When Simona DeSilvestro drove in the Indianapolis 500 two years ago, I thought a new era of women drivers in the race was about to begin. While that didn’t happen, today’s announcement gives me new hope of consistently having a woman driver in the race. Jamie Chadwick is in the NXT Series, and she may be in the race in a couple of years. I know this ride is just a one off, but a good result may bolster chances for a return.
In my opinion, Legge is the top female driver in the world.
Legge’s two Indy 500 appearances were pretty much the same. She started 30th in 2012 and finished22nd. In 2013 she started last and finished 26th. Legge will have her best shot at success this year in a Rahal prepared car.
Thanks to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for making this happen.
The team announcement:
ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (February 9, 2023) – Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) announced today that Hendrickson, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of suspension systems and components to the commercial transportation industry, will be the primary sponsor of the team’s No. 44 Honda-powered entry for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500. Katherine Legge, who is one of 9 women to compete in the Indy 500, will return to the team to pilot the entry for her third appearance in the race.
British driver Legge, who currently races an Acura NSX GT3 full time in the GTD class in IMSA, scored a win and pole with RLL in the Jaguar I-PACE eTROPHY series in the 2018/2019 ABB FIA Formula E season and finished on the podium three times in 10 races. She competed in the Champ Car World Series fulltime in 2006-07 and made 10 Indy car starts in 2012 while sharing an entry with four-time Indy car champion Sebastien Bourdais at Dragon Racing. In total, she has made 39 Champ or Indy car starts with a best finish of sixth, two times. A long time Honda/Acura competitor, she brought NSX its first win worldwide in Detroit in 2017.
Hendrickson joined the team as an associate sponsor in 2019 and created a purpose-built engineering support trailer that made its debut at the 2019 Indianapolis 500. The trailer enables the team to maximize the information sharing between their three fulltime INDYCAR programs at each of the race events in the interest of performance. Hendrickson extended their partnership with the team in 2022 and expanded it to become the primary sponsor of Christian Lundgaard’s entry at the Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio last year. This will be their second appearance as a primary sponsor of a racing event.
The 2023 NTT INDYCAR SERIES season begins with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg which will be broadcast live on NBC on Sunday, March 5 at 12 p.m. EDT. All on-track action can be seen on NBC or NBC’s Peacock Premium streaming service or USA Network. For more information about the series or team, visit http://www.indycar.com and http://www.rahal.com.
Hendrickson, a Boler company, is a leading global manufacturer and supplier of medium- and heavy-duty mechanical, elastomeric and air suspensions; integrated and non-integrated axle and brakes systems; tire pressure control systems; auxiliary lift axle systems; parabolic and multi-leaf springs; stabilizers; bumpers; and components to the global commercial transportation industry. Hendrickson, based in Woodridge, Ill., USA, continues to meet the needs of the transportation industry for more than 100 years. Visit Hendrickson at www.hendrickson-intl.com.
