UK based Californian, Liz Halliday, is an international motor racing driver who competes in Sportscar and GT endurance racing and is also an international equestrian in Three-Day Eventing.
Liz has two mighty ambitions: to become the first female driver to win the famous Le Mans 24-hour race and to claim a place on the US Olympic equestrian team.
From humble beginnings in historic racing with a vintage Datsun 510, Liz graduated to the Kumho BMW Championship for the start of the new millennium and was named ‘Driver of the Year’ in 2002 before claiming her first win, at Croft in England, in 2003, breaking the track record in the process.
The same year she added to her growing reputation by making her sportscar debut, becoming the first female driver ever to win a round of the British GT Championship, as well as competing in the famous Bathurst 24 Hours in Australia and the Spa 1000kms in Belgium.
2004 saw Liz return to the USA to race in the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series, taking a podium at Homestead, Miami, whilst she also made her ALMS debut, entering the Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca in a Porsche 911 GT3 and took part in her first round-the-clock event, the Spa 24 Hours.
A full season racing for Lister in the FIA GT Chamionship followed in 2005 and Liz’s success soon fuelled her rapid ascent to the top level ‘protoype’ categories. Later that year she joined the Intersport Racing squad to drive their Lola-AER in the ‘P2’ of the ALMS. It was to be a superb season, with Liz taking three-class victories and being named ‘Rookie of the Year’ by experts from leading website www.dailysportscar.com. She also helped co-driver Clint Field take the ALMS P2 driver’s title, whilst finishing fourth in the final championship standings herself, despite only completing half the season.
Perhaps even more exciting for Liz in 2005 was her debut in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Despite leading the P2 class for nearly half the race and edging closer to one of her personal goals, the race ultimately ended in disappointment, after engine problems forced an early retirement approximately eleven hours in.
2006 saw Liz continue her run of success, taking three more wins and seven further podiums in the American Le Mans Series, to finish as runner-up in the P2 driver’s championship. These results made her the most successful female driver ever in ALMS history, whilst she also finished her first Le Mans 24 Hours, although gearbox and engine problems meant the car just missed a podium placing, finishing fourth in class.
The 2007 season saw Liz become the first woman to race the Aston Martin DBR9 on the international scene, securing a class podium at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a fourth place finish at Monza. For the Le Mans 24 Hours however she returned to the LMP2 class at the wheel of Del Bello Racing’s Courage LC75-AER but retired with gearbox problems having led the class at half-distance.
After many years of appearing in both sports simultaneously Liz recently began dedicating more time to her eventing pursuits, with the ultimate ambition of one day representing the USA at the Olympic Games, Pan American Games and World Championships and after a reduced program in 2008 she has dedicated herself to equestrian events and commentating at le Mans for Eurosport until recently.
Liz has equestrian bases in both the UK and USA. Chailey Stud Equestrian Centre in East Sussex and Horsepower Equestrian in Ocala, Florida, have helped her to create a successful business producing and selling horses, as well as providing an opportunity to compete and train in both Europe and America. Indeed, over the last few years Liz has enjoyed wins and top results up to and in three-star level competitions across both continents, helping her to become an established member of the USEF High Performance Training List.