Jim Tobin

Mar 082012
 

It requires terrific focus, drive, pure talent and big time spent in the practice ring for an athlete to master her or his sport to the point of being amongst the top competitors on the earth. It requires twice that recipe for an athlete to reach mastery of two diverse playing positions inside that sport. What has it taken for Level 5 Motorsports owner and driver Scott Tucker to arive at outstanding status in several different sports car racing series-all at the same time? Only Scott Tucker knows that.

Not only has Tucker kept an improbable agenda of races in the American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am series, Ferrari Challenge series and the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series, but he has in fact was successful in all of them. Let alone a few of his victories came on the same weekends as other wins, since Tucker was often double, triple or quadruple-scheduled.

Tucker’s recent podium finish was with a brand new vehicle, last weekend at the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. The Microsoft Office-sponsored car was the product of a partnership concerning Honda Performance Development and Wirth Research. The HPD ARX-01g really helped the team reach its finest all round finish of the season, at fourth. The automobile was cutting edge for the team and for Tucker, but being in the exact LMP2 category, it wasn’t the severest vehicle discrepancy Tucker had ever faced.

Tucker helped drive Level 5 Motorsports to a win at the 12 Hours of Sebring, a excruciating endurance race in Florida at the Sebring International Raceway. That exact weekend, he was also schedule to drive in the Porsche GT3 Cup. He drove, and he won-his second win of the weekend in as many races.

These triumphs would be a little less extraordinary if the vehicles were anything alike. When a driver competes in a race, he sustains significant g-forces, incredibly hot temperatures, hours of intense focus and effort, and constant critical thought. In endurance racing especially, to pass through these conditions and come out on top seems a superhuman feat-but to leave the podium finish and do it all another time, only to finish up on another podium-seems downright unattainable.

“I lose five to seven pounds every race,” Tucker says. So that you can hold his overstocked race schedule, he has to manage serious control in his physical regimen as well as his health. To condition for less extreme schedules, he has woken up at 4:30 a.m. to do one hour of cardio workout before performing other training. His current 2011 schedule is more strenuous.

“Driving a Porsche and a prototype couldn’t be anything more different,” Tucker said while at Sebring. “I’ve done it in the past, and I’ve kind of gotten used to it, but it’s still a pretty difficult thing to do.”

The automobiles involve different driving styles, Tucker reported. His success in all four series has shown his versatility and strength as a driver, as well as his profound determination to win. But in particular, it demonstrates the love for the sport. Having entered the industry as a newbie in 2006 at the age of Forty four, Tucker didn’t have a lot of time to waste. He has always entered every race he can and treated each one as if it were his last chance for a championship. His success not only as a relatively recent driver but also as a multi-car driver is evidence that in sports, anything can be done.

Find more about Scott Tucker Scott Tucker .

Mar 042012
 

Competitive sports car racing isn’t quite the great spectator sport that, say, football is: Soaring past a checkered flag at 200 miles per hour doesn’t leave much room for a triumph dance. But motor racing fans are just as esential to motorists as football spectators are to wide receivers.

Level 5 Motorsports owner and driver Scott Tucker starts and ends races together with fans. After drivers’ meetings at races, ahead of he hits the track, he heads up to sign autographs for followers. “This is where it really starts,” he has said. “Having a big fan base coming to watch you gets everybody excited and pumped up.”

In fact, Tucker would still race even if not a solo person ended up to watch him-which makes him the most efficient kind of professional athlete: someone who completely loves the adventure. His total dismiss for any of the added benefits which can come with being as flourishing as he has been, with a distinctive story to boot, have a way of drawing people to the sport: What would make an investor from Leawood, Kansas enter into the arena of professional sports car racing as a 44-year-old rookie? Tucker’s narrative, an anomaly in an industry in which drivers have often been training for years and years by the time they hit 44, has caught the eye of the Discovery Channel, which broadcasted the feature video “Daytona Dream,” about Tucker and Level 5’s 2010 quest and ultimate achievement of a podium finish after 24 hours of grueling, prolonged competition.

Supporters specifically in the United States have looked to Tucker also mainly because his is the 1st Le Mans Prototype entry from the country in 25 years. What made him enter into the ALMS? Not just a sponsorship or a pay raise or anything other than the fact that he just simply desired to, a move that then begs the query, what’s so impressive about Le Mans Prototype cars? The answer will be, a lot-something Tucker has helped promote to a group of followers that is inundated with Nascar, Grand-Am and Ferrari more so than LMP.

