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Tucker Could Make History At This Weekend's SCCA Runoffs

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Sports/Touring Car Racing Topics:  Scott Tucker, SCCA Runoffs

Tucker Could Make History At This Weekend's SCCA Runoffs

Brent Arends
Level 5 Motorsports
October 4, 2011

Scott Tucker will attempt to make history this weekend behind the wheel of a Porsche in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs at Road America. If he pulls it off, Tucker will join an exclusive group of drivers who have won three consecutive national championship titles at the Runoffs, one of the most highly regarded races in the country.

Tucker has a knack for making history. His rising star must have had a turbo engine itself—since his very first professional race in 2006 at 44 years old, he has asserted himself as an elite, top-flight driver in five distinct series in a matter of just five years. He was the first American to be allowed to drive one of Audi's R10 prototypes in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2010. He won his class in his debut appearance in the American Le Mans Series, and in early 2011, he recorded his 50th career win, a number that has quickly jumped to 59 since. Most recently, Tucker snagged a pair of back-to-back American Le Mans Series championships after his fourth LMP2 victory last weekend at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif.

Having won two previous national championships at the SCCA Runoffs in a Ferrari 430 Challenge car in the T1 category, Tucker has opted for a Porsche 996 twin-turbo for Friday morning's quick, 13-lap, 40-minute race at Road America. Tucker began preparing for the appearance earlier this year by purchasing the 500-plus horsepower Porsche. Tucker's team, Level 5 Motorsports, joined forces with Kelly Moss Motorsports to transform the Porsche into an SCCA STO class competitor. KMM's Jeff Stone led the project, which included a series of tests runs with Porsche factory driver 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.

A win at the SCCA Runoffs would add to the brilliant season Tucker and his Level 5 team have already experienced. Sandwiched between two important ALMS contests, the SCCA is a different set of wheels, but a victory would add to an already exciting few 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 in a row. Road America's historic 4-mile course provides the backdrop for the race considered the "Olympics" of motorsports.

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Brent Arends has been keeping a close eye on Scott Tucker, owner and driver, of Level 5 Motorsports throughout the past year. To get more information about Tucker, check out http://www.motorsport.com/#/all/search/?q=scott%252520tucker



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