Pippa Mann will make her Auto GP series debut in the Sonoma Raceway double-header for the European-based open-wheel series. She will join Max Snegirev and Giuseppe Cipriani at the Campos Racing squad for the Sept. 22-23 double-header finale, which will be the co-headliner along with the FIA World Touring Cars. It will be the first U.S. race for either series.
The 29-year-old Briton competed in IndyCar races in 2011, but has been without a drive this year. Mann also spent the 2009 and '10 seasons competing in Firestone Indy Lights, during which time she competed at Sonoma twice. She will be the only driver in the Auto GP field to have previous experience of the California road course.
"I am absolutely thrilled to have the chance to join the Auto GP series – I literally can't put into words how excited I am to be getting back into an open-wheel car," Mann said. "The fact that Sonoma is one of my favorite road tracks in the USA is just a huge, added bonus.
"After the past couple of years it will be a real treat to get to go road racing and to get to turn both left and right again, as it'll be my first non-oval race since 2010. The cars look like a lot of fun to drive, and the moment I get strapped into the Campos Racing Auto GP car for the first time cannot arrive fast enough."
Team boss Adrian Campos added: "I'm really delighted to have Pippa with us. I saw her in action in the Indy Lights in 2010 when she was racing against my son and I always deemed her a quick and consistent driver. That year she took a win and became the first woman to clinch pole in Indianapolis, and that speaks for her.
"Furthermore, it will be good to have a driver with some Sonoma experience in the team, it will make our track learning process much quicker."
Mann becomes the third female to drive in Auto GP, after Natacha Gachnang – who competed in 2010 – and Carmen Jorda, who tested last year.
Auto GP features spec Lola chassis powered by 550hp, 3.4-liter V8 Zytek engines. Each race weekend features doubleheader races, with the grid for the second race on Sunday set by the finishing order of the first, with the top eight positions reversed. The Sunday race runs between the two WTCC races.