CONTINUING TO CAPITALIZE ON HER SUCCESSFUL ATLANTIC ROOKIE SEASON, KATHERINE LEGGE TO TEST A1 GRAND PRIX CAR DURING BUSY DECEMBER INDIANAPOLIS (December 1, 2005) -- After a whirlwind rookie season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by...
CONTINUING TO CAPITALIZE ON HER SUCCESSFUL ATLANTIC ROOKIE SEASON, KATHERINE LEGGE TO TEST A1 GRAND PRIX CAR DURING BUSY DECEMBER
INDIANAPOLIS (December 1, 2005) -- After a whirlwind rookie season in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama in 2005, Katherine Legge is continuing to reap the benefits of a third-place finish in North America's top open-wheel development series. Last week, Legge was impressive in a test session with the Minardi Formula One racing team. As a result of her performance in the F1 test, Legge will now get an opportunity to test drive an A1 Grand Prix car next week.
Shortly after completing the nearly 30-lap drive for Minardi at Italy's Vallelunga road course on November 24, Legge said she was contacted by legendary former racer John Surtees, the team principal for the A1 GP Great Britain team. Surtees, who captured seven motorcycle world championships, the Formula One world title and the North American Can-Am crown in his driving days, offered Legge the opportunity to pilot one of his team's open-wheel machines. Anxious to continue her growth as a driver, Legge graciously accepted the invitation and she's scheduled to drive the Arden International Motorsport car for Team Great Britain on Friday, December 9 at the Autodrome circuit in Dubai, just prior to the series race at the venue that weekend. It's believed that Legge will be the first woman to ever test drive one of the A1 GP cars.
"This is another great opportunity for me to gain some valuable experience and hopefully make me a better driver," said Legge. "After the Atlantic season, I've been really fortunate to have some great opportunities. Things are going really well right now and I once again have to thank (Champ Car World Series co-owner) Kevin Kalkhoven for giving me a chance in Atlantics in the first place and especially John Surtees and the Great Britain team for offering up the chance to drive the A1 GP car."
The 25-year-old native of Northampton, England who posted three victories and five podium finishes in her 12-race rookie campaign in Atlantics, is also happy that the offer to test came from the A1 GP team that represents her homeland. "It will definitely be cool and an honor to support and drive for my home country team."
The test session represents just one facet of a very busy December for the driver that earned the 2005 BBS Rising Star Award for her outstanding Atlantic rookie season driving for Polestar Racing Group. Legge will accompany Kalkhoven, whose PKV Racing team sponsored Legge's Atlantic efforts this season, to the Race of Champions event this weekend in Paris, France. Legge will then attend the Autosport Awards celebration in London on Sunday evening. After her test session in Dubai, Legge will fly to the United States where she will spend two days testing a PKV Racing Champ Car under the watchful eye of PKV co-owner and former Champ Car series champion Jimmy Vasser at Sebring International Raceway, December 20-21.
"I'm really excited about the Champ Car test with PKV as well," said Legge. "Things couldn't get much better for me at the moment."
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship 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. Champ Car 2005 competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. In 2006, competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.