Madison, Wisc. (PRWEB) April 02, 2012
Five-time national driving champion Scott Tucker joined Level 5 Motorsports teammates Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa on the top step of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón P2 podium in the historic Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring fueled by Fresh from Florida, winning America’s oldest endurance race for the third consecutive year following its dominating performance.
The ALMS P2 class victory for the No. 055 Alpina Watches-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b didn’t come without its challenges. An accident in qualifying meant the David Stone-led team had to pull an all-nighter to get its prototype ready for the season-opening race.
While it was Level 5’s No. 95 HPD of Tucker, Luis Diaz and Ryan Hunter-Reay that paced the opening stages of the race, an error by a GTC Porsche in the fourth hour knocked the IndyCar star out of the lead and ultimately led to an early end for the team’s second entry.
All hopes of a repeat P2 victory turned to the rebuilt No. 055 car, which started from the rear of the grid due to a tire change and the overnight rebuild. An impressive quadruple stint by Tucker, however, saw the defending P2 champion move up to second in the ALMS class before handing over to Bouchut and Barbosa to complete the driving duties.
Both drivers also enjoyed time out front, often ahead of the entire WEC LMP2 field. While Barbosa battled tooth-and-nail with the Starworks Motorsport prototype for the overall LMP2 lead, the focus was clearly on taking top ALMS honors, which Level 5 accomplished in convincing fashion. The No. 055 HPD of Tucker, Bouchut and Barbosa finished 21 laps clear of the competition in its class.
“Our team is very happy,” Tucker said after the race. “It was a great effort by everybody. To get a top-five finish overall and winning the ALMS class and mixing it in the WEC battle is really incredible. This is our third straight win at Sebring, which makes me real proud of the entire team’s achievement.”
With its fourth-place overall result, Level 5 was the highest-placed American Le Mans Series finisher. It was an even more impressive accomplishment considering the level of competition from the more powerful LMP1 category, which had 11 entries, including three factory Audis prototypes.
“We did a lot of work, especially the mechanics, who worked through the night to get our car ready,” Bouchut said. “The car ran very well, so we're very happy to win our class in the ALMS. That was the main target of the weekend. Of course, we're a little disappointed to finish so close to the WEC car, but it was a good Saturday night show for the fans.”
Next up for Level 5 is the Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, scheduled for April 13-14. The race will be broadcast live on ESPN 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET and will also be shown live on ESPN3.com or ALMS.com.
About Level 5 Motorsports
Level 5 Motorsports has fielded successful entries in GT and Prototype classes in the American Le Mans Series, GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series, Ferrari Challenge Series, Cooper Tires Prototype Lites, IMSA GT3 Cup and the Sports Car Club of America since 2008. The team has competed throughout North America and Europe, extensively in France and Spain. Team owner and driver Scott Tucker has earned five national championships and has more than 100 podium finishes and 70 victories in his driving career. Level 5 is based in Madison, Wisconsin.