Katherine Legge and her PKV Champ Car team at Road America in 2006 - Anne Proffit photoEnlarge Photo
Katherine Legge, recently announced as a member of the Dragon Racing team will have the name of TrueCar on her No. 6 Lotus/Dallara/Firestone IZOD IndyCar Series race car for the 2012 season.
TrueCar Inc has been moving into the motorsport arena to help market its automotive marketplace solutions for both buyers and sellers - focusing on women, who influence 80 percent of all car buying decisions and purchase 40 percent of all cars, research has shown.
To further its progress in this field TrueCar chose Legge, 31, of Surrey, UK as a prominent member of its fleet of ambassadors. The inaugural TrueCar Racing team includes many other top women racers in the US, competing in several professional and development racing series.
Legge, the most experienced driver in the TrueCar "Women Empowered" stable, is the first woman to capture a major open-wheel victory in North America, winning three races and finishing third in her rookie Toyota Atlantic Championship year. She moved to the Champ Car World Series in 2006-7, later awarded a coveted Formula 1 test.
Moving to Europe in 2008, Legge competed in the ultra-competitive DTM series as an Audi factory driver, where she regularly outran both veteran and ex-Formula 1 competitors. But she still had her mind on racing in America in open wheel cars. She spent much of the 2011 season letting team owners know she wanted a return to the Indy cars.
"I am beyond proud to be joining the TrueCar Racing Team," she said. "From all of the talented TrueCar employees, to their partners and dealers, we are all on the same mission - to empower drivers like myself and my teammates to become champions in racing, while similarly empowering women across America to become confident car-buyers through TrueCar and their outstanding certified dealers," Legge explained.
Just this past week, Dragon Racing was announced as a member of the Lotus Racing family; the team will race using Lotus' John Judd-designed and built V6 2.2-liter twin turbo engines.
Jay Penske, team owner/manager of Dragon Racing and founder, chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corp said of the TrueCar affiliation, "I am extremely excited and proud to partner with Lotus Cars and TrueCar. The combination of having the technical suppler of Lotus as a factory team, the financial backing of a game-changing company like TrueCar as a primary sponsor - and the unquestionable driving skills of Katherine and Sebastien (Bourdais, her teammate) - marks us as a force to be reckoned with in 2012."
"Katherine Legge brings such amazing drive, determination and excellence to the TrueCar Racing Team," said Charles Kim, TrueCar's head of motorsports. "She has excelled at every level of racing in which she has competed, and is truly an inspiration to both men and women on and off the track. We expect 2012," he intoned, "to be her biggest year yet as she returns to the US open-wheel racing scene in her debut IZOD IndyCar Series season."
TrueCar founder and CEO Scott Painter admitted he and his company are "excited about our partnership with Dragon Racing and Lotus. Together we are going to make a very bold statement both on and off the track in 2012 and beyond."