Katherine Legge

Sato, Legge to be Inducted in Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame

The City of Long Beach, in partnership with the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, announced today the honorees for the 2024 Motorsports Walk of Fame, Katherine Legge and Takuma Sato. The honorees will be inducted during a public ceremony taking place Thursday, April 18, ahead of the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 19-21.

Takuma Sato
Takuma Sato

“We are honored to welcome Katherine Legge and Takuma Sato to the Long Beach Walk of Fame,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “Our Motorsports Walk of Fame serves as a lasting tribute to the legends who have left a memorable mark on Long Beach and the racing community. We look forward to celebrating their remarkable careers during the induction ceremony.”

Legge and Sato will be inducted into the Walk of Fame during a free, open-to-the-public ceremony at 11 a.m. in front of the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center on South Pine Avenue. During the ceremony, each honoree will unveil a 22-inch bronze medallion featuring renditions of their iconic cars and descriptions of their major achievements, enshrining their contributions to motorsports on the Walk of Fame.

“We are thrilled to recognize Katherine and Takuma for their outstanding contributions to the world of motorsports,” said First District Councilwoman Mary Zendejas. “It is a true honor to have their accolades, engraved on exquisite medallions embedded on the sidewalks of our beautiful Downtown shoreline, which will be seen by racing fans from all over world for many years to come.”

“What a privilege it is to present Katherine and Takuma with this prestigious honor,” said Vice Mayor and Second District Councilwoman Cindy Allen. “Their achievements on and off the track have inspired countless individuals to pursue their dreams and the world a better place. We wish them much continued success on all their future endeavors.”

Katherine Legge is the first female to be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame. She is widely recognized as one of the world’s fastest female drivers, has one of the most diverse careers in all of motorsports, and has achieved several “firsts” throughout her career.

Most recently in 2023, she broke the record to become the fastest woman qualifier for the Indianapolis 500 in the race’s 107-year history. She also brought the Acura NSX its first-ever win worldwide in 2017, was the first woman to lead a Champ Car race in 2006, and, here in Long Beach, became the first woman to win a major North American open wheel race in 2005 when she captured the Atlantic Championship race.

She has secured three championships, six race wins, and 15 podium results in her professional driving career, among many other accolades. In her free time, Legge is a Girl Scouts STEM Ambassador and enjoys skiing, cycling, training and competing in triathlons, and yoga. Legge currently competes full time in an Acura NSX GT3 in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.

“I am beyond honored to be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame. My professional racing career started here in 2005, and that win on these iconic streets remains one of the best lifetime memories that I get to carry with me,” said Legge. “I’m humbled to be alongside such legends of our sport, and I can’t express how much this means to me.”

Takuma Sato is a two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and the first Japanese driver to win the race. He is a former Formula One racer who, at the 2013 Grand Prix of Long Beach, became the first-ever Japanese driver to win an INDYCAR SERIES race. Sato has been awarded “Goodwill Ambassador” for the British Embassy in Tokyo, named one of “The Mavericks” of 2019 by Esquire Magazine Japan and one of the nine “2017 Men of the Year” by GQ Magazine Japan.

He appeared as “Sensational Sato” in the “Mickey Spring Grand Prix” episode on “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” which debuted in the U.S. in 2019 and in Japan in 2020. Sato will attempt to win his third Indy 500 this May.

“The tradition, history and heritage of Long Beach, and what it means to be a winner here, are such an honor,” said Sato. “The Walk of Fame at the Grand Prix of Long Beach is a privilege, especially because it is always a race and a track that I love to compete on.

Winning the race here was such a significant moment for me, and I would like to once again extend my heartfelt thanks to the entire AJ Foyt Racing team and the fantastic No.14 car crew for their incredible work. Lastly, I feel honored to be inscribed as one of those who could add a page to Japanese motorsport history.”

After the ceremony, Legge and Sato will sign autographs for those in attendance. For more information, visit lbmotorsportswof.com.

The Motorsports Walk of Fame is a joint project of the City of Long Beach and the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach. It was created in 2006 to honor key contributors to the sport of auto racing, with Dan Gurney and Phil Hill as the inaugural honorees, both of whom greatly contributed to the success of the early days of the Grand Prix of Long Beach. Since then, 35 honorees have been recognized.

The Walk of Fame is located in front of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment building, across from The Pike At Rainbow Harbor entertainment complex on South Pine Avenue. New members are inducted every year as part of the week-long series of events leading up to the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The induction ceremony kicks off the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend which brought more than 190,000 people to Downtown Long Beach in 2023. For more information, visit gplb.com, call 888.827.7333, or follow the race on Facebook at GrandPrixLB, X @GPLongBeach (#AGPLB), Instagram @GPLongBeach and YouTube @GPLongBeach.

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