Katherine Legge has admitted that she is particularly looking forward to this weekend's DTM event at Brands Hatch as it gives her the chance to race on home soil for the first time in four years.

Having struggled to find the means of breaking into the top echelons of racing in Europe, Legge packed her bags and took a chance on forging a career on the other side of the Atlantic. After gatecrashing the Katherine Nunn Scholarship and setting fastest time despite never having driver an Indy Pro Series car or seen an oval before, Legge decided that the US was for her, and approached Kevin Kalkhoven at that year's Autosport Awards in an effort to secure a seat for 2005.

Kalkhoven, then heading up Champ Car as well as his own team within the series, engineered a ride in Atlantics with the promise that, based on her performance, he would consider backing Legge for the future. The Briton responded by winning on her Atlantic debut at Long Beach, leading to a full season, third in the championship and graduation to Champ Car for 2006.

Although her two seasons in Champ Car were tough, Legge had hoped to remain in America until rumours of an impending merger between the country's two premier open-wheel series clouded matters. Not one to hang about, she found a way to be included in Audi's search to for a replacement for Vanina Ickx and duly secured a deal with the marque to drive with the privateer TME Futurecom outfit.

Which is how she comes to be back at Brands this weekend. Not having raced in the UK since 2004, however, the weekend has added meaning for the Briton, even though she will start the race five places back from wherever she qualifies, following contact with Maro Engel last time out at the Nurburgring.

"I return to Europe after having lived and raced in the USA for quite some time, and I'll be competing in a race in England for the first time in four years," she confirmed, "Brands Hatch really is my home race though, as it is the closest circuit to my parents' home in Surrey, and I know both track layouts from my earlier career. I started from pole position at Brands Hatch in a Formula Ford once, so I have good memories."

Although she admits to preferring the longer Grand Prix layout, Legge will do battle with the other 18 members of the DTM field on the frenetic 1.929km Indy Circuit as the series makes its third visit to the undulating Kent venue.

"The DTM races on the extremely short Indy circuit, but the average speed is actually quite high and the result on such a short track is a high number of laps," she commented.

"I always find it much more exciting to drive on circuit with elevation changes and I'm quite sure that the Druids hairpin, after the uphill section, is the ideal place to try and overtake. But, on fast circuits, overtaking is effectively much more difficult than on slow tracks, and also the circuit is very short..."

Despite her reservations, however, Legge is confident that the fans expected to throng to Brands for the weekend will get a spectacular show.

"The best thing for the spectators is that they can see the majority of the circuit from many positions," she noted, "Watching from the outside of the first corner is definitely spectacular, and also the speed of the cars in the uphill section leading towards the hairpin. In the last corner too, the fans are relatively close to the cars, which give them a fantastic impression of the speed."

But will those fans have anything to cheer from one of their home heroes? Battling with a two-year old car has been tough, but no more than the rookie expected in her year in the DTM. However, Legge is optimistic ahead of the weekend.

"I'm just delighted to be able to race in front of my home crowd," she enthused, "It's quite a while since I last competed in a race in England, but I aim to improve again at Brands Hatch, and I hope we have a good chance there with the 2006 car."


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