KATHERINE LEGGE PERFORMS WELL IN FULL DAY OF CHAMP CAR TESTING WITH PKV RACING
SEBRING, Florida (December 20, 2005) -- Last week British racing sensation Katherine Legge got her feet wet in her first experience in a 750-horsepower Champ Car. On Tuesday, the 25-year-old talent dove headfirst into the Champ Car pool, completing nearly 200 miles of testing with PKV Racing at Florida's Sebring International Raceway.
The rising open-wheel star, who produced three victories while claiming third place this past season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship, ran 119 laps on the Sebring road circuit in the #12 Gulfstream/PKV Racing machine to begin a two-day test session with the team that sponsored her Atlantic effort in 2005. After making her Champ Car debut on December 13 at Sebring running for Rocketsports Racing, Legge nearly doubled her total laps from last week as she competed in cool, overcast conditions on the 1.66-mile Sebring circuit. Legge posted a best lap of 52.04 seconds Tuesday, demonstrating how drastically she can improve her on-track performance with a full day of testing under her belt. Her top time from one week ago, under completely different track conditions, was a quick lap of 53.2 seconds.
"Overall, it was a good day," said Legge, who has also tested a Formula One car with Minardi and an A1 Grand Prix car with Team Great Britain in the past month. "I'm getting more accustomed to driving a Champ Car and I'm very thankful to PKV for this opportunity and their help. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't get my time down into the 51-second range, but the day went well and I'm happy with the way I drove. We still have some work to do tomorrow."
Competing as the lone Champ Car on the track, Legge benefited from strong support at the test. PKV Racing co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Dan Pettit were on hand for the test along with fellow team owner and Champ Car driver Jimmy Vasser as well as team general manager Jim McGee, team manager Steve Krisiloff and the PKV crew.
"Katherine did a very good job," said McGee, who's overseen 90 Champ Car victories in his distinguished career. "She ran quite a few miles and we tried some different things on the car once she got comfortable. We still want to do some longer, full-tank runs, but we've got another day ahead of us."
Legge will return to the test track on Wednesday morning continuing her rapid development as a driver as she strives for her ultimate goal of one day competing in the Champ Car World Series. "Last week's test with Rocketsports really helped me get used to driving a Champ Car and I think I did a good job today," said Legge. "But I still need to work on getting more consistent in the car."