HALLIDAY MAKES PODIUM DEBUT IN PORSCHE SUPERCUP AT BAHRAIN - 27 April 2009
New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday has made a satisfying debut in the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Bahrain where Rounds 1 and 2 were held over the weekend. Driving a Porsche GT3 997 for Federsand-Jetsream Motorsport, the Californian based Kiwi was determined to come away with some solid points and relied on consistency rather than chasing race wins on the unfamiliar Sakhir Grand Prix circuit.
Although confident of a good qualifying performance, technical difficulties hampered the car's progress which resulted in his qualifying 8th on the starting grid for both races. However, the Team worked superbly under tight time constraints to resolve the problem in time for the opening race of the Series.
In Saturday's 12 lap race, Halliday made a lightning start and despite a close encounter with his team-mate, Richard Westbrook (GB), the flying Kiwi battled his way into 3rd outright to score a rewarding podium position in his debut Porsche Supercup race.
Race 2 (12 laps), held on Sunday afternoon, was a more conservative effort with the intention of securing some solid points taking precedent. He maintained a solid pace until mid-distance and was embroiled in a close fight until the hot conditions caused concerns over his car's engine temperature. The decision was made to ease off to finish in 8th place and complete his debut weekend with 24 points to sit 3rd overall on the points ladder:
"It was a great start to the Supercup campaign and to get a podium after some problems in qualifying was great. Unfortunately I touched my team mate in Race 1 which affected his race and we had problems with overheating water and oil and lost power on the long straights in Race 2. However, it's OK to leave the first round 3rd in the points and with Federsand-Jetsream leading the teams points” Halliday explained afterwards.
The next round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup is scheduled to take place at the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix at Barcelona in a fortnight's time.