British sports car racer Katherine Legge returns to the Indianapolis 500 for the first time since 2013 this year. On February 9, she was named to a fourth Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing Honda for the 107thIndianapolis 500 on May 28.
“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,” team co-owner Bobby Rahal said. “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.”
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.
Legge will join a team that includes Indianapolis 500 veterans Graham Rahal, Christian Lundgaard and Jack Harvey.
Previous IndyCar Experience
Legge was a full-time competitor in the Champ Car World Series in 2006 with PKV Racing, the team owned by Champ Car Series owner Kevin Kalkhoven. She finished sixth at The Milwaukee Mile in 2006.
Legge joined Dale Coyne Racing in 2007 and opened the season with her best finish of the year, a sixth place on the streets of Las Vegas.
After the Champ Car World Series was dissolved and absorbed by the Indy Racing League to create today’s NTT IndyCar Series in 2008, Legge returned for 12 races in 2012 with Jay Penske’s Dragon Racing. Her best finish was ninth at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California at the end of that season.
Earlier that year, she made her Indianapolis 500 debut, starting 30th and finishing 22nd.
She competed in just one more IndyCar Series race – the 2013 Indianapolis 500 for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports. She started 33rdand finished 26th in a Honda.
Since that time, Legge has focused on Sports Car racing, including the Imsa WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. Earlier this year, Legge competed in the GTD Class of the Rolex 24 at Daytona. She started fourth and finished fourth for Gradient Racing in the Acura NSX GT3.
“I am thrilled to be back at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing for the biggest race in the world, the Indy 500,” Legge said Thursday. “Bobby (Rahal, co-owner with David
Letterman and Michael Lanigan) 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.”
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.
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 is based in Woodridge, Illinois and has been in the transportation business for more than 100 years.
“Hendrickson is very proud to be a part of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing,” said Jeff Sass, Vice President of Marketing, Hendrickson. “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.”
Legge is a native of Guildford, United Kingdom and 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.
Later in her career, she moved to the Delta Wing sports car program from 2013-2015 and 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, Legge 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.
“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,” team co-owner Michael Lanigan said. “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.”
#Katherine #Legge #Indianapolis #Ride #Rahal #Letterman #Lanigan #Racing