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Only Racing Makes Perfect for Scott Tucker and His Dream Team

Author: Jim Tobin  //  Category: Auto News

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Earlier, the Scott Tucker-owned racing team Level 5 Motorsports prepared for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a traditional endurance race in the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup series. Like every team, Level 5 focused to win. However surprisingly, the group chose out from the option to qualify for a beginning position in the race, rather taking on the dead last placement for the 2 Microsoft Office-sponsored LMP2 cars, Nos. 55 and 95.

“Qualifying for a 24-hour race is meaningless,” announced a Level 5 mechanic at the time. “Anything that’s not directly related to winning, we’re going to opt out of.”

It’s accurate; in a day-long event, beginning placement isn’t the most crucial element. Nonetheless declining to qualify is just not to state that the practice associated with driving laps before a race isn’t vital to success in professional motorsports. Precisely, it’s the laps you travel.

The training sessions open to teams in the days leading up to races are a very important a chance to become familiar with a new track and maximize the efficiency of driver changes and pit stops. And, for Tucker and Level 5, training is an possible opportunity to have a sense of a completely new car, one factor the group has faced a great number of times in its existence.

Recently, the group revealed its brand new LMP2 cost-capped Honda chassis at the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway on September. 17. The mere time of street time the car experienced prior to the race were essential indicators of how the vehicle would perform in the race, another benefit of practice time.

But mostly, the Level 5 team continues to be in keeping with its mechanic’s word: Practice is nothing if it doesn’t make perfect. That’s a primary reason they runs two Le Mans Prototype entries in just about every race-when Tucker started Level 5 Motorsports in 2008, he was only two years into his professional racing career, and he needed practice. But he also wasn’t willing to waste time completing meaningless laps around a track against no competitors.

“From the time and energy I spend practicing, it just makes more sense to enter two cars in the races,” Tucker said. “Not only that, but it’s actually beneficial to run two cars. When you’re out there practicing, you’re not racing against anybody. When you look at it logically, it’s much smarter from a time perspective and infrastructure perspective, not to mention that you get extra racing seat time.”

To Tucker, the most valuable practice experiences have been those in actual race situations. Although practice sessions have proven useful to the Level 5 team when it wants to survey a new car’s capabilities, the team typically treats each and every mile on the track as an opportunity for a world-class win. That strategy has worked for the team, who now enters the pinnacle of the 2011 season-with the SCCA Runoffs, Petit Le Mans and the 6 Hours of Zhuhai in China left to go-after two years of continuously increasing success.

Although Tucker was 44 when he took the wheel for his first professional race in 2006, his race-only mindset strategy has quickly made up the time he never had to build his career. His success has skyrocketed in just the past 5 years. The results can’t be ignored: He’s a three-time national champion; 2010 ALMS rookie of the year; two-time T1 division national champion, going for a third this weekend; three-time Ferrari Challenge Series champion; and holder of a record 10 wins in the FC series.

Entering his career, Tucker clearly had his accelerator to the floor. He quickly joined endurance veteran Christophe Bouchut, who acted as his mentor in addition to his driving partner. Tucker has always driven with the cream of the elite motorsports crop, a strategy that has allowed him some room to develop as a driver while still being making plenty of podium appearances. The winning mindset he has maintained since day one has helped him become an elite driver in only a handful of years. As Tucker’s team makes its LMP2 debut in the American Le Mans Series Petit Le Mans next weekend, it will compete against some of the fastest, most experienced drivers in the industry. For Level 5 Motorsports, it should be a good practice.

Scott Tucker, a five-time national driving champion Scott Tucker

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