DeltaWing Racing Cars will have British racing driver Katherine Legge testing the DeltaWing powered by Élan next week at Road Atlanta. The two-day test is scheduled for April 21 and 24. Legge will be on hand to determine future racing opportunities with the DeltaWing program.
Legge’s racing resume is as diverse as it is successful. She was the first female driver to win races in Formula Atlantic, with three wins in 2005, and has competed in IndyCar, Champ Car and DTM in Europe.
Q: What excites you about driving the DeltaWing?
KATHERINE LEGGE: Everything, really! I’ve driven many different cars coming up through the ranks – I’ve driven Open Wheel, Champ Car, IndyCar, DTM, an F1 car, A1GP car, Sports Cars, DP Car... Now to drive this, it is completely different to anything else out there and definitely different to anything I’ve ever driven.
It’s really exciting, what they’ve done with the DeltaWing project is groundbreaking in a way. It’s forward thinking, futuristic, and challenging perceptions; which is what I am trying to do as well. It’s a great opportunity and one that I’m truly grateful to Dr. Panoz for providing me.
Q: From your years in open-wheel racing, what from your time there do you think will be able to translate driving this prototype?
KL: Between IndyCar last year and Champ Car, and DTM before that, I am hoping this will help me to adapt quicker to driving the DeltaWing.
I’ve heard so many good things about the way it drives. I’m really open to learning, hearing what the other drivers, engineers and the team say. I’m sure they will be able to provide me a lot of insight.
Q: What have you heard about the DeltaWing from either the team or other drivers that have driven it?
KL: Yes, there have definitely been a lot of amazingly talented drivers who have driven the Delta Wing already. Everything I’ve heard has been very positive. You look at the car and your first reaction is to try and figure out how it will drive. I understand the physics behind it, but how it feels through the steering wheel when you are in the car, is going to be a different experience.
The suspension has a very different set up. In terms of it driving, I have heard very positive things, and have heard it’s very stable. It’s really fast, too, in a straight line.
Q: You have a good history in working with Bridgestone. How is your working relationship with Bridgestone/Firestone?
KL: I have been working with Bridgestone and Firestone throughout my career, from as far back as my Karting days. They are truly second to none; just awesome. They’re working now very closely with the DeltaWing project, so that obviously makes me very happy. I know that the tires will be as good as they can be. There are personal relationships there too, I have basically grown up working with them so its really like one big happy family! I just wish that Al (Speyer) and Joe (Barbieri) weren’t retiring, they will be very missed!
Q: From the outside, what do you make of the sports car future, with the unified series and the DeltaWing being accepted into the championship’s top class?
KL: I think sports car racing is truly moving forward. Grand-Am and ALMS have been fantastic series in the past. They’ve always had very professional teams, and world class drivers. I think that by unifying the series, it’s forward thinking again… It just builds on the strengths that the series had independently and makes it bigger and better than before.
At the end of the day we’re racing for the fans. If they can relate to a specific car, team or driver than they are more invested, more passionate. That’s how I became involved back when I was a kid! The DeltaWing car we know grabs people’s attention; it gets people to stand up and take notice. It’s very cool, it gets people talking!
Q: What’s the rough idea of your schedule in the car in terms of future tests or races?
KL: We don’t really know yet. First of all, I have to prove myself in the car. Nobody knows what I can do in this car and the sports car paddock doesn’t really know me, or what I’m capable of. I had mixed results last year, and I’m proving myself all over again. I don’t know what the future brings, but I know it will be exciting.