Jay Penske and Dragon Racing are reportedly set to announce they have signed both Sébastien Bourdais and the returning Katherine Legge to full-time deals for the 2012 IndyCar season.
As we reported last month, Jay Penske has been working hard in the off-season rebuilding his Dragon Racing outfit following a dire 2011 season which, despite the team coming back from the rubble of insolvency, failed to qualify either of its two entries for the Indianapolis 500 after both were involved in single-car wrecks.
Bourdais returned to the IndyCar landscape last year with Dale Coyne after a highly-publicised failed Formula 1 journey. The Frenchman drove in all of the road-course events, while Alex Lloyd handled the oval duties. He struggled initially but soon regained his confidence and finished his part in the season with four top-six finishes.
Legge’s last participation in an American open-wheel series was her appearance in the last regular season Champ Car event in Mexico City in 2007, the race at which Bourdais secured 31st and his final Champ Car win. Driving for comparatively less-competitive squads, however, Legge’s time in Champ Car did show that she had plenty of ability, with a number of Top 10 finishes.
Since the series folded, she ventured back across the Atlantic and raced in the German DTM championship to little fanfare. After moving back to the US and settling in Indianapolis, she has gathered a nice portfolio of sponsors, and made her availability and presence known to the IndyCar community.
Further changes to the Dragon Racing setup have been the relocation of their base from Indiana to California and a re-energised outlook with Jay Penske the sole owner and operator, having dug the team out of the financial problems that plagued the operation in recent years. Understood to be utilising Lotus engines which, combined with Bourdais’ experience and Legge’s raw talent, the 2012 season is showing promise.
And in late news, it is also believed that Venezuelan racer EJ Viso is set to re-sign with KV Racing Technology for the 2012 season. Official word of all of these signings is expected shortly.
[Article by Matt Lennon; original image via Dipity]