Sears Point: Liz Halliday returns for home race

HALLIDAY HOPES TO LEAD FEMALE CONTINGENT IN ALMS Sonoma, Calif. - It was quite warm Friday at Infineon Raceway, 98 degrees. But Liz Halliday didn't complain. She actually felt somewhat comfortable. And who could blame her? She spent part of the...

HALLIDAY HOPES TO LEAD FEMALE CONTINGENT IN ALMS

Sonoma, Calif. - It was quite warm Friday at Infineon Raceway, 98 degrees. But Liz Halliday didn't complain. She actually felt somewhat comfortable. And who could blame her? She spent part of the afternoon in the open-top No. 37 Intersport Racing Lola B05/40, not in her usual Lister Storm GT1 car from the FIA GT Championship.

"The Lister is a cool car, but not literally," Halliday joked. "It's like an oven on wheels."

The native Californian is back on her home soil this week, driving with Clint Field at the Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Ravenswood Winery. It is Round 5 of the 2005 American Le Mans Series and Halliday's first race at Infineon Raceway. She's driving with Clint Field in the No. 37 Lola. The two also teamed up at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring in the No. 30 Intersport Lola B2K/40.

Halliday is the only female to compete in the ALMS this season. But she has been able to hold her own against some of the best drivers in the world.

"Once you're in the car and the helmet is on, everyone is the same," Halliday said. "I just prefer getting in there with the guys. I did one race with two other women, and I didn't like it very much to be honest. I think it gets too competitive sometimes. It has to be the right plan for the right driver, and I'd like to see it happen."

She and Field posted the fastest LMP2 time during Friday's test session at 1:27.757. A month ago, she was one of three drivers sharing the wheel of the Intersport Lola at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, along with Sam Hancock and Gregor Fisken. The trio led LMP2 by four laps before the car had to retire with engine problems.

Now she's at Infineon with what she terms "unfinished business" to tend to.

"It was great to get on the track today," Halliday said. "We chatted this morning and I watched some in-car videos from last year to get myself prepared. We had a little bit of an oversteer, but other than that the car ran fine."

"My times aren't bad for my first time out here," she added. "We're in the running. I think there is another second or two for both of us in the braking. Clint should definitely get down in the 25s and myself in the 27s."

Halliday said she plans to compete in three more ALMS races this year: The Road America 500, Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta and the Monterey Sports Car Championships at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

As far as her ultimate goal, Halliday has her eyes set on an overall title at Le Mans in an LMP1. She even mentioned the possibility of teaming with Danica Patrick, who has mentioned wanting to do Le Mans, as well.

"In the last few years, a lot of women have been moving up in motorsports," he said. "I'd like to see more."

The Infineon Technologies Grand Prix of Sonoma presented by Ravenswood Winery, is set for 11 a.m. PDT Sunday at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. CBS Sports will have television coverage from 3 to 5 p.m. EDT. American Le Mans Radio and Live Timing and Scoring can be found at www.americanlemans.com. Testing is scheduled from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. PDT on Friday, with practice sessions from 10 to 11 a.m. and 2:05 to 3:05 p.m. Saturday. Qualifying is scheduled from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Saturday.

-americanlemans.com

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Series ALMS
Drivers Clint Field , Gregor Fisken , Liz Halliday , Sam Hancock , Danica Patrick