LIZ HALLIDAY MAKES ALMS HISTORY IN PORTLAND
Liz Halliday, international equestrian and
racing driver, is now the most successful female
driver ever in the history of the American Le
Mans Series as she claimed yet another LMP2
class victory in the Portland Grand Prix, round
6 of the series.
Halliday's record number of wins for a female
currently stands at six - three of which have
been claimed this year with yesterday's success
adding to earlier victories from season openers,
the Sebring 12 Hours and the Houston Grand Prix.
Halliday and her Intersport Racing co-driver,
Clint Field, have collected points at every
outing and despite massive competition from the
mighty, two-car Porsche factory team run by the
illustrious Penske Racing outfit, they are still
leading the title chase in this David vs.
Goliath shoot out.
Saturday's story was a familiar one: Halliday
and Field knew from the weekend's practice laps
that although they were much closer in lap times
than before, they would still not quite have the
pace to match the Porsche Spyders. However if
they could just hang on to the coat-tails of
their rivals and stay out of trouble, then as
has so often been the case, they could be ready
to capitalize on any problems that the
frequently-failing Porsche might encounter.
And so it was when firstly the number 7 Spyder
of Romain Dumas had to pit for repairs having
made contact with the Highcroft Racing Lola of
Duncan Dayton shortly after the start. Dumas
later rejoined the race, but was well out of
contention. Finally, with just fifteen minutes
to go before the flag, the class-leading sister
Porsche of Lucas Luhr and Sascha Maassen pulled
into the pits with engine-failure, promoting
Halliday and Field into the top-spot and turning
a slender 1-point lead in the driver's standings
into a slightly more comfortable 5-point
advantage for the duo.
With just four rounds of the series to go, the
privateer-team drivers know that it will be
difficult to hold-back the manufacturer-backed
Porsche steam train, but they will continue to
work on speed and focus on the strong
reliability that the team has proven to have
throughout the season so far.
Liz Halliday: "It is an awesome feeling to win
tonight. Up against Porsche it is always a
challenge, and along with the extreme heat and
lack of grip, we really had to work hard in this
race. This one is all thanks to the team and how
hard they have worked to make the car so
dependable. That has always been the great thing
about the Lola-AER, its combination of pace and
"During my first stint, I had some contact from
behind when I had to brake hard for a car in
front," continued Liz, "but the car was
surprisingly OK and I was able carry on. Then
later, when the crew told me what had happened
to the Porsche, the message was to play it safe
and keep it consistently going around until the
chequered flag, and I did as I was told. We
cannot be the fastest P2 car out there right
now, and everyone knows that, but we do have a
great team that prepares the Lola so well and
allows us the chance to be there at the end.
That is what endurance racing is about after
all. It is not always how you start, but how you
"Tonight was a challenge for all of us but I
cannot compliment our crew enough - they put us
in a position to take advantage of our rivals'
problems and thanks to them, with four races
left, we are right in the thick of the point's
race. This result gives us a lot of momentum and
now we can't wait for Road America."
Liz's team mate Clint Field said: "We came away
from Salt Lake a little disappointed. We took
second which was great but we were not happy
with our pace. This week we were a little closer
to Porsche. The grip wasn't good and our pace in
the race was a second to a second-and-a-half
off. We kept going around and were happy to
capitalize on their reliability.
"When a company like Porsche comes into the
Series, they're going to do it right," Field
added. "We want to beat them outright. Toward
the end of this year and next year, I think we
can get closer and beat them fair and square. We
have a good car, engine package and tyres. With
the announcement that Porsche was coming in, we
upped our game and we'll do the same for Acura.
Hopefully we'll be as quick as they are."
The next race of the American Le Mans Series
takes place on 20th August at Road America,
Elkhart Lake, WI, USA.