Scott Tucker-owned Level 5 Motorsports stands out as the first American Le Mans Prototype (LMP) admittance from the Le Mans circuit in Twenty-five years, and discovering he’s a bit of a pioneer, Tucker has made sure the team’s-and the country’s-debut from the series is established for success.
As soon as Tucker and mentor/co-driver Christophe Bouchut received the chance to get involved in the LMP class of American Le Mans and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2010, they completed the season with a class championship win, of which knocked them to the LMP2 class for the present yr. To begin with the season strong, Tucker put in LMP2 veteran Luis Diaz to the mix. Diax, of Mexico, had been racing LMP2s since 2007, when he raced a Lola B06/43-Acura for Fernandez Racing and got the class championship in ’09.
With that, Level 5 Motorsports tore on the ALMS schedule, posting wins on the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Long Beach Circuit and 24 Hours of Le Mans, and notable performances at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Infineon and Imola in Italy. Only getting better from there, Tucker and the Level 5 team received a new Honda chassis prototype-the HPD ARX-01g-just soon enough for the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. They made a podium end with the brand new prototype, and it was technically set up as an LMP2 powerhouse.
Currently, Tucker for a second time stacks his deck for LMP2 competition with Marino Franchitti, being the fifth and ultimate driver for the two-car entry in the 14th annual Petit Le Mans operated by Mazda. Franchitti can become a member of Tucker, Diaz and Bouchut in the team’s No. 055 Microsoft Office-sponsored HPD ARX-01g in the 1,000-mile, 10-hour series at Road Atlanta, the pinnacle of the ALMS provided by Tequila Patron.
“I’m very excited to be joining Level 5 Motorsports for Petit Le Mans,” Franchitti says. “Having driven every iteration of the HPD up until this new model, I can’t wait to get in the new car. Level 5 is no doubt a top team that’s putting all of the resources they need behind this program.”
And Tucker will continue to impress with how long his resources will go. Franchitti is a essential supplement on the currently stocked team-as portion of the development stages of the ARX-01a, he was one of the first drivers behind the HPD family’s wheels. Then he spent two years racing LMP2s with Dyson Racing just before rejoining HPD models with Highcroft Racing as the 3 rd driver for the ALMS voyage. He received the overall pole position at the 12 Hours of Sebring and won at Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans, combined with driver and team championship for Highcroft. In this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring, Franchitti was runner-up with Highcroft’s LMP1 car, the largest prototype class.
Franchitti isn’t brand-new to Level 5, either; he has worked with engineers Rick Mayer and Jeff Braun. “A car is a car, and guys like Scott, Christophe and Joao [Barbosa] are good to drive it to the maximum that it’s capable of,” Franchitti says. With Level 5 Motorsports, the prospect is perfect for Franchitti attaining a hat trick of LMP2 victories in Petit Le Mans.
“We’re ecstatic to have Marino on board,” Tucker proclaimed. “With the momentum we’ve built up to this point in the season, with the boost of our new prototype, we’re optimistic for a strong performance at Petit Le Mans. Marino is an obvious choice for this team, and we’re glad to have him.”
In a few days, Franchitti will officially take the wheel as a Level 5 driver during the two-day test at Road Atlanta. The group also is expecting to have its second car at the track, an ILMC-designated No. 33 HPD. The Petit Le Mans revs up on October. 1.
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