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Liz Halliday's Le Mans race
Motor Racing: A woman driver breaks barriers in a macho sport
Woman in Le Mans world
Liz Halliday and Intersport Racing end the season on a high
Preview Laguna Seca - round 10
Road Atlanta - 10 Hour Petit le Mans.
Mosport International Raceway - 3rd in class
Road America - 3rd in class
Portland International - 1st in class, 5th overall
Salt Lake City 2nd in class
Lime Rock 3rd in class
Le Mans 4th in class
Mid-Ohio 3rd in class
Lone Star Grand Prix Houston - 1st in class
12-Hours of Sebring - 1st in class, 2nd overall
March 31
March 18, 2006
March 13, 2006
March 4, 2006
February 17, 2006
Sebring test Jan 23-25
January 22, 2006

Liz Halliday's Le Mans race


UK-based Californian Liz Halliday saw her hopes of becoming the first female class winner of the Le Mans 24 Hours dashed in the early hours of Sunday morning as her Courage LC75 developed gearbox problems which ultimately forced her retirement.

The dual-sportswoman, who combines careers in motorsport and three-day eventing, looked set to realise one of her sporting goals of winning her class at the famous endurance race when her Del Bello Team led the LMP2 class during the first half of the round-the-clock race. However gearbox problems during a stint for Liz's co-driver Romain Iannetta in the 12th hour cost around 60 minutes in the pits, dropping the team way down the order. Whilst they fixed the initial problem and sent the car back out on track, Halliday was then hampered by an oil leak, whilst more gearbox issues eventually forced retirement at 8.40am, 17 hours into the race.

Halliday's last stint in the car, which came after the first long pit-stop, proved to be one of her best of the race and saw the team recouping time and moving back up the field. She said "The car felt great and it was definitely my most consistent stint. But after my first pit stop I developed an oil leak. I felt the car slide in the second chicane and thought there might be some oil on the track. Then I arrived at Indianapolis and lost the car, missing the wall by about an inch. As I attempted to pull away again the car just swapped ends as I accelerated. The marshals pushed me back onto the track and I managed to limp back to the pits where the mechanics found oil spraying all over the back wheels.

"After they sorted that problem I lost fourth gear on the paddle shift and had to come in again, but even though we switched to manual the car still didn't work in fourth gear."

The car was eventually retired on Sunday morning after another long stay in the pits after team mate Vitaly Petrov lost second gear, leaving Halliday frustrated that a podium position at the very least had slipped through her fingers.

"It still hasn't sunk in yet," she said. "It's hard to take because the class podium, even the win, was within our grasp. But at the end of the day there was nothing any of the drivers could have done differently."

Motor Racing: A woman driver breaks barriers in a macho sport


LE MANS, France: Although the top levels of motor racing have always been a macho domain, there have often been female participants, and the 24 Hours of Le Mans is no exception. (See list.)

In the 1935 edition of the race, there were a record 10 female drivers. But of the 165 drivers participating this year, only one is a woman, Liz Halliday.

This is Halliday's third year in a row racing in Le Mans. But for the 28-year-old American, a daylong sporting event is usually just a prelude to two more days. She is not only a professional race-car driver; she is also an international equestrian, a specialist in three-day eventing, which consists of dressage, cross-country and show jumping over three days.

Even so, of her two ambitions in her sporting life - to win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics on the U.S. equestrian team and to become the first woman to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans - she is closer to achieving motor-racing glory.

The best finish by a woman at Le Mans was fourth, accomplished by Odette Siko in 1932. Last year, Halliday finished fourth in her class, the second-highest of the four classes. This year, she will race in the same class, in a prototype car of the Noël Del Bello team of France.

Although she is intrigued by open-wheel sprint racing like Formula One, Halliday said her entire racing career has been geared to sports cars. And for her, endurance racing and Le Mans represent the ultimate racing challenge.

"It's a real challenge in that it's more than just how fast can you go; it's how fast can you go and not break the car," she said. "You're driving at night and in all conditions. The traffic is also a big challenge. To manage traffic the way you have to do in sports-car racing is like nothing anywhere else."

When asked about how she copes with the G-force, which makes a driver's head several times its normal weight during cornering, Halliday said she could cope, but that it was different for a woman than for a man.

"Your neck isn't inherently as strong as it is with a man," she said. "And your upper body is, as a female driver, something that you have to accept that physiologically is not equal to a man's. You have to say 'I'm going to make myself equal.' But you have to accept the fact that your body is not built the same way as a man's."

Part of her interest in racing came from her father's love of it. He raced as an amateur in historic cars, which is how she started.

"I did my first race when I was 17," she said. "It was just a little shed of a car. It was a Datsun 510, 1967, a slow Kleenex-box-on-wheels kind of thing. It was awesome. My dad was my instructor. He taught me everything to begin with, and then I moved on swiftly when I came to England."

