Current World Series by Renault driver Pippa Mann has confirmed that she will join former league champions Panther Racing in 2009’s Firestone Indy Lights lineup.
“I’m extremely excited to be joining Panther Racing,” Mann said. “Having spent time with them over the summer, I am very impressed with the way in which the entire team works and I look forward to being a part of their 2009 Firestone Indy Lights campaign. Much of this is going to be new to me – especially racing on ovals – but I’m ready for the challenge and know that I’ll be surrounded by a wealth of experience from which I can learn. It’s a truly fantastic opportunity for me and I’m very grateful to everyone who has made this possible. I cannot wait to get started.”
Mann joins former F3 Euro Series driver Martin Plowman as part of the team’s developmental lineup next year. Last season was the first in which Panther had a multiple-car lineup in Indy Lights, and it was also one of the team’s most successful with four victories, a pole position and a combined nine Top Five and 11 Top Ten finishes.
Team co-owner John Barnes explained, “Pippa is another tremendous addition to our developmental program. We feel like she has a lot of room to grow and we’re going to give her all the tools she needs to continue the success Panther has had with its Indy Lights program. Pippa and Martin (Plowman) give us two dynamic and talented drivers for next season, and we’ll see how the rest of the offseason plays out in terms of expanding our Indy Lights program even further.”
Firestone Indy Lights is a developmental series sanctioned by the Indy Racing League, and was originally founded as a means of introducing new talent to the IndyCar Series. Under various different names, the series has produced many successful champions including Tony Kanaan and current IndyCar champion Scott Dixon.
For 2008 Mann continues to honor her World Series by Renault commitments, as she arrives this weekend in Estoril for the penultimate race of the FR 3.5 season. With two top ten finishes already this year, the young British driver will be hoping to further add to her points tally at what is her favorite circuit on the calendar.
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