Pippa Mann encourages women to race beyond gender lines

Mann is 1 of 4 women who qualified for Indy 500

INDIANAPOLIS - Four women have qualified to race in next week’s Indianapolis 500, which goes to show that racing is no longer just a man’s sport.

More women are getting behind the wheel and are pushing for even more of a female presence at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“I love coming out here. I love this sport. I love to watch Dario. I love the enthusiasm, the excitement. I love everything about this sport,” said fan Kellie Howe.

Indy 500 driver Pippa Mann has teamed up with other enthusiasts to encourage young women with a passion for racing to take on motor sports.

“People are going to call you names sometimes. They’re going to lobby abuse at you sometimes. Don’t give up, believe in yourself, surround yourself with really good people and keep working hard,” Mann said.

Jessica Bean is Mann’s Glass Hammer Racing teammate. She shares a similar desire to show women that racing isn’t only for men.

“(We are) kind of showing them, hey, you can do this. There are other women out there doing it, so you can do it too,” Bean said.

Longtime Indy 500 supporter Kandice Wyer said seeing women behind the wheel shows her own daughter that she could possibly grow up to be the first woman to ever take home the Borg-Warner Trophy.

“I would love to see a woman win the 500. I would love it,” Wyer said.

Mann was happy to talk about the progress that women have made so far in the world of racing.

“Things are always progressing. It changes all the time and what’s really cool is recently, there’s been a big swing away from just wanting females to be poster girls. Now we’re allowed to be exactly who you are,” Mann said.

Mann qualified for 30th place out of 33 drivers for the Indy 500 next Sunday May 26.

Follow Ebone Monet on Twitter: @ebonemonet26

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