Legge denies Bourdais claim she tested IndyCar
Katherine Legge on Saturday disputed former teammate Sebastien Bourdais’ version of her termination from Dragon Racing, saying Bourdais’ claim that she tested poorly at Fontana is a “complete and utter fabrication.”
Legge told The Associated Press she has not been in a race car since the IndyCar season finale at Fontana in September — a direct contradiction of what Bourdais contends.
Bourdais told ESPN.com on Friday that Legge was “just weak” in a December test, and her showing played a part in Dragon and sponsor TrueCar’s decision to part with the English driver.
“If Sebastian Bourdais actually made this statement, I can only think that someone has fed him this misinformation which he has repeated without checking the facts,” Legge said.
Legge also said that all tests must be approved by IndyCar per series rules, so series officials can confirm whether she tested at Fontana.
“She’s done what she could and then the performance in Fontana was just weak and the team just made the tough decision to go a different way — and the sponsor,” Bourdais, a four-time Champ Car champion, told ESPN.com.
IndyCar records show that Legge tested at Sonoma in August, and again at Fontana in an open test with all teams before the season finale in September. Only Bourdais tested for Dragon at Fontana in December, and he maintained Saturday he was referring to the Sonoma test in August in his ESPN.com interview.
Dragon, meanwhile, has not replied to requests for comment on Legge’s termination or threat of legal action.
Dragon has hired 22-year-old Sebastian Saavedra to pilot the No. 6 this season, which led Legge to issue a statement this week assailing the race team for her termination and treatment. She maintains she has a year remaining on her contract and brought the TrueCar sponsorship to the team.
“The true details of what has occurred between Legge/TrueCar/Dragon since last September will be resolved by the legal process,” Legge said Saturday.
Legge started last season driving the No. 6, then split seat time Bourdais after an engine manufacturer switch forced the team to run only one car. Legge wound up running 10 of the 15 races. She failed to finish four times, and had a season-best finish of ninth in the finale at Fontana. She was 22nd at the Indianapolis 500.
“It was a very difficult season last year. We did very little testing and I was made to sit out of some of the races,” Legge said this week.
She said her sponsorship search was undermined by team owner Jay Penske’s arrest in August for allegedly breaking into the Nantucket Yacht Club and later urinating on the boots of a woman who confronted him in the parking lot.
“Jay Penske’s actions in Nantucket really hurt my ability to find additional and personal sponsors, and it was highly embarrassing, especially with the message that we were trying to portray regarding the empowerment of women in motorsport,” Legge said.