Clauson-Marshall Racing will make its IndyCar debut in the 2019 Indianapolis 500, with Pippa Mann piloting the No. 39 Driven2SaveLives Chevrolet.
The 35-year-old Londoner will attempt to make her seventh start in the Greatest Spectacle in Auto Racing. Mann’s best career finish was 17th in 2017.
“Last year, here, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on race day I was not in a race car. I was not getting ready to race,” Mann said after failing to qualify. “After the field of 33 took the green flag, I was in our suite trying to look after all of the people that had put together our entry for last year’s Indianapolis 500. I get to do this once a year. I don’t get to get back in the car the next weekend if something goes wrong at Indy.
“For me, as someone who only gets to do this once a year, I thought that was it. I didn’t think I’d get the opportunity to come back here.”
Her fears were soon allayed. It was in that suite on race day that owner Tim Clauson approached Mann.
Clauson’s son Bryan was Mann’s teammate in the 2016 Indy 500, his third start in the event. A USAC champion who competed in both IndyCar and NASCAR, Clauson was a registered organ and tissue donor when he died from race-related injuries on August 7, 2016. His donation saved five lives.
To honor his son’s memory, Tim Clauson joined forces with Richard Marshall and Clauson-Marshall was formed later that year. But Clauson continues to pay it forward, fielding USAC Sprint Cars. The IndyCar effort with Mann is an extension of his grassroots operation.
“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,” Clauson said. “Now, we are honored to have an entry in the Greatest Spectacle in Racing. We are especially honored to partner with Driven2SaveLives after organ and tissue donation became an important part of our lives in 2016.
“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. 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.”
Clauson partnered with Mann to bring the program to fruition. They enlisted Driven2SaveLives—an Indiana Donor Network Campaign focused on raising awareness for organ, tissue and eye donations and transplants—as the sponsor.
Yes, Mann is delighted to attempt another run at the Indy 500, but the ability to work with Clauson-Marshall Racing and Driven2SaveLives--and to carry Bryan's number--makes the program more rewarding.
“The big thing about this program is it’s formed on friendship,” Mann said during the announcement at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday. “I’m here as the driver for Clauson-Marshall Racing due to the friendship of Tim and Richard, their kind friendship towards me and the friendship of Bryan before that. When we were teammates in 2016, our friendship was one of respect. We knew we only got to do this once a year, only got to race this kind of car once a year. And we both knew how much work on and off the track that took. We were working in the engineering room and we enjoyed being teammates so much that we were already trying to hatch a plan to come back as teammates in 2017. Instead, in 2017, I was asked to join the Driven2SaveLives campaign in Bryan’s memory.
"So, for me, it is an absolute honor to be standing here today—not only as a driver of Clauson-Marshall Racing—but representing this cause, representing Driven2SaveLives and helping them register more donors than ever before to save more lives from this racing program at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”