The reality is, Tucker withdrew from a couple of vital races in the 2011 season as he awaited the finishing touches on a modern, cost-capped Honda automobile for the team. For Level 5, which was on a breakaway outstanding season, the vehicle had to be worth surrendering points and podium appearances. For Tucker, it absolutely was. He’d been watching updates on the automobile and made a decision it was the most impressive model available in the LMP2 class.

“The fans are important to me because ultimately, we feel the same way about competitive sports car racing,” Tucker pointed out. “Only, I get to be the one behind the wheel, and if I can share that with them, and they’re excited about it too, then that’s the best thing.”

Not that Tucker is an especially troublesome figure to rally behind. Not merely is his tale interesting and his love for the sport undeniable-his record is actually darn nice. He won his 2nd consecutive T1 division national championship for the SCCA runoffs at Road America, and in 2010, he served Ferrari as a test driver as it developed the next generation of supercar, the 599XX. In 2009, Tucker scored a single-season record of 10 victories in the Ferrari Challenge series and won the Ferrari Challenge Dealership Championship for Boardwalk Ferrari. He also won the Sports Car Club of America National Championship in a Ferrari 430.

After working his way through the Ferrari Challenge series and the Grand-Am series, Tucker, together with instructor and co-driver Bouchut, took an opportunity for Le Mans Prototype class competition and in 2010 won the LMP class championship, which knocked them up to the LMP2 class for 2011.

With drivers’ championships all but official this season for Tucker and Bouchut, the Level 5 Motorsports team continues to deliver action-packed, podium-worthy performances for its fans. Having kept mostly out of the spotlight, Tucker isn’t your regular sports hero, but that’s because he’s as much a fan of the action as he is a driver in it.

Find more about Scott Tucker Scott Tucker .

Feb 222012
 

Scott Tucker with the exceptional Level 5 Motorsports teammates recently began the final quarter of a racing year which has included numerous podium appearances, multiple car changes, incredible accomplishments and yet still room for improvement. Tucker, owner and driver for Level 5, has been a leader to the team in spite of the rookie status he maintained just months ago. His tight, balanced driving has earned him top honors from the American Le Mans Series as Rookie of the Year and Champion Driver in 2010. His races often end with stints on the podium, and his career only has just begun.

As Tucker, his co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz and team manager David Stone prepare to shut the season with all the all-important Petit Le Mans and the Ferrari International Finals, the stakes are high-the team has woven itself a reputation of excellence that is best understood by looking back at what has made 2011 a beautiful year for Level 5 Motorsports.

In January, the Level 5 team began its 2011 race schedule with the GRAND-AM The Roar before the 24 test sessions, in Daytona, Florida. Its two Microsoft Office-sponsored entries proved themselves powerful vehicles for their drivers’ talents. Throughout the final test session the No. 055 Microsoft Office BMW Riley and the No. 95 Microsoft Office BMW Riley finished 2-3. Tucker, Bouchut, Diaz and Mark Wilkins drove the No. 55 and sped through a 127.533 mph lap, just a half-second behind Starworks Motorsports Ford Riley, No. 8. Tucker also drove the No. 95, along with Ryan Hunter-Reay, Raphael Matos and Richard Westbrook. The drivers completed a lap of 127.465 mph, a time less than one-tenth of a second off of the No. 55 BMW Riley.

The Level 5 team proved its versatility as the season opened up with rule changes and a freshly paved racetrack at Daytona International Speedway. The three-day test session for the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series was an indicator of things to come for the team. All through the practiced sessions, the team gradually built momentum by developing small changes with every run, eventually building up to the point that the drivers were barely off the top speed by weekend’s end.

In the fourth test session, the No. 95 rose to 5th on the speed chart with a lap of 125.898 mph. Its counterpart, the No. 55, earned its way to a second-place position by the sixth session with a lap of 126.9189 mph.

But not only did Tucker drive both cars for the Roar before the 24, he was also a participant in the Sports Car Club of America’s Double National event at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. He finished second both days of the race. “I want as much time on the track as possible,” he said at the time. “Getting in tune with the car is paramount to setting up for a successful season.”

