Legge ready for new challenge
9 April 2008 – Katherine Legge has admitted she is fully aware of the challenges that lie ahead as she prepares to make her debut this season in the DTM.
The Briton has spent recent seasons racing in America, firstly in the Champ Car Atlantic series and then in the Champ Car World Series itself, but will return to Europe this year in the German-based touring car series.
Legge will be one of half a dozen British drivers competing in the championship this year as she makes her return to European competition and she admitted that, while it will be weird to move away from single-seaters, she was ready for the challenge.
"Having a roof over my head is going to be strange, but Audi has offered me a fantastic opportunity and I really couldn't be happier," she wrote in her first Crash.net column as a DTM driver. "I know that it is difficult to come into the DTM and be really competitive straight away. You see some of the really good drivers do it, but it's definitely one of the most challenging and talent-laden series in the world, so the team and I see 2008 as a learning year for me.
"I know that I have to finish races and maybe get some points somewhere along the line, but it will be all about seeing where I'm at and doing the best we can. Hopefully, we can compete with some of the 2007 cars, but I think that Audi will be evaluating me as much as anything.
"Who knows what's going to happen? I'm keeping an open mind and trying to learn as much as I can."
One major challenge for Legge will be learning a range of new tracks for the coming season, with the one circuit she has prior experience of being the one she was looking forward to racing on most later in the year.
"As well as learning a new car, new team and new discipline, Brands Hatch is the only circuit on the schedule that I know, so I've got the DTM game for my PC," she said. "The only circuit it doesn't have on it is Mugello and we've just tested there, so I should be okay now. I've definitely been driving Oschersleben on it for a while now... I'll also try and get one of the guys to take me around the tracks before we go out and show me what they think so that I have a better idea in my head.
"Coming back to Brands Hatch will be the first time I'll have raced in Britain for quite a long time. I think 2003 was probably the last time I did so. I really like the long circuit there, and it's sort of my home track, having brought up in Haslemere in Surrey, so it'll be like going home a little bit. I got my first pole there, in Formula Ford, so I hope that's a good omen."
Legge will also go up against another female racer this season in the shape of Mercedes' Susie Stoddart, but she said she didn't view the Scot any differently to the rest of the grid and was keen to view all her rivals in the same way, regardless of whether they are male or female.
"The question of rivalry with other female drivers, such as Mercedes' Susie Stoddart, is always one that is brought up by the press but, for me, there really is no rivalry," she said. "Out here in the US, it was always Danica Patrick and me, but I think that most of the female drivers that are worth their salt think of it the same way as I do, and that's that we're race car drivers.
"The car doesn't know any different, and I think of Susie as I would any other driver out there - she's one of however many to beat."