Champ car racer Katherine Legge is to drive in a prestigious karting event as part of a team that also includes a drag racer and a karting and NASCAR legend.
Legge will be driving for the MKP—Birel team in the Masters class at the second annual Snap-on All-Stars Karting Classic, to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, on December 6.
Her team-mates will be NHRA veteran Ron Capps, and Lake Speed, who took part in 400 races during his 19-year NASCAR career and is also a six-time United States karting champion.
And she’ll be racing against some other big names. Drivers confirmed for the event include former Toro Rosso F1 driver Scott Speed, NEXTEL Cup Series driver Jamie McMurray and Indy Car racer Marco Andretti.
Presented by the Indy Racing League, Stars of Karting was founded in 2000 by IRL star Bryan Herta as an entry route to top-flight motorsport.
It provides a competition structure for north American karting and drivers including Danica Patrick, Michael Andretti, Tony Kanaan, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti, Bryan Herta and Michael Schumacher have all taken part.
Karting Series President Paul Zalud said of the line-up: “Motorama Kart Parts—Birel has certainly brought a tremendous lineup to this year’s event.
“The team’s diversity will highlight the fact that karting is a great sport for anyone to compete in. Racing is a sport of great personalities and stories, this team is a great example of the melting pot that our event creates.”
Legge is coming to the event fresh from a tour in the Minardi two-seater F1 car, which she drove at a private event for Bridgestone Firestone North America and Champ Car World Series guests in Texas.
With the car’s regular drivers unavailable due to race commitments, guests were treated to surprise appearances from Legge and her colleague for the day, Nelson Philippe of Conquest Racing.
She said: “It was really nice to be able to give people we work with a reward for all the effort they put in during the season and, at the same time, help them gain an understanding of what actually happens on track.
“When you’re driving race cars all the time, you can easily start to take the performance for granted after a while, but when you see how excited the passengers are, you’re reminded how amazing it is.
“They’ve clearly had the experience of a lifetime. From a purely personal point of view, it’s been a great day, and I can only thank Paul [Stoddart] for the opportunity to drive the F1x2 car. Nelson and I have had a blast!”
Legge is, of course, no stranger to Minardi F1 cars, having tested in the team’s single-seater in November 2005. She is among a prestigious list of F1x2 drivers including Michael Schumacher, Mario Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Anthony Davidson and Vitantonio Liuzzi.
Team principal Paul Stoddart said of the day: “It’s been just great to have the opportunity to entertain our friends from Bridgestone Firestone North America here today, as well as a select band of Champ Car personnel, as both organizations are always exceptionally helpful to us.
“I think today’s F1x2 passenger experience may also have changed one or two perceptions about race cars and race drivers. Well done to everybody.”
- Learn more about Stars of Karting
- Have a sniffly, nostalgic moment looking at the Minardi livery on the F1x2 car