Katherine Legge becomes first female driver on Formula E circuit

34-yr-old Brit becomes 11th driver on new circuit

Published: July 1, 2014, 6:00 PM

Katherine Legge

The new all-electric FIA Formula E Championship signed its first female driver this week with Brit Katherine Legge. Her signing makes 11 drivers onboard total. The 34-year-old will be the first of the rebranded Amlin Aguri Formula E team’s two drivers.

Legge started out in junior single-seaters before winning the series opener in the Toyota Atlantic Championship at Long Beach in 2005, when she placed third overall for the season. Later that year she was the first woman to test a Formula 1 car since Sarah Fisher with Minardi in 2002. In 2006, she signed to drive Champ Car and was the first woman to lead a lap in the series’ history.

She switched to DTM, driving for Futurecom TME and Abt Sportsline after her second year. In 2012, she moved to the U.S. for a season of IndyCar and one with American Le Mans.

“For me, this is a really exciting opportunity,” she said. “The car is fantastic, it looks amazing and it will be very quick. Racing through the streets of the world’s leading cities will be an incredible experience and I think it’s a great chance to bring racing to the people. We will be driving in their cities on their streets.”

Formula E promotes an interest in electric vehicle technology and sustainability as the world’s first fully electric race series. Competitors drive entirely on city-centre circuits, including in China, Malaysia, Uruguay, Argentina, the U.S., Monaco, Germany and Great Britain in cars that can get up to 150 mph (225 km/h). Ten teams feature international names like Alain Proust and Michael Andretti, with backing from high-profile international environmental advocates like Richard Branson.