By: Tanner Watkins
May 27, 2019 | 11:00 AM
It was a month to remember for Pippa Mann, for more than a few reasons.
First and foremost, the British driver had the opportunity to come back and race at the Indianapolis 500 just one year removed from a heartbreaking Bump Day in 2018 that saw her miss the race. To make things even sweeter, Mann was able to team up with Clauson-Marshall Racing – a team that bears the name of Bryan Clauson, a dear friend who passed while racing sprint cars.
While piloting the Driven2SaveLives Chevrolet, Mann had the chance to promote a cause that she truly believes in – organ donation – while racing in affiliation with A.J. Foyt Racing. The culmination of this wild ride came on Sunday, where Mann recorded her career-best finish at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing by placing 16th.
After starting the race 30th, Mann dropped to 31st after the first lap and then methodically began her climb. By Lap 50, Mann was up to 26th, and by the race’s midpoint she had climbed to 24th.
Mann was still in 24th on Lap 165 when she began to mount a valiant charge. By the Lap 177, the No. 39 Clauson-Marshall entry was all the way up to 14th place when a caution came out on the next lap. After pit stops she dropped to 17th before picking up one final spot at the end.
At the beginning of the month, Mann stated on multiple occasions that if their team could click off a solid, mistake-free May with clean execution, a top-15 result was entirely achievable. By finishing on the lead lap with a career-best result in her back pocket, it appears that May 2019 was a success.
“Our goal coming into this month was to be smart, do the right things and have an error-free month in the No. 39 Clauson-Marshall Racing Driven2SaveLives Chevrolet. Today, I feel like we went out there and we executed that plan,” Pippa said.
“This was an entirely new group of people we put together, and I’m really proud of how the Driven2SaveLives car ran out there on the racetrack. I also want to thank Chevy again for all of their support this month and I feel that finishing 16th in our first Indianapolis 500 together is a really strong way to start this partnership.”
Mann, who only races in the Indianapolis 500 these days and will go back to her day job as a performance driving instructor this week, will immediately go back to fundraising and building on a program for the 2020 Indianapolis 500.
With a committed partner on her side and the support of a tight-knit race team, the hope is that this team can return intact for next year’s event by taking yesterday’s effort and aiming for more.
Header image by Walter Kuhn/INDYCAR.
Open-Wheels coverage of the 2019 month of May at Indianapolis is presented by Driven 2 Save Lives. Driven 2 Save Lives, an entity of the Indiana Donor Network, is a program that utilizes motorsports as a platform to encourage race fans to become organ donors. Currently, there are 114,000 individuals that are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Register as an organ, tissue, and eye donor at Driven2SaveLives.org/register and follow Driven2SaveLives on Facebook and Twitter.