Scott Tucker, A Year In Review: Time Warner Cable Road Race Classic
Topics: Scott Tucker, Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase
Scott Tucker and his Level 5 Motorsports teammates recently began the final quarter of a racing year that has included numerous podium appearances, multiple car changes, incredible accomplishments and yet still room for improvement. Tucker, owner and driver for Level 5, has been a leader for the team despite the rookie status he maintained merely months ago. His tight, balanced driving has earned him top honors in the American Le Mans Series as Rookie of the Year and Champion Driver in 2010. His races often end with stints on the podium, and his career has only just begun.
As Tucker, his co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz and team manager David Stone prepare to close the calendar year with the all-important Petit Le Mans and the Ferrari International Finals, the stakes are high—the team has woven itself a reputation of excellence that is best understood by looking back at what has made 2011 a stunning year for Level 5 Motorsports.
With their names comfortably resting atop the overall points leaders' charts, the drivers of Level 5 Motorsports rolled their new ultra-fast LMP2 car out of the box in Elkhart Lake, Wisc., remarkably close to their Madison, Wisc., home base after a streak of success in Intercontinental Le Mans Cup races in Europe. Scott Tucker and co-drivers Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz earned podium finishes in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France and Six Hours of Imola in Italy.
If there's one word to describe the Level 5 Motorsports 2011 season, it's momentum—but not the kind that builds, gradually gaining speed. The Level 5 momentum has been explosive, right from the start. Which, incidentally, was the same kind of momentum the team's new LMP2 car had at the four-hour Road America enduro. At the race, the sixth round of the ALMS season, Tucker, Bouchut and Diaz wasted no time setting the cost-capped prototype up with a fifth-place overall position after practice and qualifying. Tucker later moved the car into fourth place after commanding the wheel for his opening double shift.
Tucker then handed the wheel to Bouchut, who delivered an impressive performance despite a late stop-and-go penalty from a pit lane speed limiter problem. Bouchut, who is one of the best endurance drivers in the world, recovered from the penalty and handed the car to Diaz in good standing. Diaz set a late record for the team's fastest lap time and ultimately crossed the finish line in fifth place overall with maximum points in the LMP2 category. Although the team had entered the raceway eyeing first place, the championship points were valuable, and the new car had a positive performance.
"It was really important for us to do well being based so close to Elkhart," Bouchut said. "We lost an overall podium position with the pit speed limiter, but in racing, you never know what will happen. The car didn't have any problems the entire weekend."
Winning the LMP2 class meant Tucker, Bouchut and Diaz's undefeated streak in the ALMS season remained in tact. In addition to the Road America enduro that weekend, Tucker competed in the IMSA Prototype Lites, IMSA GT3 Challenge by Yokohama and SCCA Pro Racing Trans-Am races on Saturday, winning in the Trans-Am T2 class and making the podium in all four races. The juggling act has become commonplace for the reigning ALMS LMPC champion, with every race meaning another opportunity to win.
The Road America podium finish in the LMP2 class was Tucker's 56th win. With the championship all but official, the team prepared to continue their incredible streak for the final quarter of the season, with the ModSpace American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patron at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where the team would finally unveil the new HPD ARX-01g car by Wirth Research and Honda Performance Development.
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.planetlemans.com/?s=scott+tucker to the latest on sports car and GT racing.
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