Scott Tucker: Level 5 Means Taking It To The Next Level
Topics: Scott Tucker
Five years ago, Scott Tucker was a private equity investor with a passion for race cars. Now, as he prepares to take on the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans championship race at Road Atlanta, he does so with a slew of victories from the 2011 season that have already secured the Level 5 Motorsports team with the Le Mans Prototype 2 class championship and positioned them at No. 2 in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series.
For Tucker, this year's season represents the next level of motorsports, a fitting embodiment of the very idea behind Level 5 Motorsports. "Five is my favorite number," Tucker said. "It was always my number in all the sports I played through high school and college."
But it wasn't until later in life that the number five really represented success for Tucker; as he continued his private equity investment career, he read a book on management that described a "level 5 candidate" as someone who could take a company to the next level.
Ironically, it wasn't until even later in life that the number five meant top-of-the-podium finishes and international success for Tucker. And incidentally, he might have been the very "level 5" person who made his motorsports company a success. He began the company in 2008, when he was just two years into his professional racing career at age 44. Although he didn't have much experience, he had enough talent to fill a professional driver's seat and a wealth of knowledge about the professional racing industry. He quickly joined up with Christophe Bouchut, one of the most successful endurance racers in the world, who became his mentor and co-driver. From there, Tucker has made careful, precise decisions regarding who drives his team's cars and what cars they drive.
"That's the whole genesis behind Level 5 [Motorsports], that everybody on our team, were trying to push it to the next level," Tucker said. "We only hire and empower people within our organization who are 'level 5' candidates.
"It really came out of a management book, but it's the blood that runs through our team," he said.
Tucker has changed cars frequently, his most recent acquisition being an HPD ARX-01g cost-capped chassis in the LMP2 class. Last weekend, he drove a brand new Porsche 996 Turbo for the Sports Car Club of America's National Championship Runoffs and won. The HPD ARX-01g made a stellar debut at the American Le Mans Series Monterey earlier this month at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. Following his theme, Tucker scours the industry for the next greatest car with the most potential to deliver another level of horsepower and control. He ordered the first two ARX-01g models off the line.
He also fills his team roster with the most experienced, proven quality drivers in the world, but there's also a strategic element. When Tucker was developing himself as a next-level driver, he relied heavily on Bouchut to be his lead driver, scoring points while Tucker took advantage of the practice time in race situations. Now, he'll enter Petit Le Mans with Luis Diaz and Marino Franchitti, both LMP2 veterans with experience in HPD ARX models.
It might have been a bit of leftover high school superstition, or it might have been a management book—or it might have been Scott Tucker's natural inclination to push the boundaries of his abilities, but the meaning behind Level 5 Motorsports has never been as true as in the 2011 season.
Want to learn more about celebrity driver Scott Tucker? http://www.planetlemans.com/?s=scott+tucker
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