PKV RACING'S KATHERINE LEGGE BACK IN A CHAMP CAR FOLLOWING CRASH AT ROAD AMERICA INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 - - Five days after walking away unscathed from a horrific crash at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America in Elkhart...
PKV RACING'S KATHERINE LEGGE BACK IN A CHAMP CAR FOLLOWING CRASH AT ROAD AMERICA
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - SEPTEMBER 29, 2006 - - Five days after walking away unscathed from a horrific crash at the Champ Car Grand Prix of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, PKV Racing's Katherine Legge showed no hesitation today during a test session at Sebring International Raceway.
Legge, who was sporting a new pink paint scheme on the #20 Bell Micro -- PKV Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone entry at Road America to support Ford Motor Company's Warriors in Pink program, which is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer through Ford's commitment to the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Series, was having an impressive race running solidly in sixth when, with just five laps remaining in the 51-lap contest, part of her rear wing broke. The car launched into the retaining wall, up the catch fence and, in flames, began cart-wheeling through the air coming to rest alongside the track. Despite massive damage to the car the talented 26-year-old rookie walked away from the crash with only bruises on her legs.
Today's test, which was conducted in a back-up PKV Racing machine, marked the first time Legge has driven a Champ Car since the incident. She ran 150 miles on the 1.66-mile Sebring "short course" with a very competitive time of 51.8 seconds.
"It was good to get back in the PKV Racing car," said Legge. "There were some things the team wanted to test for Surfers Paradise and I had a test day available, so it seemed like the logical thing for me to get back in the car. We accomplished a lot today and I feel good about the results."
Commenting on being back in a Champ Car for the first time since the spectacular crash at Road America Legge said, "As soon as I drove out of pit land for the first run, I felt like I always have. I had no issues getting back in the car--it actually felt good. The Bell Micro -- PKV Racing crew did a great job today and I am looking forward to racing at Surfers Paradise in a couple of weeks."
PKV Racing General Manager Mark Johnson said, "We are very pleased with the way the test went today. Of course, one of our goals was to get Katherine back in the car as quick as possible. There was no apprehension whatsoever on her part and she was right up to speed. In addition, we wanted to test some things and get ready for Surfers Paradise. The test went very well, Katherine did a great job and the whole PKV Racing team is looking forward to the race in Australia."
Legge, a rookie, made her 12th career Champ Car start and first at Road America, last Sunday (she did compete at Road America last year in the Atlantic Championships qualifying third and finishing second). So far this year the native of Guilford, England has earned four top-10 finishes in her first 12 Champ Car races placing a season, and career, high sixth at Milwaukee, eighth in her Champ Car debut at Long Beach eighth in Cleveland and ninth in Denver. She has qualified in the top-10 twice in 12 attempts this year (eighth on the oval in Milwaukee and on the Road America road course). The resident of Indianapolis, Indiana is third in laps completed and ninth in laps led with 12. Legge is 16th in the standings with 122 points, 46 points out of 10th. She is fifth in the Roshrans Rookie of the Year race.
Legge has established a number of Champ Car records this season. She is the first female to start a Champ Car/CART race since Lyn St. James at Michigan in 1995 and the first female to lead a Champ
Car race (Milwaukee, 12 laps). Her sixth place finish at Milwaukee set a new Series high for a female driver (her eighth in Long Beach and Cleveland give her the three best finishes) surpassing a ninth place finish by Janet Guthrie at the 1978 Indianapolis 500. Legge won three races and finished third last year in her rookie season in the Atlantic Championship Series. Her victory in her debut Atlantic event at Long Beach made her the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America.
-credit: pkv racing