Madison, Wisconsin (PRWEB) February 15, 2012
Level 5 Motorsports began its defense of the 2011 American Le Mans Series LMP2 class championship as Scott Tucker and team took to the Sebring International Raceway in the first official test of 2012.
Tucker, a five-time national driving champion and native of Leawood, Kansas, along with season-long co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz collectively completed a total of 364 laps, more than 1,300 miles in their HPD prototypes, which also ran for the first time on Dunlop tires.
The test marked the worldwide debut of the new HPD ARX-03b, the newest Honda Performance Development racecar in the Level 5 stable. No. 055 car, which posted the quickest overall time on Wednesday, ended the two-day test on top in LMP2. Level 5’s No. 95 HPD, running to 2011 specification, also proved its strength by recording the second best time in class.
With increased competition on the horizon, Level 5 has clearly stepped up its game after its successful 2011 season, which included five victories and the ALMS LMP2 championship. This year, the team will be seeking an unprecedented third consecutive ALMS title while also returning to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, site of their debut podium finish in the French endurance classic.
“This time last year we were a lot further behind the gun, having not even been at this test and still building cars,” said Team Manager David Stone. “We’re definitely ahead of that point and will have our second new chassis coming in a few more days to get ready for our next test at the end of the month. We still have a lot to do between now and then, and of course before the race. But we’re prepared for it and look forward to coming back to Sebring to defend our title."
Level 5 will return to Sebring for further testing on Feb. 27-29, ahead of the 60th annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida, where Tucker will be seeking his third straight victory in America's oldest endurance race. The American Le Mans Series season-opener, set for a 10:30 a.m. ET start on March 17, will also serve as the first race for the new FIA World Endurance Championship. It will be broadcast March 18 on ABC and shown live on ESPN3 or ALMS.com.