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2013 Indy 500: Last-minute Legge makes it 34

Katherine Legge has clinched a literally last-minute chance to make it ont the grid of the 2013 Indianapolis 500 after a late deal with Schmidt-Peterson.
Katherine Legge said recently that she hadn't given up hope of making an appearance in the 97th running of the Indianapolis 500 despite her being let-go over the offseason by Dragon Racing. But even so, confirmation on Pole Day - the official day of qualifying for the race - was cutting it fine.

"I'm psyched to get back in the car," said Legge after being unveiled as the driver of the #81 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports car on Saturday. "Especially at Indy, because this is such a special place."

"Katherine's top-10 finish in Fontana last year showed me that she has the speed and endurance to finish a 500-mile race, which are the most grueling conditions our drivers encounter," said team owner Sam Schmidt.

Schmidt had entered an extra car in the Indy 500 alongside his regular all-French line-up of Simon Pagenaud and Tristan Vautier, but not announced a driver until today. The official line had been that Schmidt wanted to make sure both Pagenaud and Vautier were safely locked into the race before risking pitting resources to introduce a wild card.

That means the team is scrambling today to get the new #81 ready for Legge to make her qualifying run in: "Our team is working very hard to build her car and give her the equipment she needs to qualify and race competitively at Indianapolis," Schmidt said.

Legge's addition to the official entry list means that there are now 34 cars trying to make it onto the 33-car starting grid for next weekend's Indianapolis 500 - so someone is going to lose out and Bump Day is going to live up to its name one way or another.

Legge is just hoping that it isn't her: she desperately wants to make today the start of her 2013 Indy adventure and not just a one-day wonder.

"I owe a huge thank you to Honda, Firestone, the IZOD IndyCar Series and especially Schmidt-Peterson Motorsports for pulling this together in the last minute to get the car on track," said the 32-year old English driver, who recently finished on the podium in her maiden outing in the DeltaWing at the American Le Mans Series race at Laguna Seca, Monterey.

Legge said that ties with Schmidt and his team went back further than anyone had realised, and even pre-dated her ill-fated stint at Dragon last year,

"I was talking with Sam in 2011 about driving one of his cars," she revealed. "I'm so excited to finally get in one of them and work with the entire team in addition to Simon and Tristan."

Qualifying for the 2013 Indianapolis 500 got off to a delayed start after rain and wet conditions on the track prevented the green flag from flying for the first two and a half hours on Saturday. The scheduled has been revised and will now run later into the evening than originally planned, weather permitting.



Related Pictures

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Katherine Legge (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. LAT Photo (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge`s (#6) first lap around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Indy Car during practice for the 2012 IndyCar Indy 500. 12-27 May, 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, F. Peirce Williams LAT Photo USA (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge (Dragon Racing) thanks a crewman after passing her rookie test during the 2012 Indy 500 practice - 12-27 May 2012, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. (c) 2012, Michael L. Levitt. (Photo Credit: INDYCAR/LAT USA)
Katherine Legge joins Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport on Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Saturday, May 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Katherine Legge joins Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport on Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Saturday, May 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Katherine Legge joins Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport on Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Saturday, May 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Katherine Legge joins Schmidt-Peterson Motorsport on Pole Day at Indianapolis Motor Speedway - Saturday, May 18. (Photo Credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon sprays the champagne in Victory Circle following his win in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon is congratulated by Dario Franchitti after winning the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon with a victory kiss from his wife, Emma, following clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates his victory in the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship. (Photo by: Shawn Gritzmacher for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Ernie Masche/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon (left), driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, after winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Joining him on the podium is Charlie Kimball, driver of the #83 Novolog Flexpen Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 who finished third. Chevrolet won its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 30, 2015, winning the final Verizon IndyCar Series race of the season and the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Driver`s Championship at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. Chevrolet also wins its fourth consecutive Verizon IndyCar Series Manufacturer`s Championship. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon - 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series champion - Target Chip Ganassi Racing (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon celebrates after winning the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma and clinching the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series championship at Sonoma Raceway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)

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