Connect to share and comment

A global sports blog.

Indy 500 sees first all-female pit crew

Legge became not only the ninth female driver to qualify for the Indy 500, she also became the first driver with an all-female crew.
Katherine leggeEnlarge
BIRMINGHAM, AL - MARCH 30: Katherine Legge of England, driver of the #6 Lotus-Dragon Racing Lotus, waits in the pits during practice for the IndyCar Series Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama presented by Legacy at Barber Motorsports Park on March 30, 2012. (Kevin C. Cox/AFP/Getty Images)

Katherine Legge just broke one more glass ceiling.

Legge became not only the ninth female driver to qualify for the Indy 500, she also became the first driver with an all-female crew.

For the race Legge sported a Girl Scouts logo on her helmet and represented STEM, science, technology, engineering and mathematics, as an ambassador.

Legge said she hopes her story get the message to girls that they can be whatever they want to be and to, "pursue that with 110 percent knowledge that they can get there if they really, really want to."

"My parents said, 'You can be anything that you put your mind to,'" Legge told CNN before the race. 

More from GlobalPost: Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500 for third time

Legge had to overcome more than traditional gender roles for the 96th edition of the Indianapolis 500 motor race. Just days before the race, Legge was in a fierce legal battle with Lotus, the manufacturer of her engine. 

Legge's team, Dragon Racing, sued engine manufacturer Lotus for at least $4.6 million, claiming Lotus damaged Dragon Racing's reputation by spreading "especially outrageous" falsehoods about it while also not delivering two chassis and hurting its ability to be competitive, according to ESPN.

Dragon Racing only reached an agreement with Lotus to switch their engine for a Chevrolet a mere 10 days before the race. This greatly reduced Legge's practice time.

"We didn't know what engine we would get and if we would get one on time. There was a lot of legal wrangling and my teammate and myself didn't really know what was going on in the end. But ultimately other teams gained an advantage and got to be on the track practicing for six days before we got an engine," Legge told ESPN.

Legge has become a somewhat reluctant heroine. She is less interested in being a female racer, and more interested in just being a racer.

Legge told Detroit News, "We're not in it to be the female face of IndyCar. We want to be competitive and do whatever goes alongside of it to make sponsors happy and that's just part of the job, but the real focus is driving the car. I'm sure Ana (Beatriz) and Simona (de Silvestro) feel the same way." 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/Indy-500-sees-first-female-pit-crew

.

Featured Slideshow

EU Basel Art Show

Art Basel gathers works from around the world for its annual shows.