She arrived in England more than seven years ago to develop her horse-riding career, working with an Olympian during a year off from biology studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has ridden horses since she was 8, began competing at 13, and then went to England because it is the world center of three-day eventing.

But once there, she started car racing again, taking part in an amateur club racing series, driving a BMW M3. In 2003, she won her first race and broke the track record at Croft, in Yorkshire.

"Everyone threw up their arms and said, 'She must be cheating!' " said Halliday. "I thought this wasn't any fun anymore and I decided to start driving in British GT. And I never looked back."

In 2003, she became the first woman to win a British GT race. She also took part in the Spa 1,000-kilometer race in Belgium and the Bathurst 24-hour race in Australia at the end of the year.

"That woke me up to distance racing and I thought, 'That's really cool,' " she said.

In 2004, she finished on the podium in the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series race at Homestead Miami Speedway and raced in the Le Mans Series at Laguna Seca in California. She raced in the American Le Mans Series in 2005, taking three class victories. She was named rookie of the year and finished fourth in the series as a driver, despite racing only half of the season.

Last year, she won three more races, reached the podium seven times, and finished second in her class. In the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2005, her car led the class for nearly half of the race until it broke down and retired after 11 hours.

Halliday said that before she turned professional, it had occasionally been difficult being a woman driver. But at her current level, she said, she is treated as an equal.

"If you're doing the job on the track, then no one gives you a hard time," she said.

She is enjoying her status in Le Mans this year, nonetheless: "Just me and 164 guys - that's kind of cool!"
Source: By Brad Spurgeon, www.iht.com/articles/2007/06/15/sports/srliz.php

Woman in Le Mans world


When the 165 drivers entered to take part in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours line-up in the town center for the traditional drivers’ parade this Friday, one will perhaps stand out more than the rest.

Liz Halliday

For the second consecutive year, 28-year old UK-based Californian Liz Halliday will be the sole female representative on the grid for the round-the-clock endurance race as she takes the fight to her male rivals driving an LMP2 Courage LC75 for French team Del Bello Racing.

Despite an increase over recent seasons’ in the amount of women involved in motorsport, dual-sportswoman Halliday, who combines her career as a racing driver with that of an equestrian three-day eventer, continues to fly the flag for women in endurance sports car racing and at Le Mans.

“I feel really privileged to be able to do Le Mans three years running” she said. “Its always been a special race for me and my family and it has such a long, illustrious history behind it. The whole week is just incredible and I don’t think there is another motor race on the planet that can compare with it right now. This really is the big one and it is definitely the highlight of my year.”

Halliday plays down the importance of her role as the single female on the grid however. “I guess it’s cool to be the only woman in the race, but when I am out on track I never think of myself like that. It’s not a case of me being a woman racing against the men. I’m just another racing driver when I’m out there and try to go about my job as professionally as possible. However, if people want to portray me as representing women drivers at Le Mans, then so be it, and I hope to do a really good job.”

When it comes to the lack of women racing, not just at Le Mans, but in sports cars in general Halliday isn’t too sure as to the reason why, but believes experience is certainly a factor.

“Yeah I think experience is a big factor at Le Mans. Teams sometimes tend to look for drivers who have driven the race before, so I think the fact that this will be my third consecutive time here certainly helps. I don’t think there’s one definitive reason why there aren’t any other women racing here though. I guess maybe part of it is the lack of women in sports car racing in general at the moment. Maybe in the future more women will start to look at sports cars as a way of advancing their careers in the sport, but for the time being I’m happy where I am because I love this type of racing.”

The big question is will 2007 see Liz move closer to achieving her lofty career goals in her chosen sporting disciplines. On the equestrian front she has her sights on the US Olympic equestrian team in 2012 and is pursuing a programme of events in the hope of achieving that ambition. In the shorter term however, becoming the first woman to win the Le Mans 24 Hours is also on the agenda. Having signed with Del Bello Racing in the wide open LMP2 class this year, that dream could become a reality. Alongside Russian GP2 driver Vitaly Petrov and Frenchman Romain Iannetta and with a competitive Courage / AER / Michelin package, who’s to say that dream won’t become a reality?
Source: www.whowon.com/sresults.asp?SanctionID=1115&StoryID=223178

Liz Halliday and Intersport Racing end the season on a high


Liz Halliday and the Intersport Racing team secured a fantastic second overall in the LMP2 Driver’s Championship of the American Le Mans Series this weekend, with a podium finish in the tenth and final round of the season at Laguna Seca, California.

Halliday and co-driver Clint Field’s championship position is even more impressive for the fact that they have finished ahead of two of their four arch rivals from the factory Porsche team, despite many observers writing off their chances as soon as Porsche announced their plans towards the end of 2005.

