Matt Halliday

HALLIDAY IN DOMINANT FORM IN PORSCHE GT3 CHALLENGE CUP AT PUKEKOHE - 11th November 2009

Having just won the Rookie Championship for the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup in Europe and the Middle East, Halliday was confident of being a pacesetter for the six round Championship and his overall performance in Round 1 has proved just that. After setting the quickest lap time in final practice he went on to set the pace for the weekend and also lapped below the lap record mark during qualifying.

After a closely fought qualifying session he secured his Fisher & Paykel Giltrap Team car in pole position for the first race of the season to be contested over a lengthy 36 laps including a compulsory pit stop and wheel change. Having controlled the race from the front and completed a rapid stop Halliday held a good lead in the race but suffered a puncture after contact while lapping another car. After another stop he rejoined the race to eventually finish 7th.

After receiving another blow when he was deemed to have made a practice start on the warm up lap of Race 2, the frustrated Halliday had to focus on the third and final race to finally bring home the deserved result.

For the top six reverse grid race, another lightning start and a crowd pleasing maneuver around the outside of Turn 1 saw him immediately in 2nd place behind his Fisher & Paykel Giltrap Team-mate Jonny Reid. After taking the lead on the next lap, he was able to power away from the field with a clear track ahead until a safety car intervention. Although the field had bunched up behind, a well judged restart saw another large lead established and held to the finish to take out a popular win:

"After a great effort from the International Motorsport crew and with a three week break until the second round of the Championship at Ruapuna, everyone will be sitting down and focusing on the job ahead” Halliday said after the final race.

The next round of the Series will be held at Ruapuna Park near Chrischurch over the weekend of November 28th and 29th.