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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.
Mike Conway poses for pictures with the team from Ed Carpenter Racing after victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Ryan Hunter-Reay leads Sebastien Bourdais during the early stages of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Mike Conway (centre), driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory with champagne Sunday, April 13, 2014 after winning the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. Will Power (right), driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, finished second. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, April 13, 2014 during the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Mike Conway, driver of the #20 Fuzzy’s Ultra Premium Vodka / Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, raises his arm as he crosses the finish line Sunday, April 13, 2014 to win the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach in Long Beach, California. With the victory, Conway moves into second place in the driver point standings. (Photo Credit: Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Sebastien Bourdais waits on pitlane before practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais around the fountain turn during practice at Long Beach (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais on track at Long Beach on Friday (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais on course during practice at Long Beach -- Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)
Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, March 30, 2014 during the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, Florida. Helio Castroneves, driver of the #3 Hitachi Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6 finished third. (Photo by LAT/ Russell LaBounty for Chevy Racing)

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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.....

David Chaste - Unregistered

January 21, 2012 3:42 AM

Indycar must mean a lot to her. She left a very cushy gig with Audi in DTM where she was collecting a paycheck to go to where she now has to find a sponsor. But the article is also quite inspiring to me. Especially the "laser focus" part.



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