Professional dual sportswoman Liz Halliday returns to the cockpit this weekend (13/15 April) for her first competitive outing since 2010 when the Lotus Cup UK season begins at Silverstone.
The British-based Californian, who remains the most successful female driver in American Le Mans Series history, will channel her considerable knowledge of sports-prototypes into a new project with highly-experienced Lotus squad John Danby Racing.
Despite sporadic outings, Halliday’s motorsport career has been largely on hold since 2008 when her other profession, 3-Day Eventing, took precedent. That commitment to both sports will be in evidence again this weekend when Liz, having completed practice on Friday, travels to the South of England Horse Trials in Sussex before returning to Silverstone for Sunday’s qualifying session and one-hour race around the full Grand Prix layout.
Halliday has already sampled the team’s 2-Eleven at Donington Park and Brands Hatch ahead of this weekend’s season opener and found that despite its obvious differences, the Lotus still exceeded her expectations.
“The car was very good right out of the box and felt like I could race it straight away,” said Liz. “We’ve made a few changes as you would expect but I must congratulate JDR on developing a very impressive package over the winter. It goes without saying that the 2-Eleven is vastly different to the LMP cars I have driven in the past but that didn’t stop me from having a great time. It’s a quick car and I think that as I spend more time driving it and getting to know the characteristics of the handling I will enjoy it even more.
“The quality of drivers, their experience of the championship and sheer number of cars ensures that the series will be competitive from the start. Silverstone is about finding my feet and establishing where we are, but with a car capable of running at the front that’s where I’m hoping to be on Sunday. It’s going to be great to be out there again and I just can’t wait to get started!”
JDR Team Owner John Danby added: “JDR is looking forward to competing with Liz and the Lotus 2-Eleven after some excellent pre-season tests. Liz has helped enormously with the development of the car which will use a JDR-installed gearbox, something that is currently unique to the 2-Eleven. Although the Lotus Cup UK series is highly competitive, we are sure Liz and the car will perform well and that she can bring some of her endurance racing knowledge to the longer events.”