US Air Force veteran Jackie Heinricher will partner Katherine Legge in a full-time GT Daytona entry in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2019, while former IndyCar Series racers Ana Beatriz and Simona de Silvestro will also race for the team in the endurance races.
Heinrich Racing and Meyer Shank Racing have partnered up with Caterpillar Inc. to form the all-female outfit for the 2019 season, with Heinricher stepping up from Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America to race in the IMSA series for the first time.
Legge will join Heinricher for the whole season, while Beatriz will race in the four endurance races – the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen and Motul Petit Le Mans. De Silvestro will compliment the line-up at Daytona.
“I am honoured to partner with CAT and to have their support,” said Heinricher. “My vision has long been to bring together a diverse team of four female drivers, some of the fastest globally, to join forces to compete together, and with the support of CAT, I get to see my long held vision become reality.
“I am excited to be joining Michael Shank and the entire winning MSR team in this amazing partnership and to have the honour to compete with Katherine, Ana, and Simona.”
Legge, who went into Saturday’s Petit Le Mans with a chance of taking the GT Daytona title, says she has always wanted to do something like this, and it is pleasing that it comes as part of Meyer Shank Racing, the team that has seen her take four race victories across the past two seasons.
“It feels great, I have always wanted to do something like this to show the appeal of racing to a wider audience,” said Legge. “Jackie has done an amazing job to create this opportunity and develop this partnership.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Simona and Bia, and it is exciting to return to Meyer Shank Racing with the Acura NSX GT3. We’ve had great success and we are looking forward to building on that starting at Daytona.”
For Beatriz it is a return to American racing after spending the last few seasons racing stock cars in her homeland after leaving the IndyCar Series in 2013, and she is excited by the chance to race in the four high-profile endurance races next year.
“I never thought this could happen in my career if you were to ask me a few years ago but it feels pretty exciting,” said Beatriz. “I’ve known Katherine and Simona for a long time and they had great success where they have raced.
“The MSR team is always fighting for wins and championships in IMSA and I am sure they will do the best they can to get this girl power team in high positions. I can’t wait to be in the car for such important races like Daytona where I’ve never raced before but I’ve always dreamt about.”
De Silvestro may only be racing for the team in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, but she believes it will be a special occasion for everyone involved in the project and it will be an ambition fulfilled to race at the Daytona International Speedway.
“It’s pretty exciting and I think for sure the line-up that we have is really strong,” said de Silvestro. “All of us girls have a lot of credibility and I think it will be quite exciting so I’m really looking forward to Daytona. I think the team dynamic will be very strong.
“For myself, it will be a little bit of learning but I am looking forward to it. It’s quite a special feeling to be a part of such a good team that has had a lot of success so I think this is going to be a great car to be in and to give us all a strong shot.
“I just can’t wait to go racing in Daytona, which I have always dreamt about.”