The Roar prior to the 24 is much like preseason games in other sports; it gives drivers a chance to shake off any lingering problems from the previous year and preview the type of year that is to come. Many big motorsports names are on hand at the Roar before the 24, and many of the stars who test at the Roar are enrolled in the Rolex 24 at Daytona during subsequent weekends.

End result of the Roar before the 24 set Level 5 Motorsports in a perfect position for season’s start: beating the competition, but with some room for improvement. By exhibiting talent, control and skill on the raceway, Tucker and his teammates immediately established Level 5 Motorsports as a frontrunner for the coming races. Next up: the Rolex 24.

Scott Tucker and Level 5 scored a commanding victory in the 2011 Petit Le Mans and secured the 2011 American Le Mans LMP2 Championship Scott Tucker

Feb 192012
 

When racecar competitors cruise into the boards or some other car, spin out and skid to a stop with simply parts of their vehicles in tact, race fans, engineers, operators and drivers alike will say, what went down? Shockingly, more often than not it’s not because a driver neglected to examine his blind spot; most individuals can’t steer clear of problems travelling Seventy mph on the hwy, so it’s notable that racing drivers can manage speeds above One hundred fifty miles per hour on a closed circuit and steer clear of sideswiping the other person.

One example is, Level 5 Motorsports, a team belonging to driver Scott Tucker that has competed in the American Le Mans Series, the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series, the Ferrari Challenge series, the Rolex Grand-Am series and the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge series, has had its share of incidents. One of the popular frustrating in the 2011 season was at the ILMC competition of the 1,000km of Spa-Francorchamps. A suspension failure sent Tucker’s co-driver Christophe Bouchut spinning out into the boards, and the competition was over for the Madison, Wisc.-based team. Tucker’s team is unique in its five-series agenda; for many of us professional racecar drivers, a race presents a one-time opportunity to enhance their star power and status around. Save for mechanical failures and flukes in the cars, motorists are going to do everything to be sure that they have all of their bases covered to become able to race at utmost speed with the minimum potential for error.

One of the ways professional motorsports teams achieve the feat is with the use of spotters, who stand near the top of the grandstands with the sole purpose of watching and alerting the team of any potential problems or opportunities.

“We look to see opportunities for racers to get by, and we check out the race strategy and the track to help out the drivers and the engineers,” explained Ian, one of Tucker’s Level 5 team spotters. Spotters, using their perch upon the complete race venue, can see a lot: They’ll help drivers figure out a chance to move challengers; they’re able to warn team engineers that a driver is pulling off for a pit stop; they can alert drivers and mechanics about debris on the track that can make trouble; and they can also help drivers with crash technique in the event the vehicle is headed immediately toward a crash, to be able to diminish the destruction the car will endure.

A brief history involving driver and spotter is important to achieving success together. During strong, fast-paced action races, spotters and drivers must connect smoothly and with ease together, and so they ought to fully understand this is of what the other states.

Tucker’s own spotters should have been performing a good job this season, because he and his Level 5 team have liked a number successful races with virtually no scratch or simply a smudge on their cars-and that’s crucial. Level 5 making podium at 4 races within the first five months of the season, winning at the 12 Hours of Sebring, winning at the American Le Mans Series Monterey, and leaving the podium with clear cars to boot proves that a dynamic, unified team is paramount to success. Spotters and drivers represent one particular vital relationship; in fact, engineers, mechanics, team managers and other positions must streamline their operations to make for the most popular potential for good results. As Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports forge ahead for the Oct. 1 Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta, the whole team will continue to work to build the ALMS season’s closing race a victory. Stated Ian, the Level 5 spotter: “We aren’t the most crucial element to the race; we’re just another member of the team.”

Scott Tucker, a five-time national driving champion Scott Tucker

Feb 192012
 

The other round of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series brought the Scott Tucker-owned Level 5 Motorsports crew to Belgium for the Spa-Francorchamps 2011 race. The famous course is recognized for being flat still giving motorists with tough curves to find even when racing at more rapidly speeds compared to different tracks.

Tucker and his awesome crew, coming off wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring as well as the Long Beach Street Circuit, were thrilled to be at the place and find out just what the weekend had to bring. The Spa competition was dense and strong; the Le Mans series and the Intercontinental Le Mans series entice leading talent from around the globe to the legendary Spa track. “This is one of the greatest tracks in the world,” Tucker mentioned. “It’s one of the faster tracks we run at. It’s curvy but flat … you’re flat to the floor.”

