SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The TrueCar Racing team will be hitting the track for the second weekend in a row, at least in part, as Katherine Legge (Dragon Racing) and Ashley Freiberg (JDC Motorsports) prepare to compete at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at Barber Motorsports Park.
Legge, who is going into her second race in the IZOD IndyCar series (after a three-year hiatus from open-wheel racing to compete in Germany's DTM series,) has never raced at the track before but is learning from her Dragon Racing teammate Sebastien Bourdais, who finished 11th in the IndyCar series race here last year. She has also spent a considerable amount of time learning the track through race driving simulators.
"I'm looking forward to racing here because it reminds me a lot of European tracks – very green, very hilly and smooth," said Legge, driver of the No. 6 TrueCar Lotus Dallara DW12. "It looks fantastic. I've been driving the simulator at home so with the limited testing we've had I think that's really important."
The team has only been able to test one full day thus far and is working hard to put themselves on par with the rest of the field. Legge remains optimistic and is happy for the track time she will gain this weekend, starting with several practice sessions today.
"Obviously we are still in a testing process and I think this weekend we'll probably have similar issues to the ones we had at St. Pete," explained Legge, referring to the previous race at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, where her car suffered from engine management issues and overheated. "We haven't had much time to fix that at this point. The objective is to keep learning and keep moving forward; that's what we can realistically expect right now."
Legge's TrueCar Racing teammate Ashley Freiberg, however, has been able to experience Barber first-hand and is excited about returning to the 16-turn, 2.38-mile road course near Birmingham, Alabama. She will qualify her #91 Star Mazda today and compete in two Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear races this weekend, Race 1 tonight and Race 2 on Sunday.
"The track is really challenging – a lot of high-speed flowing corners, many elevation changes and a lot of blind corners where you can't see the exits," said Freiberg. "I've raced here before (with the Skip Barber Race Series) but it's going to be a completely different experience. Those cars have treaded tires. These Star Mazda cars run on racing slicks, so I'm learning how when you put a new set of slicks on how to get the most out of it in two laps – when the tires are giving their peak performance. You can go about two and a half seconds faster per lap at that point. That's been a big part of the learning curve. Getting used to the downforce is too – Skip Barber cars don't have any downforce and these cars have a fair amount."
The Star Mazda Championship races take place this weekend at 4:45 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, March 30th, and at 10:20 a.m. (CDT) on Sunday, April 1st. IZOD IndyCar Series qualifying takes place on Saturday, March 31st with the race being held on Sunday, April 1st at 1:00 p.m. (CDT) and will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network.
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