Liz Halliday Gets 2006 Ride

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on Liz Halliday for the 2006 ALMS and Le Mans season.

Intersport Racing has confirmed today that Liz Halliday will join the team alongside Clint Field for a full challenge on the 2006 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) in the LMP2 class, marking the first time the Californian sportswoman has focused solely on an American championship.

Following a busy season in 2005 during which Halliday contested a full FIA GT programme with the Lister works team, the Le Mans 24 Hours, Silverstone 24 Hours, Sebring and five ALMS races, Liz is looking forward to concentrating her efforts on a more focused programme that takes her back into prototypes.

Liz commented: “I have won three races with Clint in an LMP2 car in the ALMS and I really enjoy racing prototypes. For 2006 I have decided to reduce the number of races to concentrate on ALMS, Le Mans and a productive and testing programme with Intersport. It will be challenging, especially against Porsche, but I am confident we have the right package to push them.”

She continues: “It will be great to be back full time in the ALMS as the organisation of the championship is very professional and I have always been made to feel welcome. It is really cool as it’s an exciting opportunity; we had a good run with Intersport last year and it will be great to take on the whole championship, not only because I enjoy it but also because my family will be able to attend all the races, which is a novelty considering most of my racing has so far been in Europe.

Liz and Clint Field will be team-mates throughout the ALMS season, and it is likely that Jon Field, Clint’s father, will partner them for the long races such as Sebring, Le Mans 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans.

Focusing on the competition, Liz added: “It will be a tough challenge battling with the two LMP2 cars of the Porsche works team and I will have to up my game and work hard to compete alongside them, but I don’t think it is impossible. We have a good car and great support from Lola, AER and Goodyear so I think we have a decent shot to at least be on the podium at every race, although we’ll obviously be aiming to win a few races if we can!”

“Our first test session is this weekend (17-18th December) in Sebring, followed by more testing in the New Year,” adds Liz. “This weekend we will start working on the car and I need to learn that circuit in the Lola as I have never driven it at Sebring.”

While testing and racing in the ALMS will absorb the lion’s share of Liz’s time, she and the team will take some time out to look towards Le Mans 24 Hours again. Liz said: “It will be great to go back to Le Mans in 2006. Racing there in 2005 was a fantastic experience for me and competing again with the same team and the same team-mate as in the ALMS is important; I truly believe that familiarity and continuity in motorsport is the key to success. Our objective for Le Mans is to win the LMP2 class which we feel is a very realistic goal.”

“There are a few circuits on the 2006 programme that will be new to me: Houston, Portland, Utah and Lime Rock. The experience gained from driving a Lister this year in the 2005 FIA GT Championship will probably help me push forward next year as I had a number of new tracks to learn there as well. The championship was a huge challenge in itself but I took a valuable amount of experience away from both the championship and the Lister team.”

Adding to Liz’s thoughts, team-mate Clint Field, who is also looking forward to the 2006 season, said: “Liz joining Intersport for a complete ALMS season and Le Mans 24 Hours programme is a good step forward for both of us, allowing us to grow and learn from one another. We both learnt a lot from each other this year and I’m looking forward to being able to capitalise on that in 2006. It will be a great help to have the same team-mate throughout the season, for both of us. Liz progressed tremendously during the five races we drove together last year. We have a couple of tests before the beginning of the year and I am confident that she will continue to improve and develop as a driver throughout 2006. There will be five or six LMP2 cars next year, maybe seven or eighth at some races, so the prototype category should be very competitive.”

Jon Field, Team Owner, added: “There will be new developments on the car in 2006 as we’re working on improving the overall performance of the car and giving Porsche a run for their money! We will receive updates from Lola shortly that we’ll incorporate for the launch of the 2006 campaign. We are also working closely with AER on the engine side and we’re excited to test the new developments and upgrades they have planned. We will continue working with Goodyear in 2006 too as we were very happy with the performance of tyres they supplied us during 2005. Competing against Porsche in the ALMS will be a big challenge but this is why we are working so closely with Lola, AER and Goodyear and they are as eager to beat them as we are!”

Thinking about Le Mans, he continued: “The programme with Liz includes the Le Mans 24 Hours which is always a key event for us. We won it in 2004 but were forced to retire whilst leading the LMP2 class in 2005, so we are looking forward to heading back with a vengeance! It is an incredibly tough race for everybody and we’ll prepare the car the best we can.

“This weekend we’ll test some new compounds from Goodyear, work on the car set-up for Sebring and get Liz back in the car to brush up the rust, as she hasn’t driven an LMP2 car since the middle of October,” concluded Field. “This is a private test for Intersport to get the 2006 programme under way. The next test will be at Sebring from 23-25 January which is an official ALMS test.”

Liz will continue to be based in the UK, despite racing overseas, as she will continue to progress her career with her other passion; equestrian Three Day Eventing. “I now have three horses and I plan to compete in international three-day events in 2006,” said Liz. “Horse riding is still a major part of my life and it helps my physical and mental preparation a lot for my motor racing. My personal goals are still to win the Le Mans 24 Hours as well as qualify for the US Olympic team for 2008 or 2012.”

2006 ALMS Calendar

March 18 -12 Hours of Sebring
May 12 - Houston
May 21 - Mid Ohio
July 1 - New England Grand Prix
July 15 - Salt Lake City
July 22 - Grand Prix of Portland
August 20 - Road America
September 3 - Grand Prix of Mosport
September 30 - Petit Le Mans
October 21 - Laguna Seca

Le Mans 24 Hours - 2006

Official test - June 4
Qualifying - June14-15
Race June - 17-18

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