In its runs at the ILMS season opener at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Lola Honda struggled to make top speed at the straightaways. For the Spa, all Honda vehicles were awarded a 1.2 mm larger air restrictor as compensation. After initial tests, said Level 5 driver Christophe Bouchut, the restrictor provided small increases in speed, but it was unclear pre-race how much of a difference the adjustment would make.

As it proved, the restrictor didn’t give the speed increase the Level 5 team had predicted, a unsatisfying final result that set the group at a slight drawback, even though it wasn’t through yet. In qualifying rounds, driven by Bouchut, the Honda ended 10th-not the actual result you could expect to have with the fast track, the driver talent and the restrictor correction.

After he had run the course, Tucker told members of the media his impression of the course: “It’s as advertised: long and fast,” he said. “In the prototype, the turns are so fast, and there are a lot of G’s, so it will be very physically challenging over 6 hours.”

But 6 hours didn’t quite come as Tucker plus the team predicted. With some contact with a car suspected to be No. 41, the Level 5 car entered pit for gasoline along with damage in the right rear end corner on the tail section. The segment was changed out, and after fueling up, the automobile was back in line.

Then, just a couple of hours into the race, Bouchut suddenly spun into the barrels on the side of the track. Team manager David Stone speculated that something in the rear suspension had failed, but the team would have to await official investigation for the answer.

Despite the fact that Level 5 Motorsports experienced a frustrating finish to its second ILMC appearance, driver willpower and talent are not in question. Only days away from another FC race in California, the group changed its focus toward its next chance.

Find more about Scott Tucker Scott Tucker .

Feb 192012
 

Scott Tucker will attempt to generate history this weekend in the driver’s seat on the Porsche in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. If he pulls it well, Tucker will certainly be part of a special gang of individuals that have gained about three straight national championship titles at the Runoffs, just about the most well known races in the nation.

Tucker carries a talent to make history. His rising star must have had a turbo engine itself-since his initial professional race in ’06 at Forty-four years of age, he’s declared him self as being an top notch, top-flight driver in 5 unique series within only 5 years. He was the very first American to be permitted to drive one of Audi’s R10 prototypes in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010. He won his class in his very first appearance in the American Le Mans Series, and in early 2011, he documented his 50th career win, a number that has rapidly leaped to Fifty nine since. Lately, Tucker snagged a set of back-to-back American Le Mans Series championships right after his 4th LMP2 win last weekend at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.

After winning 2 previous national championships at the SCCA Runoffs in a Ferrari 430 Challenge car in the T1 category, Tucker has prefered a Porsche 996 twin-turbo for Friday morning’s quick, 13-lap, 40-minute race at Road America. Tucker began getting ready for the appearance a few months ago by buying the 500-plus horsepower Porsche. Tucker’s team, Level 5 Motorsports, joined up with forces with Kelly Moss Motorsports to change the Porsche into an SCCA STO class competitor. KMM’s Jeff Stone led the project, including a number of tests runs with Porsche factory motorist Patrick Long.

Tucker has already finished qualifying with the radical new Porsche, and it’s clear the car will be a contender. Tucker’s best lap was 2:16.462, which clocks in as the fastest overall time among the STO class field, earning Tucker the pole position for Friday’s race.

“For me, personally, winning my third consecutive national championship would be an incredible achievement,” Tucker said. “I’ve worked hard for it, but it’s extremely difficult. All you can do is prepare the best way you know how and do your best on the track, and then you’ll just see where the chips fall at the checkered flag.”

Tucker has already competed in four SCCA events this season with the 430 Challenge car, at Sebring International Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Soon after, he decided to embark on the Porsche project. Project Manager Ed Zabinski says the decision has proven to be a wise one. “We really tried to bring all of the best guys in the program,” Zabinski said. “I’m happy with the way it turned out. It’s developed into a reliable car, and I think we’re looking pretty good.” Zabinski is also an entrant for the Microsoft Office-sponsored car.

Victory on the SCCA Runoffs would enhance the outstanding year Tucker and his awesome Level 5 team have already experienced. Sandwiched in between a couple of significant ALMS contests, the SCCA is a distinct set of wheels, but a victory would boost an already fascinating couple of weeks for the Level 5 team. The Runoffs will crown the Sports Car Club of America’s Club Racing National Championships this weekend for the 48th year back to back. Road America’s historic 4-mile course provides the backdrop for the race considered the “Olympics” of motorsports.

