Pippa Mann Eric Bachelart, the boss of the Conquest IndyCar racing team, has praised Indy Lights graduate Pippa Mann after her maiden test session with the team at Texas Motor Speedway.

The British driver completed almost a full day’s running for the team, despite being momentarily sidelined by a fuel pump issue, and having the test session postponed by a day due to inclement weather.

“It’s the first time I have driven an Indycar, as well as my first run at Texas Motor Speedway,” Mann said after the session. “It didn’t take much time for me to get comfortable in the car and up to speed. We ran some competitive lap-times, both on new and used tyres.

“I can’t thank the guys enough for working so hard to get us back out there, which paid off because we made even more progress after that.”

The 27-year-old is aiming to be the latest female graduate into the sport and is hoping she can complete a partial IndyCar programme in 2011, specifically concentrating on oval races and the Indianapolis 500.

And it would seem that Bachelart might be keen to utilise her services after her first outing.

“Pippa quickly got up to speed and was setting competitive lap times early on and that isn’t always the case for someone turning their first laps in an IndyCar,” he said.

“She did a really great job and provided really good feedback to the team, which helped us to make some changes and make the car even better balanced and faster. Overall I’m very pleased with how the day went and with what we were able to accomplish.”

Conquest Racing wasn’t the only outfit present at Texas Motor Speedway, with Simona de Silvestro driving for HVM and JR Hildebrand running for Panther Racing. Meanwhile the KV Racing, Ganassi, Penske and Foyt squads ran at Barber Motorsports Park.

The first official ‘open’ pre-season test will occur at Barber on 14-15 March.

[Original image via Flickr]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.