dropped in email last night...

russ

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PKV RACING SIGNS KATHERINE LEGGE TO BECOME FIRST WOMAN DRIVER TO RACE FULL-TIME IN CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES COMPETITION



LOS ANGELES (February 14, 2006) – After completing a record-setting campaign in 2005 where Katherine Legge became the first woman to ever win a major open-wheel race in the United States, the young Brit is preparing to reach even greater heights.



Legge will become the first woman to ever compete full-time in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford in 2006, as she takes over as one of the drivers for the two-car PKV Racing team. Legge, who won three Atlantic events on her way to securing third place in the 2005 championship – both landmark accomplishments for female drivers in a U.S. open-wheel series.



“I am extremely proud to become a part of the PKV Racing Team,” Legge said. “It is a great honor to work with people like Jimmy Vasser, Jim McGee and all the members of the team. I want to especially thank Mr. Kalkhoven, Dan Pettit and Jimmy for giving me this opportunity. I know that it will be a challenge to make the transition form Atlantics to Champ Cars. The Champ Car World Series is the most competitive series in the world and I am looking forward to the journey.”



Legge followed up her milestone season by taking each and every opportunity to test different race cars during the offseason. Legge ran in three separate Champ Car test sessions at Sebring, piloted a Formula 1 car in a Minardi test and also ran a A1GP car under the watchful eye of British racing great John Surtees.



“Katherine did a fantastic job last year in Atlantics and has been impressive in her tests this off-season,” said PKV Racing co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. “Based on her Atlantic results, her Champ Car tests and frankly, her Formula 1 test, we believe Katherine is ready to make the jump to Champ Cars. We recognize that, as with any young driver, there is a large learning curve in making the jump from Atlantics to Champ Cars, but we are firm in our conviction that Katherine’s skill and determination will be up to the task. The 2006 season will be a learning and developmental year for Katherine, however, we are confident that she will continue to grow and improve as a driver, which will make her very competitive in 2007 when there will be a new Champ Car chassis.”



The native of Northampton, England will be the first woman to race in North America’s top open-wheel racing series since Lyn St. James competed at Michigan in 1995. She will be the first woman to ever attempt a full-season run in the Champ Cars, with St. James’ six events in 1993 serving as the series’ high-water mark for races in a season by a woman.



"We watched Katherine become one of the rising stars in all of racing last year, and are very excited about her prospects for success in Champ Car," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "Today's announcement is significant not only for Champ Car, but for all forms of motorsport and we look forward to Katherine competing in the series for many years to come."