Want more about celebrity Scott Tucker Scott Tucker .

Feb 182012
 

A few months ago, the Scott Tucker-owned racing team Level 5 Motorsports prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a ancient endurance race in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series. Like every team, Level 5 focused to win. However strangely enough, they elected out from the option to qualify for a beginning position in the race, rather taking the dead last placement for the 2 Microsoft Office-sponsored LMP2 vehicles, Nos. 55 and 95.

“Qualifying for a 24-hour race is meaningless,” stated a Level 5 mechanic at the time. “Anything that’s not directly related to winning, we’re going to opt out of.”

It’s true; in a day-long event, starting position isn’t the most crucial element. But declining to qualify is not to say that the practice involved in driving laps prior to a race isn’t essential to success in professional motorsports. Specifically, it’s the kind of laps you drive.

The practice sessions offered to teams in the days before races are a vital time to get acquainted with a new track and maximize the overall performance of driver changes and pit stops. And, for Tucker and Level 5, training is an an opportunity to have a feel for a whole new automobile, one factor the group has encountered quite a few times in its lifetime.

Lately, they introduced its brand new LMP2 cost-capped Honda chassis at the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway on September. Seventeen. The only hrs of street time the vehicle encountered prior to the race were useful indications of how the automobile would perform in the race, another advantage of practice time.

But typically, the Level 5 team remains in keeping with its mechanic’s word: Practice is nothing if it doesn’t make perfect. That’s one reason they works 2 Le Mans Prototype entries in each and every race-when Tucker started Level 5 Motorsports in ’08, he was only two years into his professional racing career, and he needed practice. But he also wasn’t willing to waste time completing meaningless laps around a track against no competitors.

“From the time and energy I spend practicing, it just makes more sense to enter two cars in the races,” Tucker said. “Not only that, but it’s actually beneficial to run two cars. When you’re out there practicing, you’re not racing against anybody. When you look at it logically, it’s much smarter from a time perspective and infrastructure perspective, not to mention that you get extra racing seat time.”

To Tucker, the most valuable practice experiences have been those in actual race situations. Although practice sessions have proven useful to the Level 5 team when it wants to survey a new car’s capabilities, the team typically treats each and every mile on the track as an opportunity for a world-class win. That strategy has worked for the team, who now enters the pinnacle of the 2011 season-with the SCCA Runoffs, Petit Le Mans and the 6 Hours of Zhuhai in China left to go-after two years of continuously increasing success.

Although Tucker was 44 when he took the wheel for his first professional race in 2006, his race-only mindset strategy has quickly made up the time he never had to build his career. His success has skyrocketed in just the past 5 years. The results can’t be ignored: He’s a three-time national champion; 2010 ALMS rookie of the year; two-time T1 division national champion, going for a third this weekend; three-time Ferrari Challenge Series champion; and holder of a record 10 wins in the FC series.

Entering his career, Tucker clearly had his accelerator to the floor. He quickly joined endurance veteran Christophe Bouchut, who acted as his mentor in addition to his driving partner. Tucker has always driven with the cream of the elite motorsports crop, a strategy that has allowed him some room to develop as a driver while still being making plenty of podium appearances. The winning mindset he has maintained since day one has helped him become an elite driver in only a handful of years. As Tucker’s team makes its LMP2 debut in the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans next weekend, it will compete against some of the fastest, most experienced drivers in the industry. For Level 5 Motorsports, it should be a good practice.

To view Scott Tucker’s profile visit Scott Tucker .

Feb 182012
 

Earlier, the Scott Tucker-owned racing team Level 5 Motorsports prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a traditional endurance race in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series. As with any team, Level 5 targeted to win. Yet curiously, the team chose out of the option to qualify for a commencing position in the race, rather taking the dead last placement for the 2 Microsoft Office-sponsored LMP2 vehicles, Nos. 55 and 95.

“Qualifying for a 24-hour race is meaningless,” expressed a Level 5 mechanic at the time. “Anything that’s not directly related to winning, we’re going to opt out of.”

