Ten tomorrow."

-credit: pr