LIZ HALLIDAY ON PRE-EVENT SCRUTINEERING FOR THE 2006 24 HOURS OF LE MANS How was scrutineering this afternoon? Yes, it was fine. As drivers, we don't do very much when we're there. It was very hot though. Last year was very busy, with lots...
LIZ HALLIDAY ON PRE-EVENT SCRUTINEERING FOR THE 2006 24 HOURS OF LE MANS
How was scrutineering this afternoon?
Yes, it was fine. As drivers, we don't do very much when we're there. It was very hot though.
Last year was very busy, with lots of fans. Was it the same this year?
There weren't as many as last year but still quite a lot. Last year we were right next to Pescarolo so that was a big draw for the crowds. There were still plenty there this year, though. I did a lot of interviews, some on the stage and some with Motors TV. We also did the traditional team picture, so there was plenty going on. I also signed a lot of autographs for the fans who were there, which was nice.
Is there much of a buzz because you're the only woman taking part?
Yes. Most of the questions I get asked revolve around that. I think most people know who I am after last year now.
How does it feel to be the only woman?
Actually, it's pretty cool. From a media standpoint, it's good to be unique. From a driving point of view, I hope we all respect each other as drivers. When we're on the track, for me, that's the main point. I think as long as you do the job, then the other drivers will respect you, woman or man.
Do you think being the only woman puts extra pressure on you?
I've never been one of many woman anyway. I'm the only one in ALMS and last year, there were only two of us. I guess there's some added pressure because people will always remember if you mess up. But hopefully not much more than for anyone else.
Is there a general feeling of respect within drivers in endurance racing?
I think so, yes. I think that, if you've proved yourself on the track, they accept you as a driver in your own right. There are a few drivers out there with less experience who are still learning and the more experienced drivers pick up on that pretty fast. But I feel I've held my own and done my best to run my own race and not give anyone any hassle. And I think you get respect for that.
Looking ahead to the weekend, the weather forecast looks undecided. Do you have a preference for the weather?
For a really long race, I usually prefer it to be dry because otherwise, there can be so many ups and downs. Le Mans is such a long track that if you get stuck out there on slicks in a downpour, you can be in trouble. Also, because it's so long, you can have rain on half the circuit and dry on the other half, which makes for a real tyre issue - far more than it would on a short track. But I've driven the car in the wet now and it's good, so I think we'd be OK. But obviously it would be easier in the dry, definitely. It also wouldn't be much fun in the wet in an open-top car -- the driver would get pretty wet.