Liz Halliday heads back to California this weekend as the 2008 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) draws to a close at Laguna Seca.
The San Diego-born dual-sportswoman, who combines careers in motorsport and 3 Day Eventing, will again race with British team Creation AIM at the Monterey Sports Car Championships at the challenging circuit near San Francisco.
Halliday, a podium finisher at Laguna Seca in 2006 when she became the most successful female driver ever in ALMS history, made her long awaited return to US racing at the Petit Le Mans earlier in the month, but will be hoping for more luck this weekend. A race-ending accident for co-driver Dean Stirling dashed her hopes of a strong finish in the ten-hour endurance event, but hard work from the Creation team has ensured she will be on the grid for the season finale, where she will share driving duties with South African Stephen Simpson.
“I love the circuit at Laguna Seca because it is high-speed but also provides the drivers with a real technical challenge,” said Halliday prior to the race. “I’ve raced at some of the best circuits in the world, but very few corners are as unique as The Corkscrew. It has a high speed approach followed by an elevation change through the corner and an apex that is completely blind, all of which combine to make a very challenging corner. The Andretti hairpin on the other hand is technically difficult with its double-apex, so the circuit presents all kinds of difficulties.”
Having finished third in the P2 class with Intersport Racing in 2006, the three-times Le Mans 24 Hours racer will tackle Laguna Seca in a P1 car for the first time and is eagerly anticipating her debut at the track in endurance racing’s premier category. “I have settled into the team and the car quite well at the Nurburgring and Petit Le Mans so I have some experience to draw on now. Undoubtedly though lapping Laguna Seca will be an amazing and challenging experience in a P1 car which has so much more power than anything I’ve driven here before.”
Halliday spent the week between the ALMS races back in Europe competing in an international CCI3* event at Boekelo, Holland, and after securing an impressive result with her horse Fox, which qualified her for the top-level CCI4*competition, is looking for more of the same this weekend. “The level of competition keeps going up in the ALMS and that was highlighted by the fantastic race at Petit Le Mans two weeks ago. We were unfortunate not to finish there, but the car is very reliable, so if we can keep it clean, there’s no reason why a strong finish isn’t possible at Laguna.”
The race at Laguna Seca takes place on Saturday 18 October with television coverage available through NBC Sports in the US and Motors TV in Europe. For more details visit nbcsports.com and motorstv.com.