To The Point Podcast Episode 8: Fast Cars, Racing Careers, and Data Analytics, with Katherine Legge
In this week’s episode, Katherine Legge joins the podcast to discuss her career in race car driving, the challenges and risks associated with it, and how data analytics is being used in motorsports, as well as in fraud prevention, to improve performance.
Click below to listen to the full episode or read the full transcript.
This is To the Point, a podcast from Point Predictive.
This is Jeff Goldberg at the 2023 Auto Lending Fraud Roundtable presented by Point Predictive. We are joined now by Katherine Legge, racecar driver. Katherine, I asked you what is your racing background and you have a long list of credentials. Tell us a little bit about your background when it comes to racing.
I do. I um- I get asked all the time. Okay. Describe what you what it is that you do. And the best way I think I can describe it as the I have one of the most diverse careers in motorsport. I’ve literally driven, raced, I should say everything from IndyCar to NASCAR, sports cars to Formula E electric cars. So currently my long-standing career I would say as in sports car racing, but I also have just completed the Indy 500 with Ray Hall Letterman Lanigan Racing. And yeah, I’ve been around long enough that I’ve driven everything pretty much.
What got you into racecar driving? And I think that it is most people would assume and I think it’s the case it’s a heavily male dominated field. How did you find yourself and find your place in this industry?
I, I kind of fell into racing. I don’t think it was ever planned. It was more of a hobby that turned into a passion, that turned into a career. I was a very headstrong, tomboy adventure child who loved racing go-karts. And like just basically clawed my way up and through the ranks. And I didn’t know that it was possible because there were no women in it at that time, right. So it is very male dominated.
But I’ve also grown up thankful, like grateful to my parents for giving me this opinion that you can do anything that you want to do, like you can be anything that you want to be. So I just kept on keeping on. And then I think tenacity is basically what got me to having had the long career that I’ve had so far, and hopefully many more to come.
Did you face a lot of resistance or opposition in any way when it came to your career, and maybe in particular, because of it being such a male dominated (sport)?
Sure. A lot, I would say, but also, it’s worked to my advantage, too. So I think in the end of the day, it probably evens itself out. I think more on the kind of periphery of the sport like within the sport, because I have been around so long, and I hope I’m well respected enough now that people have accepted me. I think it’s more, you know, the fans and the and the audience and the media that think of it as something different. Whereas to me, the car doesn’t know the difference. The teams accept me as a racecar driver, and I’m just another racecar driver, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white or male or female. But for sure, growing up through the ranks, I had my fair share of adversity.
Let’s say, although I don’t like to call it that because as I said, it does kind of help you in a way too. So I don’t have a way of knowing what it would have been like to have been a guy trying to be a racecar driver. All I know is my own personal experience. And I know that that’s a very unique one. So hopefully things are changing for the generations coming up through you know, there are women running companies and countries even now. And so definitely times are changing and opinions are changing on so many things and evolving. So it will just continue to do so.
How do you think you you mentioned the word evolving? How do you think you have evolved as a driver over time, especially considering you’ve driven so many different types of cars, different types of races? How would you sort of describe your evolution professionally,
I think as you as you grow as a person as well, like as you grow up, not just as you grow as a driver, you gain experience, you gain more self awareness. And you are better able to fine tune what you’re good at what you’re not good at how you make it work for you. And just you know, everybody goes through the same thing.
You’re 18 And you think you know everything and you’re the best thing since sliced bread. And then you get knocked back and you learn how to kind of get up again and go again and then you learn what causes those knock backs and it’s just like a continual process and, and things don’t affect you as much as you get older because it’s happened before right. Like the first time you get rejected by a team or whatever, it’s the end of the world. When you’ve been rejected 20 times it’s like okay, well I know that there’s another thing around the corner.
So it’s about learning to quiet the emotions inside you and and just single single point of focus for the future. got what it is that you want and just don’t let anything in.
When you mentioned, you figure out what you’re good at. I think we all know that as people, the older you get a little more wisdom, hopefully, how would you describe what your strengths are now at this stage in your career?
