"The car performed well; we're pleased with the performance so far, so it's all systems go," Scott Tucker said.
Madison, Wisc. (PRWEB) October 13, 2011
Following a superb, winning performance at Petit Le Mans, Scott Tucker and his Level 5 Motorsports team head next to Italy for one of two races remaining on the 2011 schedule. With the season winding down for all five series in which Tucker entered this year, he and the team are able to devote full focus to the remaining ILMC competition. With the ILMC points they earned with their class win at Petit Le Mans, the team seeks a vice championship in ILMC competition, ending with races in Italy and Zhuhai, China.
The last time Tucker and Level 5 were in Italy was for the 6 Hours of Imola in July, for which they drove the team's Spyder. Tucker and co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa took the wheel of the car, which they chose to run for its larger restrictor in hopes that it would allow for more power.
The team hadn't been running the car for the first half of the season, so they were at a slight disadvantage as they worked extra hard to get acquainted with the car and rule out any performance issues. "We haven't been testing this car that much, so we're on a steep part of the learning curve," said Jeff Braun at the time. "We've already made a significant jump in performance compared to the other cars, and there's more to come when we start to figure this car out a little bit."
By the time the green flag waved, Level 5 had clinched a P2 position in ILMC and sixth overall. "The car performed well; we're pleased with the performance so far, so it's all systems go," Tucker said.
"We're fighting the Le Mans winners, and everything has to be perfect, from the car to the crew to the drivers, and everyone's doing a great job," said Barbosa. Tucker took a double shift to start off the race and held his own with drivers in the Le Mans field much more experienced than he. About halfway through the race, team manager David Stone commented on Tucker's double stint. "Things are going really well," he said. "Scott ran a really great double session. He was among all the pro drivers, and he was right up there with all of them." The car was in a P3 position and Stone was optimistic about the team's finish, though he mentioned things can change on a split-second notice in the world of motorsports.
As if on cue, the car experienced a mechanical issue in the last hour of the race, during Bouchut's leg. Whatever the cause, the car was unable to shift. The team quickly calculated their position and the gap between Bouchut and his immediate challenger. "We knew if he could maintain the 150's and 153's or so, no one would catch us," Stone said. Bouchut drove the remaining 25 minutes in just one gear.
Even with the mechanical problem, Level 5 Motorsports got on the podium. The mechanical mishap dashed their hopes of finishing first, but a podium finish was still a solid result in a field of some of the toughest competition in the world.
The next time Level 5 sets foot on an Italian track, you can bet they'll be focused on No. 1. Tucker recently added Marino Franchitti to his driver roster, and the team's two brand new HPD ARX-01g prototypes have proven to be unbeatable on the track so far.