THIRD STRAIGHT PODIUM FOR HALLIDAY Liz Halliday, the Californian racing driver and international equestrian, secured her third straight LMP2 class podium of the 2006 American Le Mans Series on Sunday with a third-place finish alongside her ...
THIRD STRAIGHT PODIUM FOR HALLIDAY
Liz Halliday, the Californian racing driver and international equestrian, secured her third straight LMP2 class podium of the 2006 American Le Mans Series on Sunday with a third-place finish alongside her Intersport Racing team mate, Clint Field, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Field and Halliday, who won the season-openers at Sebring and Houston, overcame early race gearbox problems to keep the car in podium contention on a weekend when the entire field -- even the premier LMP1 category teams -- were being shown the way by the awesomely dominant factory Porsche LMP2 cars who went on to finish 1st and 2nd overall, 1st and 2nd in class.
Both Halliday and Field were especially delighted with the result given that Halliday, who took the opening stint for the team, was forced to forfeit the car's 4th place qualifying position -- secured in a 'guest appearance' by local ace and father of Clint, John Field - and begin from the pit-lane at the rear of the field having lost operation of the paddle-shift mechanism on the warm-up laps.
Having pitted for repairs, she rejoined the race and carved her way back through the pack before handing over to Field at the one hour mark. Field's outstanding stint continued the car's progress and at 2 hours he handed back to Halliday for the final run to the flag. Liz's strong final stint and resultant podium was more than enough to keep the two drivers at the head of the LMP2 driver's standings -- with an 8 point lead over the factory Porsche drivers.
Halliday and Field, along with the rest of the Intersport team, will now head to Le Mans for the 24 Hours [June 18-19, La Sarthe, France] -- their most important event of the year, and one in which they hope to make up for the disappointment of 2005, where the car submitted to engine failure while enjoying a class lead of nearly four laps at the 11 hour mark.
Liz Halliday: "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."
Clint Field: "We had a good, clean race today although the paddle shift problem at the start was unfortunate. But the crew did a great job getting the manual transmission installed and we didn't lose too much time. The tires were great for me from the start of my stint and I had a quick car. Liz had never driven this car with a manual shift before so she did a great job. I had a great little battle with Dindo [Capello] and [James] Weaver which I enjoyed enormously. I seemed to have them in the esses and carousel, but they could pull away in the straights. The important thing for us today, is that we came up with some good points going into Lime Rock [July 1] and we're still at the top of the table."