FRUSTRATION AND ANOTHER FIGHT-BACK FOR LIZ HALLIDAY AND INTERSPORT Having mounted a huge fight-back at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, climbing to 20th from 49th following repairs to the engine, Liz Halliday and the Intersport Racing team...
FRUSTRATION AND ANOTHER FIGHT-BACK FOR LIZ HALLIDAY AND INTERSPORT
Having mounted a huge fight-back at the start of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, climbing to 20th from 49th following repairs to the engine, Liz Halliday and the Intersport Racing team faced another set-back just before half race distance, when their gearbox failed. Regulations prevent the team from actually changing the gearbox but rebuilding it is permitted, despite taking time.
The problem occurred during Duncan Dayton's night-time stint, with the loss of gears. The team brought the car into the garage and rebuilt the gearbox with new internal components, retaining the original casing, as stipulated by the regulations. An impressive feat in itself but not without a time penalty -- the process took 45 minutes and when Halliday retook to the track, they had again descended the order, this time to 33rd. However, by the time she handed the car back to team-mate Clint Field, the team had risen to 28th overall.
"That was a really good stint," said Liz. "I did a double, as our tyres don't seem to last for a triple. I was very cautious with the amount of traffic on the circuit, as well as the debris -- there was gravel all across the road at Arnage. I picked up a puncture on my penultimate lap and I think I got it there. It was strange though -- it didn't feel like a puncture at first and I was terrified there was a suspension problem. So I backed off completely to make sure I didn't damage the car."
Once back in the pits, the team changed the tyres and Liz handed the car over to Dayton once again for his pair of stints.
"I guess we're on another fight-back now, after the time lost fixing the gearbox. But we're well over halfway race distance now, which is further than I've got before. I also think it will be easier once the sun comes up. I always find the 3am stint to be the hardest -- it's really tough."
Team Manager Brian Alder confirmed that once the gearbox was repaired, the team was back to the job in hand. "We've found a really good pace now. Once we fixed the gearbox, we started to put the laps in and make sure we avoid any more problems."