To achieve success in the face of such adversity illustrates perfectly the character of the little Intersport team, a private, family-owned operation based in Ohio. Throughout the season they have fought hard to maintain intense pressure on their Porsche rivals, seeking to exploit any sign of weakness. Reliability was one such area in which Porsche struggled early on in the season and Intersport capitalised beautifully, being sure to finish races where their rivals faltered. It was at this early stage of the year that Intersport built the foundation to their championship assault, Halliday’s co-driver and defending champion Clint Field keen to seal a second title and Liz herself looking to record her first.

Inevitably however, Porsche soon found the reliability to match their speed, and finally the mighty RS-Spyders were able to exploit their inherent pace advantage.

Yesterday’s race in Laguna Seca summed up much of the second half of the season, with Intersport feistily refusing to give up, proving themselves absolutely the ‘best of the rest’ as the German steamroller continued.

Jon Field took the start for Intersport, impressively holding station in third place as the Goodyear tyres on the Lola-AER struggled for grip on the dusty circuit. Jon’s son Clint then took over, continuing the faultless run before handing to Halliday on lap 65. Despite the increasingly eventful race being peppered by a multitude of accidents and crashes, Liz performed beautifully, lapping quickly and consistently, maintaining third place with a flawless run.

On lap 80 a ‘full course yellow’ forced the team to review their strategy and Liz was called into the pits for a driver-change, fuel and new tyres. Such is the advantage of pitting during a safety-period that the sacrifice to Halliday’s remaining run was very much in the team’s overall interest.

With Jon Field now back at the wheel, the charge continued for the #37 car, again unabated until Clint was handed the reigns for a final, clean run to the flag. With four hours complete, Intersport finished 12th overall, 3rd in class.

Summing up her weekend, Liz said: “It’s not too bad a way to end the year. Although we always race for the win, it’s great to be on the podium here today – especially with the class having become super competitive with the arrival of more Radical chassis and so on. We're proud to be ‘best of the rest’. I didn’t get too much time in the car today but I think the strategy was right. We had planned all along to switch drivers under yellow and this is exactly what we did. It paid off and helped us to secure third place in the race and second in the championship, so we’re ending the year on a good note.

“This has been a very educational season and I have learnt a lot. I would like to thank Clint, Jon and the entire team for a great year and my first full ALMS championship. We led the championship ahead of the two Porsches for the first six races of the season and this says how competitive the team is. When a one-car, small privateer team can get on top of a two-car, factory outfit like Porsche, it’s a great credit to the mechanics, their preparation of the car and its faultless reliability. The boys really deserve this result and I’m very happy for them. It is a shame that Clint couldn’t retain his LMP2 title and that I couldn’t secure my first one, but it is a well fought third place. On the podium, we had the Penske Porsche drivers saying to us that we scared them all season and they were relieved the season was now over! This is the best compliment we could get!”

Team owner and co-driver to Liz, Clint Field added: “Liz drove a strong race today and this is fantastic for the team to end the season on a high. It would have been great to win the Drivers’ championship for the second season in a row and help Liz secure her first championship but we knew it would be a tall order against Porsche. As a team we did the best we could since Sebring in March and I feel we can be proud of what we achieved. I cannot wait for 2007 which will be an even more competitive season!”
Source: www.lizhalliday.com/pages/news/latest_news_detail.aspx?nid=89

Preview Laguna Seca - round 10


American Le Mans Series driver, Liz Halliday, heads back to her home state of California this weekend for the final round of the season at Mazda Raceway, Laguna Seca.

The Monterey Sportscar Championships, as the event is known - in deference to the circuit’s local town - will mark an exciting climax to what has been a spectacular season for Halliday and the Intersport Racing team.

In the nine races so far the private Ohio-based squad have won three times, had one second place, four thirds and one fourth. Against the might of the two-car entry from the Porsche factory team, they led the LMP2 class championship for the entire first half of the season and still have a mathematical chance of taking the Drivers’ title this weekend, despite two of the Porsche drivers enjoying a slight points advantage.

For Halliday and co-driver Clint Field to take the series title, not only do they need a win this weekend, but they also require a seventh-place finish (or lower) by Porsche driver Sascha Maassen and either a fifth or sixth-place finish by his team mate Lucas Luhr. A tall order by any stretch of the imagination, especially since Porsche appear to have now found reliability to match their ever-dominant speed, but experience suggests that if Intersport can just keep piling the pressure on their rivals, then they might just break.

The Laguna Seca event is not a long race by endurance standards, just four hours, but the eleven-turn, anti-clockwise, 3.6km circuit is as notoriously demanding as it is rewarding, as Liz Halliday explains: “Laguna is one of those famous circuits that every driver looks forward to racing on. It’s up there with Spa, Monaco and Road America as a highly revered drivers’ circuit. I’ve now raced their twice, both in a Porsche GT2 in 2004 and last year with Intersport in our Lola LMP2. I’ve always loved the challenge of the place but I have yet to get a great result there. I plan on doing my best to put that right this weekend.”

