HILLIARD, Ohio (September 11, 2011) – Putting together an Indy Car after a crash is a fairly big undertaking, but it pales in comparison to getting the human body back up to speed after a big hit.
But despite suffering an impact of more than 110 g’s at New Hampshire Motor Speedway less than four weeks ago, Rahal Letterman Lanigan driver Pippa Mann has fought hard to recover from her injuries and was medically cleared this week to return to IZOD Indy Car Series competition. Mann was injured on August 13 when her car spun and had hard contact with the concrete wall at NHIS during practice for the MoveThatBlock.com Indy 225. Chief among her injuries was an end-plate fracture of the C7 vertebrae, which showed up on an MRI exam conducted upon her return to Indianapolis.
“Being cleared to return to the cockpit is like having a huge weight lifted off my shoulders,” Mann said. “I was worried about whether I would heal quickly enough to be cleared in time for my next two races, and now that concern has finally been put to rest. As a nice coincidence, it’s great to be getting back in at a track which I know my way around fairly well. I won at Kentucky last year in the Lights car so I have been pushing extremely hard to get back in the seat for that event. Now that I am cleared to drive, I’m finally able to start getting excited about going back to one of my favorite race tracks!”
The young Brit will drive in a test at Kentucky Speedway on September 23, piloting the Rahal Letterman Lanigan #30 Honda/Dallara/Firestone in advance of the Kentucky Indy 300, which will be run on October 2. Mann is also slated to compete with RLL in the season-ending IZOD Indy Car World Championships at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16.
“Pippa fought very hard at Loudon, trying to learn a difficult track, a new car and a new team all in the same weekend,” said team co-owner Bobby Rahal. “She never quit trying at Loudon, and that attitude helped her recover quickly from her injuries and has put her in position to get back in the car at Kentucky. We expect that Pippa’s experience at Kentucky will help her and the team put together a much better effort both at the test and on the race weekend.”