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The Dream Team’s Scott Tucker has had Great Success This Season

Author: Jim Tobin  //  Category: Auto News

There are several things different for this year’s Mazda Laguna Seca race. For a lot of drivers, weather has been uncharacteristically chilly through the week’s practice runs and system checks. For Level 5 Motorsports, the weather is hardly noticeable-at least not compared to the totally new metal vessel they’ve been wheeling around at triple-digit speeds.

They recently partnered with Wirth Research to debut an HPD ARX-01g chassis at the American Le Mans Series race tomorrow. A week ago, drivers Christophe Bouchut, Joao Barbosa and Luis Diaz, and team manager David Stone, visited the Wirth Research team to meet their new team member. But of course, giving it the once-over means nothing once behind the wheel.

Initial practice runs this week were promising; the drivers emerged off their seats optimistic. Team owner Scott Tucker was a man of few words after his first practice run. “It’s good,” he stated. “We’re going through the normal systems checks. We’re just going through the motions.”

The motions has to be enough for Level 5, if last year is any indication. The team won the 2010 American Le Mans Series championship, and Tucker won both 2010 Rookie of the Year and Champion Driver. Still, with an all new car, it will be imperative that you find the team’s sweet spot in order to make the podium once again.

“Right now, it’s more about finding the balance,” said Luis Diaz after his practice run earlier this week. “If you have a good balanced car, you’ll have a good car in qualifying and race. We’re focusing on having a decent car, good balance front to rear, and then we’ll start to focus on having that ultimate lap.”

Even though drivers are diplomatic in their answers, team manager David Stone offers a bit of insight. “Everybody left last night feeling pretty optimistic about the car,” he says. “The initial performance indicators were really good. This is really a test race for us getting ready for Petite le Monde.”

The team has been utilizing a simulator in London in order to prepare for the newest car’s debut. The automobile is really new that no spare parts have arrived yet, which makes this weekend’s race a risky one for Level 5. “We don’t have any spare parts, so we need to be really good with the car today,” Stone mentioned. The team rushed the new car to the raceway in order to be ready for Petite le Monde next weekend, so it’s clear their eyes are to the horizon.

Changing cars is nothing new for the Level 5 team. Tucker, who began his career at age 44 in 2006, raced in two cars for his first season: the No. 55 Oreca FLM09 and the No. 95 Oreca FLM09. This season, the team entered the LMP2 class and changed cars again. Following a year of outstanding success, which included two podium finishes just four races into the season, the team made an announcement: it would finish the year with yet another car. They might pair their existing Honda motors with the Honda LMP2 chassis to end out the race calendar.

True to his history, Tucker is prepared for and confident in the change. “We’ve seen gains with the engine all year and the good thing is that there’s still room for development,” he says. “The HPD engine and chassis combination has proven to be the best over the years. We feel very comfortable and confident in making this unprecedented and decisive move in the middle of the season.”

As the race kicks off tomorrow, the new car will weather it’s first true road test. The end results of tomorrow’s race will be a telling indicator on the weekend to come.

To get more information about Scott Tucker, check out Planet Le Scott Tucker.

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