The thought occurred that perhaps Halliday is looking forward to the off-season more than most, thanks to the huge demands of pursuing both a racing career as well as that of an international equestrian competing in Three-Day Eventing: “You must be kidding me! If anything it’s the other way around – I much prefer being busy and enjoy darting around between races and horse events. It’s the winter that worries me the most as I’m not very good at time off!

Having said that, I’m sure I’ll appreciate the break when the time comes – so long as we finish the season on a high this weekend. There’s nothing better than going into the winter with the satisfaction of a fantastic result in the final round.”

The race on the West Coast of America’s most spectacular permanent racing circuit, buried in the hills which overlook Monterey Bay, will take place this Saturday, October 21st at 14:45pm.

In the US, Speed Channel will televise the event live on 21st October from 2.30pm PST For more information, please visit www.speedtv.com

In Europe, Motors TV will televise the event live on 21st October from 10.30 UK time (23.30 continental time). For more information, please visit www.motorstv.com

Live coverage will also be available at www.americanlemans.com with American Le Mans Radio and IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

Road Atlanta - 10 Hour Petit le Mans.


Liz Halliday enters Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7 in a more demanding role this year. Instead of simply helping Clint Field and Intersport Racing toward an LMP2 championship, she and Field are tied for second in the drivers standings behind Penske Racing's Sascha Maassen and Lucas Luhr. A second straight win at Petit Le Mans could go a long way to helping Halliday, Field, and the rest of the Intersport team reach championship glory again.

Question: The LMP2 drivers championship is still up for grabs…

Answer: "True, and Clint and I are still in the thick of things. Both Petit Le Mans and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca are multiple-point events, so we absolutely have to take advantage. The Porsche cars have been strong lately, no question about that. But the Intersport Lola has been ultra-dependable each race, and we have to continue in that vein. The Porsches did not (finish) at Sebring, so you have to wonder if either or both will have the staying power at Petit. Petit is a very, very important race for us. The crew is really working hard getting all of us ready for a challenging event."

Q: Aside from Petit's length (1,000 miles or 10 hours, whichever comes first), what are some of the other challenges the teams will encounter?

Halliday and Clint Field can reclaim the LMP2 championship with a victory at Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7.

A: "Well, the fact that you begin the race in what's often very warm weather and busy traffic, then you get to late afternoon and the setting sun becomes a factor, then you're finally running in the darkness and the only lights you have to work with are the ancillary ones around the track and those on the car. Petit is really America's Le Mans, and in many ways it is quite similar to the famous 24 Hours in France. The race may not be as long, but Road Atlanta is an equally difficult track to do well on, and you have to push hard if you want to win."

Q: You have been on the podium a lot this year. Describe those feelings.

A: "Well, it is always fun to be able to be on any of those steps, but we'd all like to have been on the top step more frequently. That's all in the past now though, and we have to do the best we can in the final two races."

Q: What have you been up to away from the track?

A: "Working my horses has taken up most of my time, and I've done a few equestrian events here in England with some good results. I am also happy to announce that I have recently partnered with iZon Eyewear who have come on board as a personal sponsor. They are a specialty eyeglass manufacturer and I could not be happier to be representing a product that I believe in, and to be associated with such a great group of people."

Q: Has this season unfolded in the way you thought, or hoped, it would?

A: "I'm not sure I can give a definitive answer to that actually. Going in, I felt my biggest challenge was to improve my overall driving skills. For the most part, I have accomplished that, and I feel that I have made some big steps forward in the last two races especially. Now the real challenge for me is to keep improving on the pace that I have found, at both Petit Le Mans and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and the challenge for all of us in the team is to get back into the lead in the points championship."

Q: Petit Le Mans is less than a week away. Any other thoughts?

A: "Only that each of us on the Intersport team knows what is at stake. We drivers get all the attention, but neither Clint nor Jon or I would be able to accomplish what we have without the outstanding work ethic and determination of our crew members. If we are fortunate to win the LMP2 championship, and I believe we still can, it is going to be a true 'team' championship. We don't have the numbers (of personnel) that some of the other teams do, but we do have some of the best crew members in this sport and that counts for a lot. We all want to win, and I know that we will continue to put maximum effort into claiming the LMP2 championship in these last two races."

The 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7, Round 9 of the American Le Mans Series, is scheduled for 11:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday, September 30. The race will be broadcast live on SPEED Channel from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT and 3 to 10 p.m. EDT with MotorsTV providing live coverage in Europe. American Le Mans Radio will have live coverage at americanlemans.com, which also will feature IMSA Live Timing & Scoring.

