British racing driver Pippa Mann will return to the Indianapolis 500 later this year after signing a one-race deal with Clauson-Marshall Racing; a team embarking on their first start in the famous race. The team have partnered with the Driven2SaveLives campaign, as well as Ross Motorsport, to help get onto the grid in May.
Clauson-Marshall Racing, a Sprint Car racing team founded in memory of the late Bryan Clauson – who was tragically killed in a Sprint Car race in 2016 – will make the huge step-up into the world of the NTT IndyCar Series in May when they take part in the 2019 Indianapolis 500.
The team, founded by Bryan’s father, Tim Clauson, and Richard Marshall made the announcement today at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that Pippa Mann, who has six Indy 500 starts to her name, will race for the team; piloting the #39 Driven2SaveLives Clauson-Marshall Racing Chevrolet in May. The car was also unveiled today at IMS.
Following today’s announcement, Tim Clauson would go on to explain how he was honoured to have his team on the grid at Indianapolis; especially after having previously watched his Son racing at the Speedway in the famous race.
“In 2012, it was a privilege to come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as a dad to a driver who was competing in his first Indy 500. Now, we are honoured to have an entry in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. We are especially honoured to partner with Driven2SaveLives after organ and tissue donation became an important part of our lives in 2016,” said Clauson.
Clauson went on to state that the team was “fortunate” to have Pippa Mann on driving duties, explaining that the way that she had handled the disappointment of failing to qualify for the 2018 Indianapolis 500 had inspired the team to sign her up for this year.
“Merging our dirt programs with the Indy 500 program is very important to our future, and we are fortunate to have Pippa Mann behind the wheel.” Clauson continued, “After watching the way she handled the circumstances of last year with such grace, we were sure that if we could help her return to the Speedway, we would.”
Pippa Mann will be joined at Clauson-Marshall Racing by her partners at Driven2SaveLives; a campaign by the Indiana Donor Network to use motorsports to raise awareness of the importance of organ, tissue and eye donation. Mann has long been an advocate of donating and also previously was a team-mate of Bryan Clauson; making today’s announcement particularly special for her.
“I am so thankful for this opportunity to join Clauson-Marshall Racing for their first Indianapolis 500,” Mann said today, “This is more than just a car entry to me and the journey has been an emotional one. Carrying the #39, and the Driven2SaveLives campaign on my Chevy entry is an honour that I don’t take lightly, and I’m grateful to Tim Clauson, Richard Marshall and Stanley Ross for believing in me.”
With Clauson-Marshall Racing’s #39 entry for the 103rd running of the Indianapolis 500 confirmed today, the thirty-three car grid limit looks very likely to be exceeded, with further entry confirmations expected from the likes of Harding Steinbrenner Racing, Juncos Racing, Carlin and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.
The potential size of the entry list this year almost certainly confirms that a number of drivers will be eliminated from the grid after bump-day qualifying. Last year, Pippa Mann was eliminated along with James Hinchcliffe. Mann and Clauson-Marshall Racing will be hoping that history does not repeat itself this time around.
The 2019 Indianapolis 500 will be the sixth round of the upcoming 2019 NTT IndyCar Series. The series itself will kick-off with the season-opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on Sunday, March 10. Testing for the Indy 500 is set to get underway at the end of April, with the race itself taking place on Sunday, May 26.