Sebring: Liz Halliday preview

HALLIDAY'S 2006 SEASON IS GO! The Californian sportswoman, Liz Halliday, whose endeavours include both race car driving and Three Day Eventing, will kick off her intensive 2006 sporting schedule next weekend when she competes in the...

HALLIDAY'S 2006 SEASON IS GO!

The Californian sportswoman, Liz Halliday, whose endeavours include both race car driving and Three Day Eventing, will kick off her intensive 2006 sporting schedule next weekend when she competes in the opening round of the American Le Mans Series: the Mobil 1, Twelve Hours of Sebring , to be held in Florida on March 18th.

British-based Liz enjoyed tremendous success in the American Le Mans Series last year where, in her first season of international sportscar racing at 'prototype' level, she claimed three impressive P2 class wins, finished 4th in class in the final drivers' standings, won the Dailysportscar.com Rookie of the Year Award and helped co-driver Clint Field lift the LMP2 drivers' title.

This will be Liz's second appearance in the Sebring 12 Hours and she will use her previous experience to ensure absolute preparation:

"A lot of things have changed since this time last year," said Liz, "and I'll be heading into this season better prepared than ever before. For a start, I know the car intimately now and have enjoyed a lot of success in it -- it feels like an old friend who I'm hugely comfortable with, whereas a year ago I was just tentatively making my first steps into 'prototypes' and it was a massive jump.

"Secondly, I now know the team very well and there's a great dynamic between us. I've been working really hard on my driving and I'm closer than ever before to the pace of my co-drivers, Clint and Jon Field -- both of whom are proven hot-shoes at this level!

"Finally, I'm a little more used to the pressure and enormity of events like these. When you first go to places like Sebring or Le Mans you can't help but be blown away by the size of the crowds and the big fanfare that accompanies the race. Events like these will always be a big challenge, but I just feel more prepared for it now."

This Sunday, Liz will arrive at the famous Floridian race track straight from Portugal, where she has been pursuing her other major sporting career as an international equestrian. So tight is her schedule that she has had to request special permission to go first in the show jumping section of her International Three Day Event, so that she has enough time to catch her flight from Lisbon to Orlando!

"It doesn't really worry me, the tight schedule" said a typically calm Liz, "I'm more than used to it now -- and really love being busy. Everyone tells me that I am mad to have this twin sporting focus in my life, but I find that one complements the other. The cars demand focus, accuracy, and strength. The horses require the same, but with a lighter touch. One is a machine that is purely technical, while the bond between horse and rider is a unique relationship," she adds.

Despite the challenge of competing in both sports simultaneously, Liz is equally determined to succeed both as a driver and an equestrian -- and if last year's success on the track is anything to go by, then Liz's future in 2006 and beyond looks very bright indeed.

-www.lizhalliday.com

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Series ALMS
Drivers Jon Field , Liz Halliday