Liz Halliday will step up to the LMP2 class for the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours having agreed terms to drive for the French Noël Del Bello Racing team. The move sees Liz returning to the prototype category in which she has enjoyed huge success in her career so far, and will place her behind the wheel of a Courage-AER LC75 for the first time.
Liz, who for the second consecutive year, looks set to be the only female amongst the field of 165 drivers, finished 4th in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2006 and led the category in 2005 before being forced into retirement due to engine trouble. She was also class runner-up in the American Le Mans Series last season and became the most successful female in the series history with 6 wins in this prestigious US sports car racing championship.
“I know Le Mans in an LMP2 car because that is the class in which I have competed at the 24 hours twice before.” Halliday said. “Hopefully my previous experience of LMP2 prototypes will mean I can learn the car quickly even though I haven’t driven one since last season in the ALMS. Del Bello have put together a fantastic package with the AER engine, which I drove last year, and Michelin tyres. While I haven’t driven the new LMP2 Courage chassis before, I have seen what the car has done in the US so I know how strong it is.
“It’s very exciting to be going back to Le Mans in a prototype and I can’t wait to meet up with the team and to drive a Courage.”
Liz will share the Courage with Frenchman Romain Iannetta and Russian GP2 driver Vitaly Petrov, leaving team owner Noël Del Bello very satisfied with his driver line-up: “I’m delighted to have signed Liz. I followed her lap-times last year at Le Mans and she was consistent and reliable which are the key attributes a sports car racing driver requires. We have a well balanced driver line-up and a strong technical package with Courage/AER/Michelin. Del Bello Racing has a proven track record at Le Mans, with two class wins to our name, and I am confident we can challenge for the LMP2 honours again this year.”
Halliday’s move to Del Bello comes after Liz and her management terminated their contractual relationship with Team Modena.
A Gutsy performance from both sides