Last week a well-known British tabloid published an interview with British race car driver, Pippa Mann, the first ever British woman to contest the Indianapolis 500. For reasons that will be obvious to anyone who follows the American IndyCar Series, it was a tasteless article which Mann was subsequently furious about.
It was supposed to be an article about Mann’s return to the cockpit, looking forward to the future and her plans to compete in next year’s Indy 500.
However, the newspaper in question chose the most tactless and insensitive title (but one which was great for link bait) and republished a photograph of the tragic Las Vegas crash, that any publication with a modicum of respect for the families of motor racing drivers would have avoided doing.
It was especially galling since Mann and her agent had made it a condition of the interview, that no photos from the crash would be published with the piece.
Don’t go looking for the article question, it’s crass, poorly written and misrepresents the sentiments shared by Mann during the interview. Instead Pippa has asked us to direct you towards the following post on her Facebook page, entitled “In My Words”.
It takes a special kind of determination to contest the fastest racing series in the world, and even more so to return to that series in the aftermath of such tragic circumstances.
Mann intends to be back on the IndyCar grid next year and try and repeat her Indy Lights feat and get the pole at the Indy 500 in “one of the big cars”. We wish her well and hope she achieves her goal.
Britain has just a handful of world-class female drivers, who’ve won championships and races on their own terms, without needing excuses to be made for their gender.
But we live in a world where the media like to exploit our sports stars for that extra boost in their traffic, so it’s up to us to vote with our eyeballs and choose to read from quality titles rather than those which are most prominent.
You know who the responsible motorsport journalists write for, but if not, just ask – we’ll be only too happy to point them out.