Mosport International Raceway - 3rd in class


Californian racing driver and international equestrian, Liz Halliday, received plaudits from rivals and team mates alike on Sunday after a stunning performance in Round 8 of the American Le Mans Series in Mosport, Canada.

UK-based Halliday started the 2h45m race from 3rd in class, 7th overall, and had onlookers gripped when, having inherited 2nd place from arch rival Sascha Maassen of the mighty factory Porsche team when he pitted early for fuel under a safety car period, she managed to keep him at bay for nearly a full stint. Liz was matching his lap times lap for lap in a tense duel, until she was ultimately hampered by a couple of brake lock ups and a flat spotted tyre in the last lap of her stint.

The entire race was held in dry conditions, which came as a welcome surprise after torrential weather caused organisers to cancel Saturday’s qualifying session and allocate grid positions according to lap times attained in free practice. With just half an hour to the start of the race and with grey clouds still looming ominously overhead, Halliday’s Intersport racing team opted to put a full dry-weather set-up on the LMP2 class Lola-AER, a decisive move which would pay great dividends later in the event.

Road America - 3rd in class


Californian racing driver and equestrian, Liz Halliday, traded one paddock for another last weekend to compete in Round 7 of the American Le Mans Series: the Generac 500 at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The UK-based ‘dual-sportswoman’ headed into the race hoping to build on the five-point lead in the LMP2 class drivers’ standings that she currently shares with her Intersport Racing co-driver, Clint Field.

Whilst the duo did manage to continue their unbroken run of podiums with a solid third place finish, their arch rivals in the Porsche factory squad confirmed that they have now added reliability to their already exceptional pace, with a dominant one-two finish in class and 4th and 5th places overall.

Despite having been pole vaulted in the lead for the championship by Porsche driver Sascha Maassen, who now enjoys a two-point advantage, Halliday and Field remain upbeat about the rest of the season having perhaps demonstrated their strongest pace yet and an improving ability to stay in touch with the Porsches over a race distance.

“So far this year it’s clear that they have had a significant pace advantage over us and indeed nearly everybody else,” said Halliday after the race, “so we focused on our reliability and made sure to pick up the points if they encountered problems. That strategy has worked so far but we need to continue improving our pace to beat them fair and square on the track. We struggled a bit in recent races but we weren’t that far off today and in the ebb and flow of caution periods we even managed to split them [the two Porsches] at times. We’re pretty pleased with the progress we’ve made pace-wise and that’s a fantastic testimony to the team’s efforts on the car. We’ll keep pushing in this area and if we can just stay in contention then who knows what is possible with the championship – it’s far from over yet that’s for sure!”

Halliday and Field were joined in battle this time by Clint’s father, Jon Field. Well known for his blistering pace, Jon was given again qualifying duties and his best effort, a 1m52.453s lap, was good enough for third in class, just over a second shy of the class pole set by Porsche driver, Lucas Luhr, at 1m51.199s. After strong but fairly short stints from Clint and Liz, Field Snr also took the helm for much of the race and did a great job to keep the Lola-AER-GoodYear car in touch with the leaders.

“Jon did a really nice job today,” continued Liz. “We focused on making driver changes under yellow flags and this was the right strategy to stay in contention with the Porsches. We’ve got to do all we can to keep up the pressure on Porsche because we know that they’re fallible. We’re no longer leading the Drivers’ championship, which is of course frustrating, but we’re only two points behind Maassen so we are certainly not giving up yet! There are three rounds to go and in this sport, anything can happen.”

Fighting talk from Liz, who will resume battle with her Intersport team in two weeks’ time at the Mobil 1 presents Labour Day Grand Prix of Mosport, set for 3pm EDT on Sunday, September 3rd.

Portland International - 1st in class, 5th overall


After winning the class race at Portland International, Liz said "This one's for the team," said Halliday. "They are the ones who keep this Lola going around forever. Slow and steady wins the race has been our motto. We know we can't keep pace with the Porsches but they had some problems today that played into our favor. Great luck today."

"We came away from Salt Lake a little disappointed. We took second which was great but we were disappointed with our pace," Field said. "This week we were a little closer to Porsche. The grip wasn't good. Our pace in the race was a second to a second-and-a-half off. We kept going around and were happy to capitalize on their reliability.

"When a company like Porsche comes into the Series, they're going to do it right," Field added. "We want to beat them outright. Toward the end of this year and next year, I think we can get closer and beat them fair and square. We have a good car, engine package and tires. With the announcement that Porsche was coming in, we upped our game and we'll do the same for Acura. Hopefully we'll be as quick as they are."

Salt Lake City 2nd in class


"Wow, what a facility!” said Halliday when commenting on the host venue, “Larry Miller has really done a great job to create a superb track and venue, and I'm sure it will only get better over the years. I certainly found the track very challenging though, and with twenty-four turns and not many features, along with the lowered grip from the sand that was blowing onto the track, it was one of the toughest I have driven - but a great challenge nonetheless.”

