Veteran racer Katherine Legge passing on W Series bid
Veteran racer takes her name out of the running for spot on 18-driver W Series grid
W Series race director Dave Ryan has confirmed that Katherine Legge has decided to pass on racing in the all-women’s open-wheel series in 2020, as the series announced its 18-driver entry list for next season.
Assumed to be a certainty for a spot on the grid, Legge’s name is not on the 18-driver entry list for 2020. Legge, 39, is a veteran racer with experience in IndyCar, IMSA, Formula E and NASCAR, among others.
“We tested and appraised a number of drivers at Almeria (Spain) last month and selected six of them to race in the 2020 W Series championship: Ayla (Agren), Abbie (Eaton), Belen (Garcia), Nerea (Marti), Irina (Sidorkova) and Bruna (Tomaselli),” said Ryan. “With the exception of Ayla and Bruna, who entered but weren’t selected for the 2019 W Series championship, they were all newcomers to the W Series.”
To win a fully funded seat in the W Series, drivers must be willing to put the championship above all other commitments and, according to Ryan, this was where Legge and Michelle Gatting — a GT racer with Kessel Racing and Ferrari — decided to head in a different direction.
“A very experienced driver, Katherine performed extremely well at Almeria, as you’d expect, but, despite being favorably impressed by the quality of the W Series operation, she decided to remain focused on her USA-based racing program in 2020 and as such hasn’t put her name forward to race with us next year,” said Ryan. “Michelle performed extremely well at Almeria, too, but also elected not to race with us next year but instead to concentrate on other series.”
The first season of the all female W Series was a put a spotlight on drivers such as Beitske Visser, Emma Kimilainen and series champion Jamie Chadwick. American drivers Sabre Cook, who will be racing in the championship again in 2020, and Shea Holbrook also competed.
Two spots in the 2020 field remain unfilled. The remaining drivers who took part in the selection process are being considered alongside the eight drivers from 2019 who failed to secure a top-12 spot.
In other W Series news, it was announced that going forward the series champion will no longer be able to race in the series. With FIA Super License points being awarded to the winner, the W Series has to enforce the same restrictions that rest on all other junior categories.
This means that since no Super License points were awarded in 2019, Chadwick is eligible to return and could become the only two-time champion if she is able to retain her crown in 2020.