It’s true; in a day-long event, starting placement isn’t the most crucial element. But declining to meet the criteria just isn’t to state that the practice involved with driving laps before a race isn’t vital for success in professional motorsports. Particularly, it’s the type of laps you drive.

The training sessions open to teams in the days before races are a essential time to become familiar with a new track and increase the efficiency of driver changes and pit stops. And, for Tucker and Level 5, training is an opportunity to have a feel for a different car, one factor the group has presented a great number of times in its lifetime.

Most recently, they unveiled its completely new LMP2 cost-capped Honda chassis at the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway on September. Seventeen. The mere time of street time the car experienced prior to race were very important signals of how the car would perform in the race, another benefit of practice time.

But mostly, the Level 5 team continues to be in keeping with its mechanic’s word: Practice is nothing if it doesn’t make perfect. That’s a primary reason they runs two Le Mans Prototype entries in just about every race-when Tucker started Level 5 Motorsports in 2008, he was only two years into his professional racing career, and he needed practice. But he also wasn’t willing to waste time completing meaningless laps around a track against no competitors.

“From the time and energy I spend practicing, it just makes more sense to enter two cars in the races,” Tucker said. “Not only that, but it’s actually beneficial to run two cars. When you’re out there practicing, you’re not racing against anybody. When you look at it logically, it’s much smarter from a time perspective and infrastructure perspective, not to mention that you get extra racing seat time.”

To Tucker, the most valuable practice experiences have been those in actual race situations. Although practice sessions have proven useful to the Level 5 team when it wants to survey a new car’s capabilities, the team typically treats each and every mile on the track as an opportunity for a world-class win. That strategy has worked for the team, who now enters the pinnacle of the 2011 season-with the SCCA Runoffs, Petit Le Mans and the 6 Hours of Zhuhai in China left to go-after two years of continuously increasing success.

Although Tucker was 44 when he took the wheel for his first professional race in 2006, his race-only mindset strategy has quickly made up the time he never had to build his career. His success has skyrocketed in just the past 5 years. The results can’t be ignored: He’s a three-time national champion; 2010 ALMS rookie of the year; two-time T1 division national champion, going for a third this weekend; three-time Ferrari Challenge Series champion; and holder of a record 10 wins in the FC series.

Entering his career, Tucker clearly had his accelerator to the floor. He quickly joined endurance veteran Christophe Bouchut, who acted as his mentor in addition to his driving partner. Tucker has always driven with the cream of the elite motorsports crop, a strategy that has allowed him some room to develop as a driver while still being making plenty of podium appearances. The winning mindset he has maintained since day one has helped him become an elite driver in only a handful of years. As Tucker’s team makes its LMP2 debut in the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans next weekend, it will compete against some of the fastest, most experienced drivers in the industry. For Level 5 Motorsports, it should be a good practice.

Scott Tucker, a five-time national driving champion Scott Tucker

Dec 222011
 

As Tucker, his co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz and team manager David Stone prepare to close the calendar year with the all-important Petit Le Mans and the Ferrari International Finals, the stakes are high-the team has woven itself a reputation of excellence that is best understood by looking back at what has made 2011 a stunning year for Level 5 Motorsports.

Clean off a mind-blowing triumph at their 24 Hours of Le Mans debut, the Level 5 Motorsports team, belonging to driver Scott Tucker and including also Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa, headed to Bologna, Italy with their Microsoft Office-sponsored Lola Honda. What appeared to be another useful triumph for the team became a bittersweet day after some late-race malfunctions prevented another historic victory to the Wisconsin-based team.

The 3 drivers delivered again remarkable shows when driving. In the beginning maintaining a 6th place spot on the grid of LMP2 competitors, they moved to the lead with under 2 hours remaining. Bouchut manned the last leg of the race, taking the wheel with just more than an hour or so to go. The win was theirs, just an official checkered flag from being official. But Twenty five minutes prior to the end, Bouchut’s voice crackled on the radio to declare gear selection issues.

The automobile was stuck in fourth gear as a result of gear actuator failure. Bouchut, experienced in the motorsports field and one of the most successful endurance drivers on earth, managed to persevere through to the checkered flag using only a few gears. In the end, the team gained a third-place finish. Where they first enjoyed a 15-second lead, they now faced the reality that the win they nearly grasped was no more-and it was taking a while to sink in. “That’s racing,” Tucker said. “Still, ending up on the podium with this level of competition is incredible. However, it isn’t sinking in right now because we were so close to a win here.”

