Sonoma: Pippa Mann race report

STRONG COMEBACK FOR PIPPA MANN Pippa Mann finished the Carneros 100 from Infineon Raceway in a credible fifth place her career best Firestone Indy Lights finish since joining the series in 2009. The result marks a sensational comeback for the ...

STRONG COMEBACK FOR PIPPA MANN

Pippa Mann finished the Carneros 100 from Infineon Raceway in a credible fifth place her career best Firestone Indy Lights finish since joining the series in 2009. The result marks a sensational comeback for the young Brit, after she was forced to sit out of the previous round at Mid-Ohio following surgery to her broken hand.

In only her first day back in the car since the operation four weeks ago, Mann captured her best road-course qualifying result of the year. Getting a good start from seventh on the grid, Mann fought to hold onto the position but was pushed down into eighth by a charging Adrian Campos Jr. (Team Moore Racing).

Mann continued to fight hard for position, and was up to sixth on lap 11 when a full-course yellow was brought out for an incident between Dan Clarke (Walker Racing) and Bryan Herta Autosport's Sebastian Saavedra .

On the re-start, the #11 Sam Schmidt Motorsports machine came under pressure from team mate Alex Ellis in the #77 car. However Mann stayed ahead, and when the chequered flag waved for her team mate J.K. Vernay to take the win, Mann brought the #11 car home in a strong fifth place.

Commenting on the race, Mann said: "About 10 laps into the race I locked up my front wheels braking for the hairpin. It's an area I've been struggling with a little this weekend, and I flat spotted my tyres. From that point on, I had to give up some time in the braking zones to manage the tyres and do my best to stop them from deteriorating too quickly. By the end of the race they were completely square, and the vibration from them was terrible, but they hung on for me. We had a good clean race with no mistakes, and coupling that with the speed we found this weekend, we were able to come away with a really good result.

"I was struggling for enough strength in my hand, and that got more difficult as the race went on too, but again, like the tyres, it was just another situation which I had to stay on top of and manage."

Mann added: "The team have done a fantastic job. We've all been working so hard all year, and we've shown this potential on several occasions - it's great to finally have the whole weekend come together for a good result."

Mann will be back in action next weekend, when the Firestone Indy Lights Series returns to oval racing as it heads to Chicagoland Speedway in Illinois.

-source: pippa mann PR

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Bryan Herta , Sam Schmidt , Pippa Mann , Daniel Clarke , Adrian Campos , Sebastian Saavedra
Teams Bryan Herta Autosport