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Katherine Legge returns to Indy 500 as only female driver in race

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — After 10 years away, Katherine Legge returns to IndyCar for the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500.

Why? She has no idea.

Jokes aside, the British driver comes back to a race she ran in 2012 and 2013, pushing to finish better than her best — 22nd — from 2012.

“I want the shot that I had in 2013 when I had a really good car. I want that feeling again, only I want to make no mistakes, and I want to have a genuine shot at the 500,” Legge said. “It’s like it’s got it’s own personality, and it’s own vibe and I think it’s almost like an addiction where you just want to come back.”

Legge will drive the number 44 car for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.

She’s been behind the wheel of sports cars for the last nine years. Her first time back in IndyCar was just over a month ago for a test drive on the Texas Motor Speedway oval.

“I was like ‘Holy moly, this is so fast,’” Legge said. “Especially at Texas. Texas is stupid fast as it is. It was a shock to the system. It felt like an elephant sat on my head and was pushing me down. It’s been 10 years since I experienced that. It came back relatively quickly, but the first laps I was a little bit trepid going flat on the gas pedal.”

“I was really impressed with how quick she got up to speed,” said Christian Lundgaard, Legge’s teammate. “She hasn’t been in a one-seater in a long time. She just got in and got on with it. I’m proud of her for doing that.”

Despite this being the 107th running of the Indy 500, Legge is just the ninth women to ever run this race — the first in four years. That rarity isn’t lost on Legge, but she’s not focused on it.

“I never think of myself as any different than anyone else. I’m just a race car driver. The car doesn’t know the difference,” Legge said.

“I almost can’t believe that statistically actually,” said Jack Harvey, another teammate at RLL Racing. “I guess in my mind I couldn’t think about the amount of many of the women we have raced with since I’ve been doing this. It’s just crazy that it’s only been nine really. Hopefully in the future that changes.”

“When there’s nine female drivers in the race, that would be really cool,” Legge said. “But I’m just out here being me, being Katherine, and trying to drive the 500. Hopefully, there are more coming through, and we can change the perception a little bit.”