Unlucky end to a great year

Pippa Mann’s night came to an abrupt end on Saturday, when the No.18 Cyclops Gear car made unavoidable contact with the wall, having completed 68 laps of the MAVTV 500.

Mann had already endured a difficult weekend, but she took the green flag at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, and was lapping consistently in her Dale Coyne Racing machine.  Just before the second round of pit stops, the Dragon Racing entry of Sebastian Saavedra got into trouble ahead of the No.18 car.  The Columbian spun in front of Mann – his tyre coming away from the rim and across the track, leaving her with nowhere to go but up and into the wall.

Thankfully unscathed, Mann spoke about the incident: “That was a rough end to a tough weekend. The track was extremely slippery tonight, and we were battling a few handling issues out there, but I was learning all the time. I really feel for Sebastian, as it looked like he was having a good night, but I guess he had a cut tyre or something. Into turn three I saw his car snap sideways and sparks flew up as it hit the ground where the tyre came off the rim. There was nothing he could do about it, but unfortunately, it also left me with nowhere to go. I'm glad I managed to miss him and the tyre, but I bent some suspension on the outside wall. A rough end to the night for both of us, but I'm glad we're both okay.”

Mann’s team mate Justin Wilson also retired from the race after being involved in a multicar crash, when one of his tyres got caught up in the notorious seams in the track.  Wilson was transferred to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center with complaints of lower back pain, and tests later revealed that he has non-operable pelvic fractures and a small pulmonary contusion.

Mann added: “It has been such a tough weekend for our entire team, and right now my main thoughts are with Justin, as opposed to what happened to me, and I sincerely hope he has a quick recovery.  I’d also like to congratulate Scott Dixon on winning his third IndyCar championship – an awesome achievement and thoroughly deserved.  And finally, I just want to take a moment to thank Dale Coyne Racing, Cyclops Gear and Honda, for getting me back out in an Indycar in 2013. This year might not have ended up on the note I was looking for, but I had the chance to work with some really amazing people this year at Dale Coyne Racing, and I am pleased to have brought the Cyclops Gear brand to IndyCar in 2013.”

Author: PippaMann.com

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