"Today, my first stint in the race was difficult but I kept going and made sure I stayed out of trouble. Clint then took over and kept up a good pace, staying as close to the Porsches as possible– which, yet again, had incredible pace. When I took over the car later on for my second stint, I found it far more comfortable and enjoyed the push to the flag. Given our ‘David vs. Goliath’ situation at the moment I’ll gladly take today’s result even if it was a bit lucky – The team did a great job to give us a very reliable car, and it just goes to show that in sportscar racing sometimes staying out of trouble and doing consistent laps can go a long way!

Lime Rock 3rd in class


“Phew – tough day! Given everything we had to go through, I am hugely relieved to still be classified and retain our lead in the championship because with Porsche running so strongly now, we really can’t afford too many more days like this. The first part of the race was fine for us – I took the start once again and felt like I made a pretty good run off the line, but then lost a couple places when I got stuck on the outside of the Highcroft Lola which had lost its gears suddenly just into the first corner. After that I settled down and concentrated on putting in some good lap times. It’s a bumpy, twisty, slippery, ‘busy’ track – but I enjoyed it, it’s a really good challenge. Unfortunately though, we later had to cope with this braking problem which ultimately caught me out not long before the end of the race. I was in fifth gear when I hit the wall so it was pretty fast. It’s unfortunate for the team who now have a lot of work to do, but equally I’m really happy we still grabbed those championship points. A big thanks to Clint and the rest of the boys for all their efforts.”

Le Mans 4th in class


“I was in the car for about two hours at the beginning. It took a couple of laps to get my rhythm back after we sorted the problem but then it started to go well.”

“The car felt much better in the second stint,” she explained. “My lap times were improving all the time, although the traffic seemed quite bad at times, so it was important to try to be safe, as well as fast.”

“My third stint was a really good stint,” said Liz. “But I still had to be careful. There was so much debris and gravel on the track that it was easy to pick up a puncture.” Indeed, she was one of many drivers suffering from deflated tyres but this simply served to spur her on even harder. “We were on another fight-back at that point but we were already at half race distance, which was further than I’ve got last year, so that gave me a boost.”

“I have to say, I’ve never done that many total hours in a car before – I am exhausted. The physical exertion and the heat made it very hard work. I’ve done 24 hour races before but with four drivers to a team, where we did single stints. This weekend, I did three doubles and a triple and I know I’ve been working hard. Having said that, watching from the garage as Clint drove the final stint to the finish, I would happily have got back in and driven all the way to the end!”

“I’m so happy we finished this year. In fact, it means a lot more after that finish! Of course, we would have loved to have been on the podium, as that was my original goal. But with all the issues we had, to finish fourth is still pretty good for the whole team and I’m very proud of that. I think the important thing is that we showed we had the pace, comparable with some of our competitors who did make the podium and I think the car still has the pace to be able to achieve that.

“We did the Sebring 12 Hours earlier this year with the Lola but that was a completely different event. Le Mans is obviously a lot longer and the nature of the circuit is very different. At Sebring, you don’t have the chance to rest for a minute whereas here, with the long straights, I was even having to talk to myself at times to stay focussed.

“I feel I’ve learned a huge amount this year. We’ve already had some good results in the ALMS but this is Le Mans – it’s the ultimate endurance race. And we finished.”

Mid-Ohio 3rd in class


“I’d like to thank the Intersport boys because they’ve worked hard all weekend and did a great job to fix the car at the start. Given that set back, I think we can be pretty satisfied with today’s result. We netted some extremely important championship points and are still in the lead. Although I think it’s hats-off to the Porsche guys today because they did a stunning job.”

Lone Star Grand Prix Houston - 1st in class


"This is just an awesome result for the team, Clint and I – not bad for my first street race! It shows that it is never over until the chequered flag. We knew we could not beat the works Porsche on performance – they are in a league of their own and their speed this weekend was unbelievable. But the circuit is extremely bumpy and very hard on cars and drivers. We knew some teams might try too hard and would have mechanical problems towards the end of the race and this is exactly what happened with both Porsches. Third behind the two Porsches was already a good result for us, but to beat them for the second straight race is very sweet and fantastic for the team. Today’s race was survival of the fittest and we did!"

12-Hours of Sebring - 1st in class, 2nd overall


"It was pretty huge. I don't think it has sunk in yet," said Liz Halliday. "What the team has accomplished is enormous. I don't think anyone expected us to finish that high. It will probably take up until Houston for me to realize what exactly happened."

"We have the best crew in the paddock," Halliday said. "We were all completely switched on. Our pit stops were perfect, and that's what wins races. Even though we don't have 87 people per car like they do, we don't need it."

