New Zealand racing driver Matt Halliday has won the Rookie Trophy for the 2009 Porsche Mobil Supercup after arewarding weekend in the final two rounds held in Abu Dhabi over the weekend
Halliday contested 8 of the 13 rounds of the Championship and was able to defend his points lead in the Rookie Trophy when a 2008 model car became available.
Halliday was initially cautious of tyre wear in Friday’s free practice session then struggled with a difficult set up inqualifying for Race 1 to record the 11th best time. However, changes to the car for Race 2 qualifying improved his laptimes and enabled him to take 8th position on the starting grid.
On the opening lap of Saturday’s Race 1, it quickly became apparent that Halliday’s MRS Team had done a superb job ashis well balanced car enabled him to battle his way up totake 6th place after some spirited driving on the unfamiliar Yas Marina Circuit. Race 2 saw the Californian based Kiwi pushed wide on the first corner after the start but again he fought back through the field before settling for 9th place to claim the RookieTrophy for 2009.
Despite missing five rounds of the Championship he was also thrilled to claim 7th place in the overall Supercup points standings: “It was hard coming to a new circuit with an older car and a new team but we really clicked so they were able to give me a good car for the races. It was a great weekend and good to be back in the Supercup to end the season Rookie of the year and 7th overall after missing half the races!”
Halliday is now returning to New Zealand for the opening round of the Battery Town Porsche GT3 Challenge Cup where he is expecting a huge battle with a top class field. Halliday will be rejoining Lyall Williamson’s International Motorsport organisation for the campaign.
The first GT3 Cup round starts this week at the Pukekohe circuit. Qualifying and a long distance race will be held on Saturday 7th, with Race 2 and 3 on Sunday 8th November