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Legge 'underestimated difficulty of return'

"It will take me a few days to get back into it since I haven't been in an open-wheel car for four years," she said. "But all I can do is take out all the unknowns by preparing myself as well as I can and do the best job I can inside the car and out."

Also announced was the surprising identity of her team mate for the season - four-time Champ Car champion Sebastien Bourdais, himself returning to full-time competition in IndyCar for the first time since 2007. The Frenchman will have the slight advantage over Legge of having run a limited programme on road and street courses in 2011, coincidentally with Legge's old Champ Car team Dale Coyne Racing.

"I am so lucky to have Sebastien as a teammate," said Legge. "There are probably only three or four drivers in IndyCar that I would have loved to have as my teammate and he's definitely one of them ... His experience and talent in developing a car will be a massive advantage for us," she added. "I will try to learn as much from him as I can."

Will Legge - the FIA's female driver ambassador - be filling the role model gap left in the series by the departure of Danica Patrick to NASCAR, and picking up the baton of spearheading the rise of female drivers within the sport? Her sponsor, TrueCar, already runs a Women Empowerment motorsports initiative that Legge describes as coming "from a deep-seated belief and want for the girls to do well" in motor racing.

"There hasn't really been anybody that's been given the opportunity, apart from Danica, who was in really good equipment," said Legge. "We don't want it to be a gimmick. We don't want it to be the 'girl' driver. We want to be competitive race car drivers, taken seriously in what we do.

"The only way we can do that is compete with the guys, and the only way you can compete with the guys is if you're given the opportunity on a level playing field," she stressed. "It should stand as an example that you can do anything you put your mind to and not limited by anything."

As for her personal plans, the arrangements for her wedding to Peter Terting are currently on hold.

"We haven't done anything about the wedding really because I've been so focused on racing," Legge admitted. "I'm not one of those people who won't do everything properly. When I do something, I have to commit to it 110 percent - and I've just been committed to racing.

"Priorities, right?" And as for Terting? "He understands." Of course he does. He's a born competitor from head-to-toe - just like his future wife-to-be has proven herself to be time and again.

"My all-time favourite saying is if you want something badly enough you'll find a way to make it happen," she said, summing up the journey of the past year.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Champ Car World Series. 9-11 Nov. 2007. Gran Premio Tecate. Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Mexico City, Mexico. Katherine Legge.
Champ Car World Series. 27-29 July 2007. San Jose Grand Prix. San Jose, California.  Katherine Legge.
Champ Car World Series. 10-12 August 2007. Road America. Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin USA. Katherine Legge.
Katherine Legge completed the first open test lap with the new Panoz DP01 while running with Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring   [Pic courtesy of the Champ Car World Series]
Champ Car World Series. 27-29 July 2007. San Jose Grand Prix. San Jose, California. Katherine legge on way back to pits after crash.
Champ Car World Series. 27-29 July 2007. San Jose Grand Prix. San Jose, California.  Katherine Legge.
Detroit IndyCar race start
Esteban Gutierrez IndyCar Detroit
Graham Rahal Detroit IndyCar 2017
Scott Dixon Indy 500
Sebastien Bourdais Indy 500 practice
Sebastien Bourdais
Max Chilton Indy 500 2017
Max Chilton Indy 500 2017
Scott Dixon Indy 500 qualifying
Sebastien Bourdais headshot
Sebastien Bourdais Indy 500 practice 2017
Ed Carpenter Indy 500 practice 2

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JOHN - Unregistered

January 20, 2012 5:16 PM

If I'm not mistaken, she's the one who had the huge accident in CART and totaled her car. Lucky she survived that, yes its tough. Anyone who drives IndyCar deserves the greatest of respect if the recent accidents are anything to go by (not to mention the Dan Wheldon tragedy). How far she goes remains to be seen.....

Don - Unregistered

January 20, 2012 6:41 PM

You're right John. Her rear wing broke at one of the fastest sections at Road America during a Champ Car race. It's amazing that she survived. More remarkable, she walked away almost unscathed. I'm pretty certain she will struggle mightily as the IndyCar driver line up is very deep, and the new car will be a handful to drive.

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