March 31


Wow, it has been a pretty great start to the year! After a successful two weeks in Portugal with my horses, to then go on and win at Sebring is really more than I expected!

I have to say though, without lots of effort from myself and people around me, I never could have managed the two different competitions back to back…

The morning of the CCI* show jumping phase in Portugal (the day before first day of practice in Sebring) I was up at 5 a.m. to finish packing and get myself organized to bolt to the airport later that day. The organizers of the event had agreed to let me be first in the show jumping regardless of placing (generally the show jump phase is done in reverse order of placing after the dressage and cross country phases). This meant that I would be first in the veterinary inspection at 8 a.m., and then would have to have both horses warmed up and ready to jump by 10:30, and then still make my flight by 12:45! Well, with the help of my groom, trainer and others, I managed to get my horses jumped, and get myself changed and in the car by 11… I then had some pre-Sebring practice in my rental car on the way to the airport, screeched into the rental returns, ran to the check-in and amazingly just made my flight- whew! My day finally ended at 10 pm Florida time when I arrived at the hotel in Sebring. After checking my phone messages I learned that I had finished 5th and 25th out of 85 competitors…not bad for the first time with new horses!

Sebring – what a whirlwind week it was! A wild flurry of driving, interviews, photos, media and autographs…most of it ends in a blur in my mind accept for the race. What an amazing show it is at Sebring though: the fans, the cameras, the carnival, and the cars. It really is a fantastic event!

When race day arrived, I got up early - not because I was nervous or couldn’t sleep with excitement, but because I felt really ill. I must have picked up some sort of stomach bug during the week that decided to get me on the one day that I really wish it hadn’t.

I struggled my way through warm up, and then was thankful that I was third in the car so that I could have as much time as possible to get better. As the driver change from Clint to me got closer, I knew that I was going to have to just do my best and try to save some energy for later… Clint out – Me in – and off I went for my hour stint. Although my times were not as good as I would have wanted them, I managed to move into first in class and third overall and held onto the position until my stint came to an end. Amazingly, I felt a lot better after being in the car! My next time out on track went without drama, aside from the slight loss of power that was starting in the engine (We later found that this was due to blocked injectors). We were still 1st in class and 2nd overall when I handed over to Jon, but the Porsche Spyder was approaching fast, especially with the loss of power that we were now experiencing.

With about an hour and a half left in the race, we had to take an extra 30 seconds in a routine fuel stop to make some adjustments to the management… This was unfortunately all that the Porsche needed to finally make the pass for 1st in class. Another half hour passed and basically the whole Intersport team had accepted that we would be second on the podium. Standing in my helmet waiting to get in the car for the finish, I was telling myself “Hey, 2nd in class is still pretty good in a race like this!” but its always hard to accept defeat after such a long fought battle.

Suddenly, over the loud speaker we heard that there was a full course yellow…and it was because the Porsche had stopped on track! Although we all have the utmost respect for Penske and their drivers, I don’t think any of us could resist our excitement at that moment – We could still win! Moments after that Jon was in the pits and I jumped in the car for the finish… His words were “the entire track is covered in oil, and the engine is still losing power, times don’t matter, just bring it home!”

Despite the track conditions, the engine trouble, and a now inconsistent gear change (due to a mapping issue), it was still a fantastic experience to hold the car together and bring it through to the finish. What a result!

The win in LMP2 and 2nd overall that we achieved was the highest career finish for the team and for Clint and Jon and I. It also meant that I am now the highest finishing female in the history of the 54 year long event. No, it still hasn’t sunk in! But we are fired up and ready for Houston, and I think that Intersport has proven what a great team they are. The rest of the year will be challenging, but Clint and I are ready to push hard…For me, having won Petit Le Mans and Sebring, the big one left is the 24 hours of Le Mans – only 2 months away, the pressure is on…

March 18, 2006


12-Hours of Sebring

March 13, 2006


Both horses finished well last weekend and this weekend, I finished 5th and 24th out of 85 competitors, so a good start to the competition year with new horses!

