Conquest Racing and Pippa Mann were all smiles after completing a productive and satisfying test at Texas Motor Speedway on Tuesday.
The test, which was originally planned for Monday, was postponed to Tuesday on account of cold temperatures and high winds in the area. With the weather more cooperative the following day, Mann was finally able to turn her first laps aboard an Indy car.
The driver from Britain quickly found her comfort level in the Conquest Racing machine and thanks to her speedy adaptation to the Dallara-Honda, wasted no time getting up to speed, consistently running competitive lap times.
All while soaking in the experience, Mann was also quick to complete her IndyCar Series rookie test, which allowed the team to move on to the remainder of the day’s testing plan. Although a minor mechanical issue interrupted part of the day, the crew was able to promptly fix the problem and return to the track.
“I had a very good test day," shared Mann. “It's the first time I have driven an Indy car, as well as my first run at Texas Motor Speedway, so before we got started I really didn't know what to expect. It didn’t take much time for me to get comfortable in the car and up to speed. We ran some competitive lap times, both on new and used tires. We lost some track time during the middle of the day with the fuel pump issue, but I can’t thank the guys enough for working so hard to get us back out there, which paid off because we made even more progress after that.
“Overall I'm not only pleased, but excited by how the test went," continued the first woman to drive a Conquest Racing racecar. “I loved my first day in an Indy car as well as the high banks of Texas and running the high speeds."
Mann wasn’t the only one content with her test. Team owner Eric Bachelart was also satisfied with the day at Texas Motor Speedway: “Pippa quickly got up to speed and was setting competitive lap times early on and that isn’t always the case for someone turning their first laps in an Indy car. She did a really great job and provided really good feedback to the team, which helped us to make some changes and make the car even better balanced and faster. Overall I’m very pleased with how the day went and with what we were able to accomplish."
The 2011 IZOD IndyCar Series season gets underway Sunday, March 27 with the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.