Halliday signs with Conquest Racing [Editor's Note: So much for this report from a European newspaper that said Halliday will also be racing in Porsche Supercup, unless he does both, and hence will be a busy man. In addition, Matt Halliday will be re-joining Ford's major V8 Supercar team at both 2007 V8 Supercar endurance races.]
New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday has been confirmed to contest the highly competitive 2007 Champ Car World Series. Halliday has been signed by Conquest Racing with whom he contested the 2001 Indy Lights Championship. Since making a big impression in that 2001 campaign, Matt has pursued a burning ambition to compete in what has developed into one of the world's top international motor racing series.
His signing follows a recent successful test with Conquest Racing, conducted at the Laguna Seca circuit (California) where he set top ten lap times despite not having driven in any of the other pre-season tests. Contesting the Series was made possible after sponsorship was secured from high profile New Zealand Vodka Company 42 BELOW who have been a personal sponsor of Matt's over recent years.
The 2007 Champ Car World Series will be contested over 16 races scheduled to be held in the USA, Canada, Mexico, China, Holland, Belgium and Australia. Racing venues will comprise a combination of permanent racing and temporary street circuits commencing with the Vegas Grand Prix around the streets of Las Vegas. Other circuits include such historic names such as Zolder, Long Beach, Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and the annual race at Surfers Paradise on Australia's Gold Coast.
Another exciting development for the 2007 Series is the introduction of an all new Champ Car design incorporating a DP-01 chassis powered by a 2.65 liter, turbocharged V8 Cosworth engine. Power is transmitted to the rear wheels via a sequential 7 speed gearbox with the estimated 750 horsepower providing a top speed of 385 kph (240 mph).
Halliday will depart Auckland tonight (Tuesday - NZ time) as his first race will be held this coming Sunday (April 8th). The Series then moves on to the historic Long Beach Grand Prix followed by the Houston race in Texas.
Matt Halliday, No. 42, Panoz Cosworth:
"I have always had my sights set on Champ Car racing as it is one of the highest profile Championships using the fastest single-seater racing cars in the world. I am also very happy to be doing the Series with Eric Bachelart and Conquest Racing and thank them for giving me the opportunity to test and eventually sign with the team. I am also indebted to 42 BELOW for their loyalty and confidence in me to do the job."
Eric Bachelart, Owner, Conquest Racing:
"I'm extremely pleased to have Matt come on board for the start of the season. We've worked well together in the past and I look forward to working with him again. When we tested him last month in Laguna Seca at the final pre-season open-test with the DP01, his on-track performance definitely demonstrated that he deserves his place in the Champ Car World Series.
I'm also delighted to have the chance to work with 42 Below, one of Bacardi's vodka brands, and proud to be able to represent them worldwide. I can only hope that this partnership becomes a long and successful one"
Geoff Ross, 42 BELOW:
"During our involvement with Matt's racing career we have been impressed with his dedication and determination to succeed. 42 BELOW is a growing company so we view the Champ Car World Series as a suitable vehicle to promote our product internationally. Matt is as an excellent sporting ambassador so we look forward to an exciting partnership with him in the year ahead."