That’s a good question. I think I have quite a lot of strengths. I think I’m pretty decent as a leader. And I can rally people around to hopefully, create a good team environment, right. I would say that becomes evident when I’m teaching like my teammates when I do sports car racing, and I’m trying to get them up to speed like teaching them the right way to think and behave and drive and everything else is it makes you more reflective on the way that you’re doing things.
So in a way, I think I’m I’m good at different aspects. I’m much more disciplined, now. I, I think there’s just a number of different ways in which you can change and evolve, and I’m not so impulsive. I’ve learned how to better control my emotions, I definitely work harder, because you appreciate the things that you have more. This is there’s a there’s a lot of things really,
You are from Great Britain. And I would imagine a lot of your experience here has been racing in America. What are the differences in terms of culture, when it comes to the particular the sport of racing?
it’s very different. And I’ve been fortunate enough to race all over the world. I will say I’m probably more American than I am British at this stage, not that I’m not that I’m renouncing my Britishness in any way, shape, or form. It’s just that I’ve spent the majority of my adult life here. I like the way things are done here, there’s a more open positive attitude.
There was more opportunities for me as a woman over here than there was in Europe. Although things are now changing over there as well, I think that maybe America was just a little bit ahead of the curve. But there are some cultural things that I miss and I love about being in Europe as well and being in England. So I think the way that the Brits approach racing is quite different to the way the Americans approach racing. You know, you can’t really compare NASCAR and Formula One, for example, which are the biggest sports and both markets. So there’s a lot of differences.
And there takes there’s a lot of adjustment for people that come over, you know, we have an engineer who worked in a Formula One team to come and do Indy, and it’s just completely different. Not only is it different racing, but it’s a different environment. It’s a different culture. And so it takes some getting used to both ways, I would say, just a different attention to detail, more risk taking. Definitely Americans are way more risk-reward orientated. We tend to be a bit more conservative. That’s different. I can’t really-
I want to bring it back for a moment to Point Predictive and being here at the Roundtable Point Predictive is an organization focused on data analytics. That’s what drives so much of what they do. No pun intended, sorry, driver. What about data and analytics, in your sport, how that has helped, sort of help the sport evolve, define the sport, a lot of sports, obviously, data and analytics has changed the game. What about in driving?
I think there’s a there’s a lot of similarities and parallels that can be drawn between the data that the people here today are looking at on a daily basis and the data that we look at on a daily basis as a team as an organization as a manufacturer, you know, within Honda, within Rahal, Letterman, Lanigan, we have so many different sensors on the car that tells us every single element about what we’re doing to make the car better to make it faster.
And so the engineers are analyzing that data just as Point Predictive analyzing the data that they get in. And using that to the best of our ability, and that’s evolving to right like there’s always new, better ways of doing it. And so we’re trying to do what Point Predictive are doing and just continue to use that to, to make us stronger, basically.
My final question is, you know, you talked during your comments today about kind of the roller coaster of the ups and downs to the emotions of the sport. What keeps you going, where does the passion come from, the motivation? And just what is it that again, I’m putting that drives you I know terrible directly on words, but where does passion come from?
I think it’s intrinsic in me that I love racing. I love every element of it. I love every aspect of it. The thought of not racing is terrifying to me because I don’t- I think I’m very fortunate to have found a passion in life. You know, a lot of people don’t have that single point of focus that they can dedicate their lives to. So I feel very lucky to have that. And I am driven by the will to want to be better and stronger and just keep doing it.
And also I didn’t go into racing wanting to be a role model or anything I was just about me and about racing, but when you see all these young girls, especially young girls come up to you and genuinely in their eyes believe that they can do anything that they want to do because they see you out there racing against the boys like that is a that’s a really neat feeling. And it’s also a responsibility and so I want to be the best version of myself for them too.
That’s amazing Katherine Legge. Thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate you taking the time. It’s great speaking with you at the 2023 Auto Lending Fraud Roundtable presented by Point Predictive.
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