LEGGE TO CAMPAIGN PKV RACING ENTRY DURING 2006 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES SEASON INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - FEBRUARY 14, 2006 - - PKV Racing announced today that it has signed Katherine Legge to campaign one of the team's two entries during the 2006 ...
LEGGE TO CAMPAIGN PKV RACING ENTRY DURING 2006 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES SEASON
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - - FEBRUARY 14, 2006 - - PKV Racing announced today that it has signed Katherine Legge to campaign one of the team's two entries during the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season.
Legge, considered a rising star, burst on the open-wheel racing scene last year when she captured three races in route to a third-place showing during her rookie season in the Atlantic Championship Series, which is part of the Champ Car World Series ladder system. Personable and articulate off the track, Legge's aggressive and determined on-track racing style has made her a winner and a fan favorite. The talented 25-year-old native of Great Britain won her debut event in the Atlantic series taking the victory in Long Beach, which made her the first woman to win a major open-wheel race in North America. The win in Long Beach earned Legge Southern California's Top 2005 Racing Moment of the Year Award in voting by the public. She also won the 2005 Atlantic Championship Series BBS Rising Star Award and recently was named the winner of RACER magazine's Most Promising Road Racer Award as voted by fans around the world.
Legge has had a busy off-season. In addition to what can only be describe as a "brutal" conditioning program to improve both her strength and stamina, she has been impressive in tests with Formula 1's Minardi Team in November, A1 Grand Prix's Great Britain Team in December and Champ Car's Rocketsports Racing also in December. She subsequently tested twice with PKV Racing, late in December and in January. Legge's contract with the team is a multi-year agreement.
"Katherine did a fantastic job last year in Atlantics and has been impressive in her tests this off-season," said PKV Racing co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. "Based on her Atlantic results, her Champ Car tests and frankly, her Formula 1 test, we believe Katherine is ready to make the jump to Champ Cars," he explained. "We recognize that, as with any young driver, there is a large learning curve in making the jump from Atlantics to Champ Cars, but we are firm in our conviction that Katherine's skill and determination will be up to the task," Kalkhoven noted. "The 2006 season will be a learning, a developmental year for Katherine, however, we are confident that she will continue to grow and improve as a driver, which will make her very competitive in 2007 when there will be a new Champ Car chassis," he concluded.
"I am extremely proud to become a part of the PKV Racing Team," Legge said. "It is a great honor to work with people like Jimmy Vasser, Jim McGee and all the members of the team. I want to especially thank Mr. Kalkhoven, Dan Pettit and Jimmy for giving me this opportunity. I know that it will be a challenge to make the transition form Atlantics to Champ Cars. The Champ Car World Series is the most competitive series in the world and I am looking forward to the journey."
Commenting on the signing of Legge, PKV Racing co-owner Jimmy Vasser said, "It has been a pleasure getting to know Katherine and watching her grow as a driver. I can honestly say that I have not seen a driver so determined to succeed in quite some time." Vasser, who has helped such notable drivers as Alex Zanardi and Juan Pablo Montoya make the transition to Champ Cars, went on to say, "I will be there to help her every step of the way."
Legge began her racing career in 1990 winning numerous British Karting championships through the 1998 season. In 2000, she became the first woman to win a pole position the British Formula Ford
Zetec Series. Legge competed in the British Formula Renault and British Formula 3 championships from 2002-03. She then raced for parts of both the British Formula Renault and North American Formula Renault series in 2004. Following the 2004 season, Legge excelled in an off-season test for Polestar Racing Group and when Champ Car World Series and PKV Racing co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven agreed to sponsor her she entered the ranks of Atlantic drivers competing for the PKV Racing -- Polestar Racing Group in 2005. In her first full season of professional racing, Legge took the Atlantic Championship Series by storm scoring three wins including her debut event (Long Beach, also won back-to-back races in Edmonton and San Jose). Legge also enjoyed podium results at Portland, where she finished third, and Road America, where she placed second. Legge is the first woman in more than a decade to have an official Formula One test when she put the Minardi F1 car through its paces in November. She posted the second-fastest time among five drivers who tested for the team in Italy.
PKV Racing will conduct its fourth off-season test on February 23 in Sebring as the team continues to evaluate data and examine all of its options before determining the driver of the second entry for the 2006 Champ Car World Series season. No time table has been established for announcing the second driver.
Founded in January 2004, Indianapolis-based PKV Racing (PK Racing was established in 2003 with a different ownership group) will contest its third season of competition during the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford season. PKV Racing is owned by successful venture capitalists Kevin Kalkhoven, who also co-owns the Champ Car World Series, and Dan Pettit, along with 1996 Series Champion Jimmy Vasser. The team is managed by Jim McGee who became General Manager in January of 2005. McGee is the most successful Manager/Chief Mechanic in USAC/CART/Champ Car history having amassed 90 victories and nine national championships.