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Rediff News  All News  » Sports » Woman racer Legge completes Minardi test

Woman racer Legge completes Minardi test

November 24, 2005 09:04 IST

Former Minardi owner Paul Stoddart complimented Briton Katherine Legge on Wednesday after she became the first woman in more than a decade to test a Formula One car.

"She's definitely got what it takes to be a Formula One driver," said the Australian after the 25-year-old, who races in America, completed 27 laps at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome.

Minardi said the Guildford-born racer had set a series of quick and consistent times after crashing into a concrete wall on Tuesday after just one lap.

"I expected the unexpected and that's what I got," said Legge. "It was certainly a lot easier today than yesterday, mainly because I was left alone to focus on what I had to do.

"I did the best job I could and, bearing in mind my relative lack of experience, I'm very pleased with the result."

Legge has been racing single-seaters since 2000 and won three races in the U.S. Toyota Atlantic series this year, finishing third overall.

"Everything is different -- the brakes, the power, the downforce, the technology. It's just like nothing I have ever driven before," she said.

The test was a pre-existing arrangement between Stoddart and ChampCar boss and Cosworth co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven before the Australian sold Minardi to Red Bull.

Minardi will be renamed Scuderia Toro Rosso next year.

The last woman to attempt to compete in Formula One was Italian Giovanna Amati in 1992. She failed to qualify for Brabham and was replaced by Briton Damon Hill who went on to be world champion in 1996.

More recently, American Sarah Fisher performed a brief demonstration run in a McLaren at Indianapolis before the 2002 U.S. Grand Prix.

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