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Legge to race for Dale Coyne Racing in 108th Indy 500

Written by Dan Jones

Legge will make her return to the field. Credit: Joe Skibinski

Katherine Legge will attempt to qualify for the Indianapolis 500 fourth time in her career after being announced as the long-awaited entry in the No.51 Dale Coyne Racing (DCR) car, as confirmed by the team. The Plainfield outfit will line the Brit up alongside Indianapolis 500 rookie Nolan Siegel.

Legge's attempt is backed by e.l.f. Cosemetics as they become the first-ever beauty brand to serve as a primary sponsor in the Indianapolis 500.

"I’m honored to be back at the 500 to represent such a groundbreaking and historic effort put forward by e.l.f.," Legge said. "e.l.f. is truly changing the face of motorsports by lifting women up and challenging norms. Janet Guthrie set the stage for this type of moment back in the ‘70s and I’m honored to carry it forward with Dale Coyne Racing with RWR this year...

"Together with DCR, Honda, and e.l.f., we will truly empower women who are breaking barriers, pushing boundaries, and testing the limits by giving them the confidence and a path towards realizing their dreams, whatever they may be."

Legge was one of the unsung stars at the Speedway in 2023, where she lined up in a fourth entry for Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLL) - a team who suffered a tumultuous Month of May, which saw Graham Rahal bumped from the field by teammate Jack Harvey.

Legge was the last car locked into the field in day one of qualifications and the only RLL car to make the field on the Saturday, becoming the fastest female driver Indianapolis has ever seen in the process.

Her day would be cut short on Sunday, after she had a pitlane incident which hampered her until her retirement on Lap 41, but has the opportunity to redeem herself in 2024. Legge's attempt last year was her third at the race, after 22nd and 26th place finishes in 2012 and 2013 respectively.

Braun took the helm of the #51 in 2024's opening rounds. Credit: Joe Skibinski

Chief Marketing Officer at e.l.f. Beauty, Kory Marchisotto, said: "Katherine is a bold disruptor with a kind heart. She is a force driven by positivity, inclusivity and accessibility. She takes to the track motivated to pave the way for future drivers who might not currently see themselves behind the wheel at big races. Her presence is helping to shape the future culture of racing."

DCR's announcement means a surprise call-up for Legge, who was not associated elsewhere despite her successful 2023 campaign. Legge's entry means that Coyne will enter at least four different drivers in 2024 by the time May arrives, with a driver in the No.51 yet to be announced for Long Beach. IMSA veteran Colin Braun piloted the entry on the Streets of St. Petersburg and the $1 Million Challenge.

The announcement marks the 34th confirmed entry for May's 108th running of the race, officially confirming the requirement for a car to be bumped from the field, ending one driver's Indianapolis 500 dream before it has even begun. This was the pain that Legge's 2023 teammate Rahal endured before he was called up to replace the injured Stefan Wilson, who was ruled out after a practice crash with Legge.

With 34 entries confirmed, the only question mark remains around the Abel Motorsports entry of R. C. Enerson, who made the intentions clear of the team to compete in the race on Content Day, dependent on sponsorship and funding for the event. The team look set to miss the open test, beginning on 10th April. With time running out before entries need to be finalised, a potential 35th entry looks in doubt - a number which hasn't been met since the 2021 event.

Being her first entry into an IndyCar race since last year's event, Legge will be required to run the refresher programme as part of the open test, alongside Marco Andretti and Pietro Fittipaldi.

Can Legge replicate a strong 2023? Credit: Chris Owens

Legge's experience in the garage will be a huge help to teammate Nolan Siegel, the 19-year-old rookie making his first Indianapolis 500 appearance, and just his second points-paying race in the series. Siegel will also be guided by Jack Harvey, who is racing 14 of 18 races in the No.18 entry.

With the experience of the Brits, who have 10 Indianapolis 500 races between them, Siegel's attempts to qualify will be supported by two knowledgeable heads at the Brickyard and can take confidence from 2023 Coyne rookie Sting Ray Robb, who made the field on Qualifications Day Two in 2023.

A welcome return to the Brickyard, Legge's addition to the field further adds to her inspirational story but also confirms the return of bumping in 2024. With the formalities just over a month away, and the open test kicking the 2024 proceedings off, The Greatest Spectacle in Racing is almost upon us again.


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