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Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk team up at Gradient Racing for IMSA campaign

In a new all-female line-up, Katherine Legge and Sheena Monk will team up for the upcoming IMSA season at the wheel of the JG Wentworth Acura NSX GT3 Evo22 operated by Gradient Racing.

Photo by: Gradient Racing

Sportscar ace Katherine Legge will team up with Sheena Monk in the upcoming IMSA season, in what will be Gradient Racing's first full-time commitment in the premier North American Sports Car Championship. The duo will drive the HPD Acura NSX GT3 Evo22, with support from JG Wentworth, and will be joined at the 24 Hours of Daytona by reigning GT World Challenge America ProAm champion Mario Farnbacher and Marc Miller.

Monk spent the last couple of seasons in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, where she raced to four podium finishes and one race win over the last 3 years. After an unfortunate start, Monk bounced back and had a very solid 2022 season, showcasing good racecraft and pace, especially in the second half of the year in the JG Wentworth Mustang GT4. She will therefore make the jump to GT3 - but will have the help and support from the highly experienced Katherine Legge, who returns to the Acura platform after two years behind the wheel of Porsche machinery.

“I’m so excited to be back in the Acura family, my transition to GT racing came in the Acura NSX GT3 and I have some of my fondest memories from those years", Legge said. "I was involved in the platform’s development and I’m proud of what we achieved with HPD, especially giving the car its first global win at Detroit in 2017.”

Legge has competed in IMSA's GTD class since 2017, when she collected two race wins and four podiums. In 2018, she did even better and claimed seven podiums and two victories, securing the vice-champion title.

The British racer has one of the most extraordinary racing resumes, with experience in single-seaters, prototypes, GTs, stockcar: elite championships include ChampCar, IndyCar - including two Indianapolis 500 - DTM, Formula E, NASCAR Xfinity, WEC, as well as a Formula 1 test.

“I’m really looking forward to jumping back in the car at Daytona in the most competitive field ever", Legge added. "Sheena is one of the most promising young talents coming into IMSA and with Mario Farnbacher and Marc Miller we have a lot of experience and fight to win. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic to get this season started.”

Sheena Monk started her racing career in the Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, where she also scored her first class win. Since 2020, Monk had a remarkable progression in Michelin Pilot Challenge, including a sixth place in the standings in 2021 and eighth place in 2022 - where despite some bad luck she had convincing performances.

“Since I have limited experience in GT3 machinery, the goal is to build my comfort level both with the car and multi-class traffic during the ROAR", explained Monk. "The pace will follow and I believe working with Katherine, Marc, Mario, and the folks at Gradient will ease the early butterflies."

"Heading into the Rolex 24, I understand what my responsibilities are and I am prepared to do whatever the team needs of me", she added. "I'm excited to begin this next chapter and grateful that Katherine and I will be contesting the full season.”

Interestingly, her program took shape after a conversation with Legge, who has also been her driver coach: “My plans for 2023 were rather uncertain, which makes this feel like even more of a whirlwind. I randomly reached out to Katherine to discuss something unrelated - ideas started floating around and things began falling into place", Monk recalls. "JG Wentworth's continued support, combined with Gradient's commitment to furthering my development, has allowed me to reach my goal of IMSA WeatherTech competition, where I will proudly drive the HPD Acura NSX GT3 Evo22.”

The team is eager to carry momentum after winning last year's season finale at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

"We are ready to pick up where we left off in Atlanta. Sheena has been steadily making a name for herself in IMSA, and we are very proud to join her as she steps up to GTD with JG Wentworth. I hope we can reward their commitment to Sheena on the biggest stage in sportscar racing", said Gradient Racing Team Principal Andris Laivins.

"Katherine and Mario have years of experience in the NSX at the factory level, and Marc has been developing this car at Gradient since day one, so our lineup at Daytona is really something special. The team's energy is high, we have an incredible pit crew, and the momentum that comes from our big win at Petit Le Mans last October. I can't wait to get this season going.”

Monk and Legge will contest the full WeatherTech IMSA SportsCar Championship, and will be joined on the grid by more women for the Michelin Endurance Cup, as Iron Dames will make their North American debut with a Lamborghini GTD entry, and Ashton Harrison will contest race under the banner of WTR by Andretti Autosport.

The season is set to begin with the ROAR Before the 24 at Daytona International Speedway on January 20th for the usual three days of testing that precede the Rolex 24 Hours, first round of the IMSA season.

Photo by: Gradient Racing



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