Out with Danica! In with Katherine!

Posted by Iannucci | 4/06/2006 | 0 comments »
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For those of you not in the know, the CART season kicks off this Sunday with a race in Long Beach. Actually, the series is no longer branded as CART but rather Champ Car World Series, which goes to show how much I follow the thing. I only mention this because, well…what would happen if you merged Dan Weldon and Danica Patrick? Perhaps you might end up with photogenic Brit Katherine Legge, who will try to ignite the racing passions of whatever testosterone-fueled race fans remain among the following in Champ Car. Legge now has a full season ride in a car owned by former Champ Car Champ Jimmy Vasser and current series owner Kevin Kalkhoven.

Legge’s credentials seem solid, but I’m sure her hiring has just as much to do with her marketability as her racing acumen. I wish her the best, although given Danica!’s unparalleled popularity I can’t help but wonder if racing teams in different series are looking for attractive ladies who just happen to drive cars well. As much as a victory on any track by Danica! would help the popularity of the IRL, drivers need to be drivers first and marketers second. I’ll stop there before I turn into a Paul Dana hater.

In truth, if Legge is a primarily a marketing hire then the gimmick is working since I probably wouldn’t be watching the Champ Cars this weekend were she not racing. So for now, the only sexist comment I will muster is “Gentlemen, start your engines.”