About Katherine Legge
Legge, a native of Guildford, United Kingdom, currently competes fulltime in an Acura NSX GT3 for Gradient Racing in the GTD class in IMSA. Her resume includes experience in Formula 3, Formula Renault, a Formula One test, Champ Car, Indy car, A1GP, DTM, Formula E and sports car racing. Legge was the first woman to win pole in a Zetec race in 2000. One year later she won BRDC’s “Rising Star” award. In November 2005 she became the first woman to test a Formula One car since Sarah Fisher in 2002. Legge competed in the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2005, winning the series opener in Long Beach in her first career start to become the first woman to win a developmental open wheel race in North America. She finished the 2005 Atlantic season third in the championship with three wins and five podiums. She moved up to PKV Racing in Champ Car in 2006 and became the first woman to lead a lap in that series when she led Lap 12 at Milwaukee and went on to earn an Indy car career best finish there of sixth. She later had a massive crash at Road America but was largely uninjured and able to compete in the final two races of the season. She competed for Dale Coyne Racing in 2007 and matched her best series finish of sixth at Long Beach and earned her best Indy car start of eighth, twice, before returning to Europe to compete in the DTM touring car series from 2008-2010 where she was an Audi factory driver. After a one-year hiatus from racing, she joined Dragon Racing’s IndyCar Series team in 2012 but a short-lived Lotus program led to the team only being able to secure one Chevrolet engine for two drivers and Legge only competed on oval tracks. She moved to the Delta Wing sports car program from 2013-2015 and also competed in two Formula E races with Amlin Aguri in the 2014/2015 season. She spent three seasons with Meyer Shank Racing from 2017-2019 in a factory-backed Acura GTD program and earned four wins and 11 podium finishes – including the first win worldwide for NSX in Detroit in 2017. In 2020, she competed in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in a Lamborghini in the GTD class before switching her focus to a European-based racing program. She signed with Richard Mille Racing to take part in the 2020 European Le Mans Series and 24 Hours of Le Mans in the LMP2 prototype category but was injured in a pre-season testing crash after a tire failure at the Paul Ricard circuit and missed the remainder of the season while recovering from her injuries. In 2021-2022, she returned to IMSA as lead driver for Team Hardpoint, driving a Porsche 911 in the GTD class and currently competes in an Acura NSX in the GTD class for Gradient Racing in 2023. She and her co-drivers recently finished fourth in class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona. In her free time, she is a Girl Scouts STEM Ambassador and enjoys skiing, cycling, training and competing in triathlons, yoga and is a vegan athlete. Legge is the second female race car driver to compete for RLL. Danica Patrick competed in the Atlantic Series with the team from 2003-2004 and in the IndyCar Series from 2005-2006.
KATHERINE LEGGE, driver of the No. 44 Hendrickson Dallara/Honda/Firestone: “I am thrilled to be back at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the biggest race in the world, the Indy 500. Bobby gave me my first chance to win races for the team in the Jaguar I-PACE series a few years ago and it feels like a homecoming of sorts to be back with the team, especially seeing as I’m also very proud to be back with HPD in IMSA, and now in the INDYCAR SERIES. Racing at Indy with an Indy 500-winning team and with Honda is an amazing opportunity, and one I am very grateful for and intend to make the most of. I’m hoping I can learn from my teammates and team members, and transition smoothly back to open wheel racing for May. I can’t wait to get to work!”
JEFF SASS, Vice President of Marketing, Hendrickson: “Hendrickson is very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. We, at Hendrickson, are excited to have Katherine Legge driving the Hendrickson Honda No. 44 car at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the Indy 500. We expect to be kneeling down next to Bobby, Dave, Mike and Katherine kissing the bricks Memorial Day weekend.”
BOBBY RAHAL, Co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “After more than a few attempts, I’m happy to announce that Katherine will join us in our Hendrickson Honda for the 107th running of the Indy 500. I’ve been a fan of Katherine’s for many years and know that, in the right situation, she can be competitive and figure into the outcome at the end of the race. She has driven for us before in the Jaguar electric program and won from pole in Mexico City and finished on the podium several times, so it is nice to have her back with us to work together at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time. I know she looks at this as a chance to show everybody what she really can do.”
MIKE LANIGAN, Co-owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing: “We are looking forward to seeing the No. 44 Hendrickson entry at the Greatest Spectacle in Racing – the Indy 500 – and welcoming Katherine back to the team. The Lanco Group of Companies has used Hendrickson suspension components for many years and it is great to work with them in the NTT INDYCAR SERIES. They have been a great partner over the years, and we are looking forward to a long future and exciting May.”
2 thoughts on “Katherine Legge Returns to Indy”
I agree with your assessment of Legge. I think she is a very versatile and experienced driver. But it was a crash, that showed me what a racer she was – when she was so unfazed after her Road America crash, when the rear wing fell off of her car. That showed me she had the stuff.
Oh yes. Her first stint at the Rolex in I think 2016 in the Delta Wing was a thing of beauty. 2 1/2 hours of pure dominance.
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