Race Weekend Central

Katherine Legge Returning to Indy 500 After Decade of Absence

It’s been 10 years since Katherine Legge has strapped into an IndyCar, but it was announced on Thursday that she will be contesting the 2023 Indianapolis 500, a decade after her most recent attempt.

Legge, who has been primarily racing sports cars since 2014, will be joining the Rahal Letterman Lanigan stable in May as she attempts to qualify for the 107th Indianapolis 500. Legge will carry the No. 44 with Honda power and sponsorship from Hendrickson, and will join RLL full-time drivers Graham Rahal, Christian Lundgaard and Jack Harvey.

The 42-year-old from England, one of nine women to compete in the Indianapolis 500, has made two previous starts at the Brickyard, finishing one lap down in 22nd place in 2012, and returning a year later and finishing 26th. Legge completed 392 of the 400 laps in those two races.

Most recently, Legge finished 22nd overall and fourth in the GTD class at the Rolex 24 at Daytona at the end of January driving for the Gradient Racing Acura NSX GT3 team. Legge is set to drive the full WeatherTech IMSA SportsCar schedule in 2023.

This is Legge’s 10th overall season competing in the series, and seventh season competing in the GTD class. In that span she has notched four wins, along with a runner-up class finish at the Rolex 24 in 2018, where she also finished a career-best second in the points standings driving for Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian Racing.

Though it’s been a while since Legge has raced in an American open wheel racing series, her name is a familiar one as she has made a total of 39 starts between Champ Car and the NTT IndyCar Series. Legge made 28 starts in 2006-07 in Champ Car, finishing 15th and 16th, respectively, in the final points standings. Her best finish of sixth came twice at Milwaukee in 2006 and Las Vegas in 2007.

One thing Legge is remembered for from her time in Champ Car was her massive crash at Road America in 2006. Sitting in sixth place with six laps to go, Legge was approaching turn 11, known as The Kink, at about 165 miles per hour when she lost a piece of her rear wing. After making hard contact with the barrier, the car went high up into the catchfence and was sheared in half in spectacular fashion.

Fortunately, the tub containing Legge stayed intact, and even after barrel-rolling several times in the grass, the then-26-year-old Legge crawled out of the wreckage and walked away unharmed.

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She returned to IndyCar in 2012 and in two seasons and 11 races managed a best finish of ninth in the 2012 season finale at Fontana. In 2018, Legge drove four road course races for JD Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity series, with a best finish of 14th at Road America.

Both parties are eager to work together after joining forces for the 2018-19 Jaguar I-Pace eTrophy series campaign. Driving for RLL in the all-electric series, Legge set a fastest lap at Ad Diriyah, then followed that up with a pole and a win at Mexico City. Eventually, Legge finished fifth in the season standings with a win and three podium finishes.

A popular driver in IndyCar circles, Legge joins a team looking to win at Indianapolis for the first time since taking Takuma Sato to victory lane in 2020. Legge will join her team on track when Indy 500 practice opens on May 16. The race will take place on Memorial Day weekend on May 28.

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