New Zealander Matt Halliday has been confirmed as Dean Fiore’s co-driver in the Dodo Insurance Holden Commodore VF for the Pirtek Enduro Cup.
It will be the second year in a row the 29-year old West Australian and 34-year old Kiwi have teamed up and the ninth year Halliday has contested long distance V8 Supercars races.
In 2012, Fiore and Halliday shared a Ford Falcon FG run out of Dick Johnson Racing, scoring 16th at Sandown and 22nd at Bathurst
The confirmation of Halliday completes the roster at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, where Scott Pye will be joined by Paul Morris in the ekol Commodore for the Sandown 500, Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and Armor All Gold Coast 600.
It also means only the drivers of Triple Eight’s one-off third Bathurst entry are yet to be announced.
“Matt is very, very professional, very fast and we get on really well,” Fiore told v8supercars.com.au. “I think Matt will really fit in well with the team so I am really looking forward to that.”
For Halliday, who is based in America and this year is primarily racing in the Blancpain Endurance Series for Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, this is only the second time he has contested the Australian endurance season in a Holden.
His previous V8 teams have included Larkham Motorsport, Ford Performance Racing, Britek Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing in 2010, where he co-drove the Team BOC Commodore with Jason Bright and claimed his best Bathurst result of fourth only 2.4 seconds off the win.
“I’m very happy to be joining up with LDM and driving with Deano for the second year in a row,” he said.
“We are a similar size which works well for seating and driver changes and I am confident we will be a strong package to watch out for in the endurance races. I am excited to get to work with the team and Dean and give it everything we have!”
Fiore is looking to re-ignite his season in the Pirtek Endurance Cup. Promising early pace has faded as the LDM squad has battled to find competitive pace in its Triple Eight-built Commodores while it also copes with the expansion from a one to two car squad.
“The way the season is set up you can turn your season around in the Pirtek Endurance Cup … so I think those three races are going to be what decides my year as a whole so I am really looking forward to that and to that challenge,” he said.
“I always want to be in the top half and that’s what I aim for. We have been on for a number of top 10 finishes this year but failed to produce them because of things out of my control … so I am going to be putting a big emphasis on the enduros and making sure I score as many points there as I can.”
LDM conducted its first test of the year at Winton this week, nine days out from the Victorian track’s V8 Supercars event, with Red Bull Racing Australia gun driver Jamie Whincup and his engineer Mark Dutton joined in to help sort the cars out.
After Pye sampled Whincup’s RBRA VF at Ipswich last month, the championship leader mainly drove Fiore’s car while a roster of young talent sampled the ekol Commodore.
“We had good weather and achieved most of the program we set ourselves,” said Fiore. “We definitely made progress, generally speaking we were just trying to understand what we have got and what the simple things do. We weren’t trying drastic shock changes or anything like that, just trying to narrow down and get the basics right and getter basic understanding of how the car works.”