Katherine Legge had to persevere a lot in 2012.
As part of TRUECar's female racing initiative, the former Champ Car driver worked her way back into IndyCar last season with Dragon Racing as teammate to Sebastien Bourdais. Unfortunately, the team was saddled with woeful Lotus engines and only managed to join the Chevrolet camp after suing the British manufacturer.
Once inside the Bowtie Brigade, more issues emerged as Dragon was forced to become a one-car operation. Instead of having her own drive, Legge found herself relegated to oval duty for the remainder of the year while Bourdais took care of the road courses.
Now, Legge no longer has a ride at all. TRUECar has decided to stick with Dragon and Colombia's Sebastian Saavedra has taken her spot as the team's second driver. As for TRUECar's initiative — which had the tagline "Women Empowered" — who knows what will happen with that.
The episode has incited some controversy, and Legge herself admitted last night on her Twitter page, @katherinelegge, that she was "feeling pretty sick to [her] stomach" about it (she also said that she would issue a statement "shortly").
Situations like this never cease to feel troubling, no matter how many times we see it unfold in IndyCar. Legge isn't likely to win a championship, but she had the potential to at least be in the mid-pack group with a decent car/engine combo.
It appears that potential will remain untapped, and now we'll have to wait and see what her next move will be. I'm also interested in hearing more about TRUECar and Penske's side of this story.
UPDATE: Here come the lawyers.
In a statement released this morning, Katherine Legge said that she will take legal action following the loss of her drive at Dragon Racing. She states that she received a letter of termination on Jan. 18 and that inquiries into the reasons for said termination have gone unanswered by the team.
Legge even goes as far as to mention her former team owner Jay Penske's embarrassing incident last summer on Nantucket, in which he and brother Mark were arrested for an alleged break-in at the Nantucket Yacht Club. Two women also claimed they were pushed by the Penske brothers, and that one of the men urinated on one of the women's boots.
In October, both Penskes were placed on pre-trial probation for one year in Nantucket District Court.
“Jay Penske’s actions in Nantucket then really hurt my ability to find additional and personal sponsors, and it was highly embarrassing, especially with the message that we were trying to portray," said Legge in the statement, which is part of a story from SPEEDTV.com's Marshall Pruett.
UPDATE 2: Dragon Racing has released a statement this afternoon on the situation, which can be found via The Indianapolis Star's Curt Cavin.