Despite the fact that victory eluded them, they gained useful experience in a tricky field of opponents, and they experienced a large performance increase driving the Spyder, the vehicle they changed to from the 2010 Lola Coupe after the 24 Hours of Le Mans. “It was the first time we drove the Lola-Honda Spyder and it definitely proved to be the right choice,” Barbosa said. “We were much more competitive than in the previous races. We still have to work on speed and qualifying pace, but we were strong heading into the race. That took us to the lead. There’s a few more races to go, so hopefully we can continue to improve this package.”

Improvement seems hardly a possibility when you consider the podium standing the team had already done at this point in the year. With any losses being less due to driver performance than mechanical issues, a clean car seemingly guaranteed Level 5 top finishes. With the win ever-present in their minds, the team looked ahead to continuing the ALMS season with races at Lime Rock Park and Mosport International Raceway in Ontario.

Scott Tucker’s Level 5 Motorsports are 2011 ALMS Champions Scott Tucker

Dec 222011
 

The moment private equity investor-turned motorsports growing superstar Scott Tucker set his order for the cutting edge Honda Performance Development/Wirth Research cost-capped prototype car, under “quantity,” it stated 2. Tucker reserved the original two chassis for his Level 5 Motorsports team to use as soon as possible, which turned out to be last weekend in the HPD ARX-01g’s debut appearance, at ModSpace American Le Mans in Monterey, Calif. The race was one more victory for the David Stone-managed, Microsoft Office-sponsored team of Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz; the team made a major pass throughout the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series and also the American Le Mans Series, making podium at a number of races and winning at several others, for example Imola.

Naturally, not simply good luck brought a pair of expert people along with a beginner and made them win races. Every one of the drivers centers on another area and comes from a different background, nonetheless they all share a powerful desire for racing sports cars and a level of expertise and experience that lends itself to precise, managed, well balanced driving at max speed. They key to the team’s joint achievements is selecting the right scenario for driver order and race strategy-part of which involves Tucker reserving a pair of the Honda chassis prototypes.

Tucker and Bouchut, who had been his driving coach at the moment, made a decision to join the Le Mans Prototype class after checking out the car last year. The kind of the automobile was appealing enough, but since the series could possibly have Class A and Class B people race together with each other at the championship, Tucker wanted in. Bouchut, essentially the most successful endurance drivers on this planet and an industry veteran, seemed to be assisting Tucker improve since his Grand-Am first appearance, and the two went into the LMPC program mutually full-time in 2010.

One other enticing component of this new prototype class was that the brand-new IMSA rule helped guy motorists in LMPC or GTC class to drive a couple vehicles, with the scoring driver in the higher-placed entry. That allowance spawned Level 5 Motorsports’ winning Nos. 55 and 95 cars, which carried the group in the next year to win the LMP championship, which bumped Level 5 into the LMP2 class, for which the HPD ARX-01g cars will take over starting last weekend.

The process involved with 2 cars worked for Level 5 Motorsports, with an extraordinarily qualified veteran in Christophe Bouchut and the other coming at the beginning of This year in Luis Diaz. Tucker, who has been a novice at Forty-four in 2006, got practice with the two-car tactic Level 5 uses, saving himself time and effort and improving the team’s infrastructure all the while.

Tucker had mainly kept out of the spot light, although he quickly built a winning record after his racing introduction. But Le Mans had always been amongst his ambitions, and so when the time was right enough, he incorporated high-profile racing experienced to his inner circle and set about leaving the Level 5 mark on just about every ALMS and ILMC track he could.

In 2010, Bouchut entered his 17th Le Mans race; just 14 different motorists have ever finished the race more times. But Tucker had never appeared in Le Mans; strategy again played part in becoming successful during the race. Though Bouchut could easily compete with the series’ prime drivers, the full Level 5 team had to hold their own in order to succeed. Bouchut was slated as the head driver, with Tucker and Manu Rodriguez rounding out the group. The team’s collective goal was to qualify at a solid pace and be aggressive, a mind-set that has continued over the 2011 year. With seemingly a constant check-list in their minds-get the ideal car, qualify strong, stay competitive, always target the win-the Level 5 team arranges race day around it.

Scott Tucker, a five-time national driving champion Scott Tucker