Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame

Katherine Legge and Takuma Sato, drivers with a legacy of winning races, breaking barriers and setting milestones, will be honored at this year’s Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame ceremony, Thursday, April 18.

This annual event, honoring the achievements of those who have made significant contributions to auto racing, will take place at 11AM on the palm-lined sidewalk on South Pine Avenue in front of the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center and across the Pike At Rainbow Harbor entertainment complex. All are welcome to this free event. Here’s a look at the careers of this year’s honorees.

Credit: City of Long Beach


Katherine Legge’s diverse racing career has been distinguished by setting records and standards. The British-born Legge competes full or part time in IMSA SportsCar and NASCAR Infinity Series as well as IndyCar. It was in IndyCar that she became, in 2023, the Indianapolis 500’s fastest female qualifier in the 107-year history of that historic race.

In 2017, she delivered to Acura NSX its first victory worldwide at the Detroit Grand Prix. Legge moved to the United States in 2005 and, that year, became the first woman to win a developmental open-wheel race in North America when she won the Toyota Atlantic Championship season opener in Long Beach. Racing for Polestar Motor Racing, Legge would go on to notch series wins at Edmonton and San Jose that season. She followed that by besting F1 driver Kimi Raikkonen’s long-standing lap record in Formula Renault which led to her becoming just the second woman offered a F1 test.

Though she has enjoyed exceptional success–winning three championships and six races, along with 15 podium results–in her professional driving career, she has also worked to spread that success around. In May 2015, Legge joined the Grace Autosport project, an all-female team that, with the support of the FIA’s Women in Motorsport Commission, set out to promote technology and engineering as a career for young women. It’s something she continues to pursue in her non-racing life, especially as a Girl Scouts STEM Ambassador.


Milestone victories and historic firsts born of an aggressive driving style have distinguished the career of Takuma “Taku” Sato. Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Sato is a two-time winner of the Indianapolis 500, becoming the first Japanese-born winner of the race in 2017 and, with his win in 2020, just the 20th driver to win the iconic race more than once.

Given all his accomplishments, including winning the 2013 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach–another first for a Japanese driver–it’s incredible that Sato didn’t start his car racing career until he was age 19. It was then that he first took up kart racing. In the span of just six years, he was racing in Formula One as part of the Honda-powered Jordan, BAR and Super Aguri team, scoring a podium finish at the 2004 United States Grand Prix.

His career has been notable not only for its success but also a hard-charging style best exemplified by his motto: “No attack, no chance.” That style likely came about from Sato’s time as one of his country’s top racing cyclists, becoming a national cycling champion while still in high school. Sato, who splits his time between residences in Indiana and Japan, still uses cycling as part of his fitness regimen.

About the Author
Steve Lowery
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