A Woman Empowered at Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg
A little over a year ago, British racing driver Katherine Legge returned to the United States in an attempt to realize her dream of returning to American open-wheel racing. Giving up a job as a factory driver, which is the dream of most of her European counterparts, seemed like insanity to nearly everyone she encountered in the past 14 months. Yet here Legge was today in her inaugural IZOD IndyCar Series race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, after what must have seemed like the pinnacle of the most difficult climb in motorsports – an entire year without competitive racing.
Her journey would reach a waypoint a mere 70 days ago when she and her sponsor, TrueCar, signed with Dragon Racing. It would then take a team to empower her dream.
In those 70 days, Legge was quickly surrounded by a top-flight team that includes some of the best minds, mechanics, and muscle in all of motorsports. Her new crew worked tirelessly to ready her car, but the wait for an engine would stall their hopes of getting much needed track time, leaving them less than a full day of testing before coming to St. Pete. With a new chassis and a new engine package, that lack of testing would reveal itself today in a number of ways that ultimately left the UK native parked off course in 23rd position with overheated fluids dispensing from her TrueCar machine. The team had been at the mercy of engine management variances all weekend.
“The team did a really good job. I feel like every time we go out, we are learning and improving. It is very difficult to go into a race with less than a day of testing with this new car and new engine,” said Katherine. “We were using today as a test session and were learning a lot. It was unfortunate that we had so many issues that were out of our control. But, that’s what happens when you should have been working these things out in testing. And we didn’t have the capability to do that for obvious reasons.”
Despite the issues that ended her day early, Legge was still happy with her team and the continued dedication and performance.
“From my side, I am happy. We didn’t make any mistakes. The team did a really good job as well and didn’t make any mistakes either. I am sure everyone will leave here and look at all the data and come back next weekend with a lot of issues resolved. So there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend into next weekend at Barber.”
Katherine and her No. 6 TrueCar/Lotus Dragon Racing crew take to the 2.38-mile, 17-turn road course at Barber Motorsports Park, for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama. Katherine will turn her first laps at the scenic Alabama circuit on Friday, March 30, in preparation for the Sunday event. The event will air live Sunday, April 2, on NBC Sports Network.