LIZ HALLIDAY -- FIRST (AND ONLY!) LADY OF LE MANS Racing driver and equestrian Liz Halliday will be the only lady driver taking part in this year's running of the most famous endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours. UK-based Liz will...
LIZ HALLIDAY -- FIRST (AND ONLY!) LADY OF LE MANS
Racing driver and equestrian Liz Halliday will be the only lady driver taking part in this year's running of the most famous endurance race in the world, the Le Mans 24 Hours.
UK-based Liz will compete against 149 male drivers in the race in front of 230,000 spectators and 230 million TV viewers and she is relishing the challenge. At Sunday's official test day for the event, she and team mate Clint Field made their preparations and completed a successful day's running on the 8-mile circuit in La Sarthe, France (3min 43.408sec, 3rd in LMP2 class and 13th overall).
Clint and Liz are regular co-drivers in the American Le Mans Series and following their exceptionally victorious start to the season they are currently leading the American Le Mans Series LMP2 Drivers' championship. For Le Mans, they will be joined by new team mate and veteran sportscar driver, Duncan Dayton, who returns to the Intersport team having driven for them in 2004.
Following the test Liz felt encouraged, well prepared and delighted to be back in Le Mans: "The beginning of the day was not too bad and our car ran better than most. Clint and I were both quick and I was thrilled to instantly find a 6 second improvement (3min 49sec) from my best lap last year. I know everything so well now compared to back then - the team, the car, my team mate -- and it makes a huge difference to your confidence. By the end of the day we had set the third fastest overall LMP2 time which should put us in good stead for the race -- Ultimately, when you've got 24 hours to run, the last thing you need to worry yourself about is raw pace over one lap, but it's still nice to know that we are quick. It is awesome to be back here again and I just wish there wasn't another whole week to go before we get back to the circuit and start the real race week!"
Liz's team mate, Clint Field: "Today was good except for the time we lost with an engine problem. We had a misfire, came in, changed the coils - but it missed again so we cam back in, changed the waste gate and changed the coils again and found out it was just a coils problem -- a bad batch. Either way, we had it all fixed at the very end, so at least we needn't be concerned for the race.
"Overall though our performance was good - we could have gone quicker at the end of the day maybe and I am confident we will set a high 'thirties time in qualifying trim next week. I managed to squeeze a few laps at the end of the day to check the engine and it was back to normal. It might sound frustrating but I am glad it happened today and not next week!
Third driver, Duncan Dayton, had a previous commitment in the US and was unable to attend the test. Duncan will join Liz and Clint next week in Le Mans in advance of the qualifying sessions on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th, followed by the race itself, starting at 5pm on Saturday 17th June.