Long Beach race win named LA area top moment

KATHERINE LEGGE'S LONG BEACH ATLANTIC WIN NAMED RACING'S TOP 2005 MOMENT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2005) -- Rookie Katherine Legge's victory in the Toyota Atlantic Championship race April 10 - the first-ever win by ...

KATHERINE LEGGE'S LONG BEACH ATLANTIC WIN NAMED RACING'S TOP 2005 MOMENT IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 12, 2005) -- Rookie Katherine Legge's victory in the Toyota Atlantic Championship race April 10 - the first-ever win by a woman in a major, open-wheel race in North America -was named Southern California's "Top 2005 Racing Moment" based on a public vote conducted on lasports.org, the Los Angeles Sports Council web site.

Voting began on Nov.15 and ended Dec. 5.

Legge's award, in one of 16 different sports categories, was announced Sunday evening, Dec. 11 in a star-studded gala award presentation at the Hyatt Regency Plaza Hotel that was televised live.

"It was really just a thrill to be nominated for an award by the Los Angeles Sports Council," Legge said from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she was testing with an international racing team.

"For the win to actually be named the top moment in Southern California auto racing in 2005 is just a fantastic honor, and winning on the streets of Long Beach in my Atlantic series debut will always be one of the best moments of my career."

Jim Michaelian, CEO of the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach, accepted the award in her absence, and will present the award to Legge, who is expected to return and defend her race title April 7-9 at the 32nd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Legge's win at the 2005 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend beat out two other nominees in the auto racing category -- Kyle Busch's NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Sept. 4 win at California Speedway and Scott Pruett's victory by 0.096 seconds in the April Rolex Series race in Fontana.

Her Atlantic Series victory was no fluke: she went on to win twice more, finished third in the 2005 point standings and received the BBS "Rising Star" Award.

In 2000, the 25-year-old native of Northhampton, England, was the first woman to capture a pole position in the British Formula Ford Zetec Series, earning her the British Women Racing Driver Club's "Fastest Lap Speed" Award and the sobriquet of "fastest woman in the United Kingdom."

-TGPLB-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Scott Pruett , Katherine Legge , Jim Michaelian , Kyle Busch