DTM » 14 April 2008
Legge gains experience on DTM debut.
While her Audi stablemates set about sweeping the board at the front of the field at Hockenheim, DTM rookie Katherine Legge played herself into the series with a solid, if unspectacular, finish.
The Briton, driving a 2006-spec A4 DTM for customer team Futurecom TME, qualified in 19th spot after a frustrating Saturday session, but kept her nose clean in the race to pick up a place when team-mate - and ex-F1 driver - Christijan Albers was forced to retire.
”My first DTM qualifying was a fascinating experience, even though it didn't go quite the way we'd been hoping it would," Legge commented, "On my first set of tyres, I made a mistake and, on the second set, I lost a lot of time, partly because I was slowed by another car.”
Reigning champion Mattias Ekstrom opened his title defence with victory, having grabbed the lead from polewinner and fellow Audi pilot Timo Scheider at the start. The pair romped away at the front of the field, while Audi veteran Tom Kristensen came through to complete a podium sweep for the marque.
Legge, meanwhile, ran in close company with the midfield for much of the race, completing two regulation pit-stops without problem, but dropped away towards the end as gremlins affected her performance. She did achieve her pre-race aim of racking up the miles in the Hofmuhl-backed A4, however.
"The atmosphere was fantastic," she said, having witnessed her first DTM raceday, "Unfortunately, our race didn't go according to plan because we had a few problems, but we did finish and can learn from this."
Legge and the rest of the Audi squad do not have much time to rest on their laurels or correct the problems that may have beset their weekend, for round two, at Oschersleben, follows this coming weekend.
While her on-track experience may not have been entirely memorable, however, Legge will recall Hockenheim as the day she met African royalty, as Oba Erediauwa, the king of Nigerian province Benim, watched the race from her garage....
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