March 4, 2006


Well, I suppose that its been a while now since the Sebring test! I am now in Portugal at a horse event called Barroca d’Alva – an event that incorporates two international events over two weeks. I have my two new horses here, Oscar and Harry (who has now got the nickname “Happy” do to his predominantly grumpy nature in the stable). I arrived on Monday and for the next 3-4 days we had dry and sunny weather and reasonably warm temperatures, which after England was a real relief! The horses were in good spirits and I road them both twice a day as well as had a run and training session each day for myself, and I am now feeling pretty good about my fitness for Sebring. We then started the competition with the Dressage phase on Thurs and Fri. and my horses ended up in 10th and 13th position out of 114 entered – for my first competition with them, and the first of the year, I was really pleased! So all was going well and I was looking forward to the cross-country phase today (Saturday) until I woke up and looked outside… At seven o’clock this morning the roads by my hotel were half flooded and the trees were practically sideways from the wind. I kept holding out hope that it might improve as the day went on as my first horse was not due to go until 10:20, but when I got to the event and set out for my last course walk, the rain and wind got worse, almost in unison. Surprisingly, the ground was sort of holding up and not a complete muddy mess, but I knew that by the time I got there it would have had forty horses on it already and would be a bit like water skiing. Well, 10 o’clock came around and I grudgingly waded my way through the flooded stables and got on Harry. We were both completely soaked in a matter of seconds. Trotting around the warm up area I could barely see, and although Harry was being a real trooper, you could tell that he was really hating the sideways wind and rain. Luckily, before I had even had the chance to try and jump something solid, the day was called to a halt for safety reasons.

So here I am, having a much quieter Saturday in Portugal than I had planned! Both horses have been ridden and the competition will start again first thing tomorrow and finish a day late with the Show Jumping on Monday.

Its stopped raining now, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed for a successful and dry day tomorrow for the Cross-Country!

February 17, 2006


I was testing at Sebring right before the 24 Hours of Daytona and I will be racing in the 12 hour at Sebring on March 18th (I'm going straight there from a 2 week competition in Portugal with the horses!).

Sebring test Jan 23-25


I was first to get in the car for the start of the three day test and luckily it was dry with the sun fighting its way through. Basically the more often I can get out on cold new tires the better really! The car definitely felt a lot better with full power, (as compared to our test in Dec. with engine problems) and I was able to get down to a fairly respectable time after not too many laps. Now here’s the good part- it turns out that I was in fact the quickest driver in the first session out of everyone! Now, fair enough, some of the new cars like the Audi R10 and the new Lola LMP1 , were shaking down there cars and not pushing too hard at the time, but it still looked good on paper and felt pretty good too! At any rate, we managed to hang on to most of the front runners for the rest of day and throughout the three day test, so the car held its own really, despite some handling issues.

The biggest struggle we had was a lingering push from the front end of the car which made it quiet difficult to handle, especially in the high speed corners. I later discovered (the hard way) that this was actually hurting me more than the others because the car’s reluctance to turn meant that upper body strength had to prevail in order to make the thing turn. After denying it to myself for some time, I finally accepted that with the bumpy high speed corners at Sebring, that I MUST get a bit stronger in order to be quick throughout the long stints. I also have a few impressive bruises to remind me of where I am getting slammed into the body work over bumps – I think some padding on the for-arms might come in handy for the big race. All and all, a successful test for Intersport and I feel that we will return with an even better car for the race based on what we learned in the three days.

January 22, 2006


Well, after a really crazy week I have successfully made it back over the pond into the USA. I’m in Sebring, Florida getting ready for the first official ALMS test of the year in preparation for the Sebring 12 hour race in March. It’s been quite a surreal day really because I came in yesterday and testing doesn’t start until tomorrow, so I have had virtually nothing to do in comparison to my past few weeks of complete craziness. Basically, this meant that I was able to do 2 things that have been missing lately: sleeping and thinking. Seeing that for the last week I have been moving house, riding, training, etc. those important things have been somewhat left out lately!

Anyway, it’s a really great feeling to be here and to be on the verge of kicking off the 2006 season; I’ve never been any good at time off, so the holidays for me is always a sense of waiting! I’m a bit apprehensive about the test as it’s the first chance this year to compare ourselves to the rest of the competition, but I am confident that we have the right combination of the car and the team to be right up there…it’s up to us as drivers to deliver now, and to work on the set up with the team to make it as quick as possible.

Last week, in and around the moving, I also started up with a new physical trainer whom I am confident will help kick me into shape – he’s helped a lot of very successful drivers, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. Well, I’m feeling good mentally anyway, as the rest of me is still hurting at the moment from the first few days of training! I know that fitness is an area that I have to take seriously this year though, as I feel I left a bit on the table last year. Arm, neck and core strength…very important for a racing driver and an area that I will be feeling a lot of pain in now I think!

Anyway, it’s all about to start tomorrow, so its time to see where my strengths and weaknesses are, and for all of us to figure out where to go from here to make us as competitive as possible this year. I can’t wait to get behind the wheel again, and by next week I should have a pretty good feel for the direction we are going in 2006.

©2006, Liz Halliday

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Click here to learn more about Liz and visit: www.lizhalliday.com www.intersportracing.com , www.americanlemans.com , www.roadatlanta.com For further information on Liz Halliday, please contact Vincent Franceschini: M: + 44 (0) 7860 410 950, T: + 44 (0) 20 8543 2101, F: + 44 (0) 20 8543 4134, or E-Mail. Photography by John Waugh, johnwaugh.com



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