Legge gears up for tin-top racing

By LJ Hutchins

CalendarTuesday, March 4th, 2008

 
 

Katherine Legge is looking forward to a new start as a factory driver for Audi in the DTM racing series after describing her 2007 Champ Car season as “kind of a disaster, to be honest”.

Writing on her website, the British driver recently looked back over a year that had encompassed mechanical problems, accidents and finally the merger of the series she had been driving in with the breakaway IndyCar series – not so close to the hearts of fans, but better-funded, better-promoted and the home of the Indy 500.

She said: “Despite the results, I’d like to think that we were making progress in those final two events, and even in the two European events before them. We were definitely trying hard to do so, but we kept having so many issues to get over that we never actually surmounted them.

“It was a real shame as I was really excited by the new car and the opportunity that I had for 2007, but it was just one of those years. I guess it was what the call character-building. It makes you stronger, and it definitely made me a better driver – and I know that I’ll appreciate 2008 even more for it.”

When she wrote those words she was still looking for a 2008 drive – but a few days ago it was announced that she would be driving alongside Oliver Jarvis and Markus Winkelhock for Audi in the DTM series.

Winkelhock and Jarvis will get 2007-vintage cars while Legge, whose team-mate has not yet been named, will drive an older, 2006-spec machine for the customer team Futurecom TME.

She was chosen after impressing Audi selectors in a driver evaluation event in Spain, and has since attended a driver training camp focusing on fitness and team-building activities.

Legge has admitted that she faces a steep learning curve but insists that she will take every opportunity to score points.

She is hopeful that she will be able to coax a points-winning performance out of her two-year old A4 DTM despite the need to master a new racing style and a number of new circuits.

She’s maintaining a positive attitude to this new challenge: “I believe the DTM series is one of the best championships in the world, and certainly one of the most competitive.

“The cars are certainly a challenge to drive – and very different to the single-seaters I am used to. The racing is very close, great for spectators and is staged at some fantastic venues.

“My aim for the season is to learn as much as possible, do the best job that I can, hopefully finish every race and ideally score points.”

Legge, who drove in Champ Car for the PKV and Dale Coyne Racing teams, follows other female drivers Michèle Mouton, Tamara Vidali and Vanina Ickx to Audi.

And she says that she’s very happy with the manufacturer’s approach to racing: “Audi are very well known all over the world nowadays for their success in DTM and sportscar racing. The level of support and professionalism is astounding.”

Since we focus on open-wheel racing here at Brits on Pole we’ll probably be writing about Legge a bit less in the future – but you can continue to follow her career on her website.

And we’re quite sure she’ll race in open-wheel machines again. In the meantime, we wish her a great 2008 season in DTM.

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