LIME ROCK CHALLENGES BUT HALLIDAY AND INTERSPORT RETAIN LMP2 CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD American racing driver and three-day event rider, Liz Halliday, endured a tough race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut this weekend but came through to be classified...
LIME ROCK CHALLENGES BUT HALLIDAY AND INTERSPORT RETAIN LMP2 CHAMPIONSHIP LEAD
American racing driver and three-day event rider, Liz Halliday, endured a tough race at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut this weekend but came through to be classified 3rd in class and retain her position at the top of the LMP2 drivers' championship leader board alongside her Intersport Racing team mate, Clint Field.
Halliday and Field pushed hard from start to finish despite difficult traffic conditions throughout the race, and braking issues in the last hour that made for a challenging drive. However, they knew from early on that while they would struggle to match the pace of their main title rivals, the two-car works Porsche team, a solid run to the finish would secure vital championship points.
That plan was nearly scuppered however when in the latter stages of the 2h45m event, having been running a fine 3rd in class, Halliday was finally caught out by the braking problems in the Lola. Like her team mate, she had been struggling with pad knock-off, necessitating several pumps to the pedal before each and every corner to regain lost brake pressure. While concentrating on lapping heavy traffic, Liz by her own admission forgot to pump the pedal for a couple seconds. As she entered one of the fastest corners of the challenging 1.53 mile circuit, it dropped straight to the floor, then the rear brakes locked up and she spun and made heavy impact with the wall.
Although Liz was able to drive the car back to the pits, the car suffered extensive damage, and the team chose to retire the car safe in the knowledge that they had completed more than enough laps to be classified and to maintain their 3rd position until the finish.
Liz Halliday: "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."
Intersport Racing Team Manager and co-driver to Liz, Clint Field: "I feel happy that we retained our classification, but bad for Liz. Unfortunately she got caught out by the brake problem and hit the wall. The car was so uncomfortable and unpredictable on the brakes that it literally could have happened to anybody - especially on a small circuit as twisty as Lime Rock with no run off area. Nevertheless, we still got classified third in class and scored more points which is more than we were expecting, so the weekend turned out pretty good despite what happened in the end. We are pretty happy heading to Salt Lake City and believe that we can step up our level of performance and be closer to the two Porsche works cars."
A hectic schedule continues now for Liz as she heads back to the Tweseldown Horse Trials in the UK to ride in another one day event on 10th July, before flying back to the US for the next round of the American Le Mans Series in Salt Lake City on July 15th.