Pippa Mann is expected to enter the 2019 Indianapolis 500 with a new team that may include a small technical alliance with AJ Foyt Racing.
The 35-year-old Briton would lead the Chevy-powered Clauson-Marshall Racing effort as the USAC short track racing team owned by Tim Clauson, father of the late Bryan Clauson, and Richard Marshall, longtime sponsor of Clauson’s racing endeavors, makes its first attempt to compete in the 500.
Formed in the wake of young Clauson’s death in 2016, Clauson-Marshall Racing’s participation at Indy would mark an inspiring return of the family’s name to an event where the revered dirt racing talent made three starts in the ‘Greatest Spectacle In Racing.’
RACER has confirmed C-MR will rely on the Foyt team for a chassis that will be supplied as a turnkey solution. Foyt team president Larry Foyt also confirmed the Mann car will not serve as the team’s third entry for the 500. But as a new entrant making its debut at the Indy 500, it would not be a surprise if the Indiana-based squad looks for technical guidance, if needed, from Foyt’s two-car Chevy program featuring 2013 Indy winner Tony Kanaan and sophomore driver Matheus Leist.
Mann, a six-time Indy 500 starter with Dale Coyne Racing, earned a best starting spot of 22nd in 2014 and a top finish of 17th in ’17. She failed to qualify for the 2018 race.
Provided Foyt’s cars maintain the speed they found last year at Indy with Kanaan and Leist, Mann could find herself in the most competitive chassis she’s secured to date.
However, qualifying will remain an imposing proposition for many of the Indy-only teams and drivers due to an anticipated increase in total entries for the race. Where Mann was one of only two drivers who failed to qualify last May, Indy’s car count is likely to be in the 36-38 range this year, meaning three to five entries will not make the 103rd running of the Indy 500.