TrueCar Racing Rookie's Hopes for Top-Five Dashed
FONTANA, Calif. Sept. 15, 2012--TrueCar Racing driver Katherine Legge entered Saturday’s competition with high hopes for a great finish after showing speed in yesterday’s practice sessions. But the IZOD IndyCar Series rookie’s season of ups and downs wasn’t over yet as a series of mishaps proved to be a setback from her seventh-place start in the MAVTV 500 INDYCAR World Championships at Auto Club Speedway.
The UK-native held her starting position early in the race and improved to as high as fourth before pitting the first time on Lap 39 for fuel and Firestone tires.
“The team gave me a really good race car and I was very happy with it,” said Legge. “The first stint was awesome and we were making up places until I pitted the first time. I was caught speeding on pit lane and had to do a drive-through penalty. That put us a lap down.”
Legge came back out in 22nd position, but her night wasn’t over that quickly. A caution on Lap 56 for contact by Will Power would give the rookie her lap back after a wave- around by INDYCAR officials. Bad luck was soon to follow though.
While awaiting a restart after a caution on Lap 74, the field checked up in front of Legge as they neared Turn 3 for the restart. Legge made contact with Justin Wilson’s car, requiring her to pit for a new front wing.
“We were warming our tires and getting ready to take the green—usual stuff,” noted Legge. “But the field slowed really quickly all of a sudden and I hit Justin in the rear of his car. There was not enough time to slow the car enough with an oval brake package. I really feel bad for Justin, but there wasn’t much I could do.”
Legge’s TrueCar Dragon Racing crew worked race strategy well, keeping the No. 6 car on the lead lap and giving Legge the chance to work her way up through the field. With top- five speed, she was advancing rapidly until another costly mistake in the pits set her back a lap to the leader.
“That was really the story of my race,” said Legge. “We made a couple of mistakes in the pits and it cost us a top-five today. But we kept fighting and recovered.”
Legge and her TrueCar Racing team continued to chase positions, with Legge turning laps consistent with the leaders for much of the race. The combination of her speed and focus amidst distraction resulted in a season-best ninth-place finish.
“I am very proud of the team—they gave me a very fast car today,” said Legge. “I also really have to thank my sponsor TrueCar for giving me this opportunity and for Chevy giving me such a great engine. I am really looking forward to next year and showing what we are really capable of in INDYCAR.”
Source: Katherine Legge media