Katherine Legge receives test drive

TALENTED BRITISH FEMALE RACER KATHERINE LEGGE TESTS ATLANTIC CAR WITH POLESTAR RACING GROUP INDIANAPOLIS (February 14, 2005) -- The unseasonably rainy weather over the past week in Arizona may have made 24-year-old British racer Katherine...

TALENTED BRITISH FEMALE RACER KATHERINE LEGGE TESTS ATLANTIC CAR WITH POLESTAR RACING GROUP

INDIANAPOLIS (February 14, 2005) -- The unseasonably rainy weather over the past week in Arizona may have made 24-year-old British racer Katherine Legge feel more at home, but she was hoping for slightly drier conditions in her first Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama test session.

The talented, young open-wheel driver spent half of the day last Wednesday getting familiar with the 240 HP Atlantic machine and the other half dodging rain drops at the 1.2-mile Firebird East road circuit near Phoenix as heavy rainfall settled into the area and continued throughout the weekend. Legge tested with the Chardon, Ohio-based Polestar Racing Group team and, despite the inclement weather, the determined native of Guildford, England ran very well as she logged 120 miles in her maiden Atlantic voyage.

"I thought it went pretty well. The car was brilliant and the Polestar team was so professional and very helpful," said Legge. "I feel that (the Toyota Atlantic Championship) is where I want to be right now. It's a great race car and if I can get in with a good team this will be a good situation where I can up my game."

Legge has gained a reputation as one of the fastest female drivers in Europe over the past several years competing in the Formula Ford, British Formula 3 and British Formula Renault racing series. Last season, she ran in the North American Formula Renault championship and finished 10th in the final series standings.

"I thought Katherine did a really good job. She got in the car and got right to it and she got down to competitive lap times right away," said Polestar owner Jim Griffith, who has helped develop many talented drivers in his 12 plus years in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. "She wasn't nervous and was very professional and she gave us some good feedback on the car. We just started to make some changes to the car when, unfortunately, the rain started coming down."

Legge, who also won several karting titles growing up in Europe, hopes to be on the Atlantic grid when the 32nd season of Atlantic competition gets underway April 8-10 at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Polestar Racing Group will continue its testing program this week as another promising up-and-coming driver, Adam Pecorari, will run for the squad at Firebird. Pecorari, a 20-year-old American, competed in the final two races of the Toyota Atlantic Championship in 2004, earning a ninth-place finish at Montreal before finishing 14th in the season finale at Laguna Seca. With drier conditions expected in Arizona over the next few days, plans call for Pecorari to test all day on Tuesday with the Polestar team.

The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Paul Tracy , Danny Sullivan , Katherine Legge , Adam Pecorari