MANN FINISHES FINAL RACE IN WORLD SERIES
British racer Pippa Mann has claimed yet another top 15 finish as she brought her P1 car across the line in 13th position, for the second time at the final round of the World Series by Renault 3.5 season in Barcelona. This signifies the end of her time with Renault, P1 Motorsport, and her European racing career, as she now heads to the U.S. to begin a new chapter with Indy Lights team Panther Racing.
Mann was placed in 17th position as the lights went out and her final race got underway. Making a solid start, the No.22 car headed down the main straight and into the first corner emerging unscathed and in amongst the midfield. On lap five, Mann was still running in 17th place, and with the ptistop window now open, Mann sailed up the order as her peers made their mandatory pitstops.
On lap 16, Mann pitted from the lead one of the last cars to do so and the P1 crew changed all four of her tyres in the hope that they would make up time with a tyre advantage on the circuit. Exiting the pitlane in 16th place, Mann began to push to gain track position with just eight laps to go.
The team's gamble paid off, and Mann's pace saw her set the third fastest lap of the race, finally bringing the car home in a commendable 13th position.
Speaking about the race, Mann said: "The handling was great on new tyres but after about five laps they started to go off there was a big disparity in handling between old and new tyres, and this meant I wasn't able to perform consistently throughout the race. I'm pleased with two consecutive top 15 finishes, but disappointed we weren't able to score any points here in Barcelona."
Looking back over the year, the young Briton commented: "It's been a tough season, and I've struggled more in '08 than I think we did in my debut year in FR 3.5. I think it is character building and I've learnt a lot. The team has been fantastic to work with and I'll be sorry to move on having spent two years with P1 and Roly Vincini. I'm sorry we weren't able to clinch the team's championship but very pleased for Giedo (van der Garde) and the driver's title. I have no doubt P1 will continue the success they've enjoyed this year, and I wish them all the very best."
Mann is now able to focus all her efforts towards the challenges that await her across the pond: "I can't wait to get started my initial test last week was fantastic and I really enjoyed my brief introduction to life in Indianapolis, Panther Racing, and of course the Indy Lights car. For my entire career in cars I have been with Renault championships, so of course it'll be a huge change for me. However it's one that I'm very much looking forward to, and now this weekend is over it's time to begin a new stage in my career which is very exciting."