Katherine Legge still hasn’t given up on finding a ride for the 2013 Indy 500. In fact, it’s possible that Katherine Legge hasn’t given up on anything … ever.
“I am desperately still trying to put a 500 deal together,” Legge said last weekend. “I am still talking to people and that’s the goal for the moment. I haven’t thought much beyond that.”
So she’s not letting go of her legal proceedings against Dragon and TrueCar racing. And she’s not letting go of her desire to race in her second Indy 500. And she’s not letting go of her continuing quest to finally prove herself in a car either.
Whether you agree with her positions and beliefs or not, don’t imagine Legge will give up a fight any time soon. She called last year in IndyCar a disappointment that was right out of Friedrich Nietzsche (“That which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”) Nietzsche may be right, but he never said what doesn't kill you won't still hurt like hell.
“There are a lot of different lessons that I learned from last year," said Legge, who is from Haslemere, Surrey, UK. "I think to the outside world I proved that I am going to fight on. I’m not going to be walked over. I think that’s really important. People have said to me well you shouldn’t be doing this or you should be doing that or whatever, but at the end of the day you have to do what you believe in your heart is right, and I am doing that. I am fighting for what I believe in. I think that is almost as important for all the young girls and everyone else who looks up to you as doing well on the race track. You have to do what you believe in.”
Perhaps part of the meager good news from the end of her 2013 IndyCar hopes was a widening of Legge’s perspective. These days she’s thinking broader and focusing on the quality of opportunity.
“What I want to do is to take the best opportunity that is going to allow me to win races, because I need to get back to winning races,” she said. "For a while now I haven’t been in a car that has been able to do that. So what I want to do now, instead of just being totally focused on getting in an IndyCar or getting in an LMP car or whatever it is, my focus has now changed to I want to be in something that gives me the best chance to progress my career and to do well and to win races.
“In reality there are probably only a handful of teams in every given series that can win and will give you the opportunity to win and be 100% behind you. So my focus has changed a little bit there. I really want to do the (Indy) 500. I’ve been pushing very hard to do that and then who knows what will happen. If the DeltaWing develops into a long-term opportunity or something else comes along, I have no idea. I wish I had a crystal ball but unfortunately I don’t.”
(For more on Katherine's experience with the DeltaWing, go here.)
Legge said she continuously asks herself if her maniacal racing focus “is worth it” and “what am I doing this for?”
So far the answers remains “yes,” and “it’s in my blood.”
“I think you do one of two things,” she said. “You say ‘I’ve had enough; I can’t do this anymore’ or (adversity) makes you even more determined, even more motivated to do it. What I want is the opportunity to do what I am capable of. I want to earn just one year, just one opportunity to prove to myself what I am capable of. I haven’t yet had that where the team is behind me and everything. Once I get that opportunity, I think I will feel somewhat satisfied and say, OK that was as good as I am, whether that’s P1 or P-whatever.”
So Katherine Legge said she isn’t quitting and isn’t letting go. And adversity has made her stronger in some ways, but it hasn’t yet made her invulnerable to pain. Legge confided that her IndyCar interruption led to “some dark days, let me tell you.”
“But racing is my life. It’s my whole life, 24/7, 365 days a year. It’s what I live for; it’s what I do. It (her split with Dragon Racing) was not a very cool experience. But, I believe life is what you make it. You make your own opportunities and you have to do everything within your power to fulfill your dreams. So, yes, I was down for a while, but I picked myself up and I dusted myself off and I am back to fighting. I am proud of myself for the way I handled it, to be honest.”
Read my January 2010 interview with Katherine here.