HALLIDAY 8TH IN SPA PORSCHE SUPERCUP RACE
New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday has powered his Giltrap Racing Porsche 911 GT3 to 8th place in Round 9 of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup held in Belgium yesterday.
It was a satisfying result for the Californian based Kiwi motor racing star after a high paced race on a track where conditions varied owing to constant rain showers so familiar to the Ardennes Forest region.
Once again the notorious Spa-Francorchamps circuit lived up to its reputation for rapidly changeable weather in both free practice and qualifying. The MRS engineers used the Friday practice as more of a shakedown following a complete rebuild of the car and with conditions varying from wet to dry, Halliday elected to conserve his slick tyres for a dry qualifying run on Saturday.
The 30 minute qualifying commenced on a dry track forcing drivers to set competitive times early in case rain re-appeared. Halliday was totally pleased with the car and set the 8th fastest time despite a cautious approach to the damp parts of the faster corners. On his final run he actually improved his lap time over the first two sectors but heavy rain began to fall on the fastest section of the track slowing his progress.
Race day conditions were again changeable but the rain held off allowing drivers to settle into some high spirited driving despite some damp patches of track remaining. Halliday again made a good start but it was a case of being consistent and maintaining contact with the front runners:
"It was a typically difficult Spa weekend with the weather making life difficult. Qualifying went extremely well as the car had more to give but we took it cautiously with so many damp spots around. The race itself was run at a fast pace but we all had to drive on a definitive dry line which made overtaking quite dangerous” he said after the race.
Yesterday’s race was Halliday’s last race in the 2010 series as he now heads to Australia to contest the endurance rounds of the V8 Supercars championship where he will partner Jason Bright in the Trading Post Racing Holden Commodore. The 10th and final round of the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup will be held in two weeks’ time at Italy’s historic Monza circuit as support to the Italian Formula 1 Grand Prix.