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Tucker adds Franchitti to the Level 5 Dream Team

Author: Jim Tobin  //  Category: Auto News

Scott Tucker-owned Level 5 Motorsports will be the first American Le Mans Prototype (LMP) access from the Le Mans circuit in Twenty-five years, and recognizing he’s a pioneer, Tucker makes positive the team’s-and the country’s-debut within the series is established for success.

As soon as Tucker and mentor/co-driver Christophe Bouchut gained the chance to be involved in the LMP class of American Le Mans and Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in 2010, they carried out the season with a class championship win, of which bumped them to the LMP2 class for the current yr. To start off the season strong, Tucker added LMP2 expert Luis Diaz to the mix. Diax, of Mexico, had been auto racing LMP2s since 2007, whenever he raced a Lola B06/43-Acura for Fernandez Racing and acquired the class championship in ’09.

With this, Level 5 Motorsports tore on the ALMS schedule, placing wins on the 12 Hours of Sebring, the Long Beach Circuit and 24 Hours of Le Mans, as well as outstanding performances at the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Infineon and Imola in Italy. Solely increasing from that point, Tucker as well as Level 5 team bought the latest Honda chassis prototype-the HPD ARX-01g-just in time for the American Le Mans Series Monterey at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. They made a podium finish using the unique prototype, and it was technically established as an LMP2 powerhouse.

Nowadays, Tucker for a second time piles his deck for LMP2 rivalry with the help of Marino Franchitti, to be the 5th and last driver for the two-car entry in the 14th annual Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda. Franchitti will certainly become a member of Tucker, Diaz and Bouchut in the team’s No. 055 Microsoft Office-sponsored HPD ARX-01g during the 1,000-mile, 10-hour series at Road Atlanta, which is the best of the ALMS presented by Tequila Patron.

“I’m very excited to be joining Level 5 Motorsports for Petit Le Mans,” Franchitti explained. “Having driven every iteration of the HPD up until this new model, I can’t wait to get in the new car. Level 5 is no doubt a top team that’s putting all of the resources they need behind this program.”

And Tucker continues to impress with just how far his sources can go. Franchitti is a vital companion with the already stacked team-as portion of the development phases of the ARX-01a, he was one of the initial drivers driving the HPD family’s wheels. Then he put in 2 years racing LMP2s with Dyson Racing prior to when rejoining HPD models with Highcroft Racing as the third driver for its ALMS excursion. He made the pole position at the 12 Hours of Sebring and won at Laguna Seca and Petit Le Mans, and also driver and team championship for Highcroft. From this year’s 12 Hours of Sebring, Franchitti was runner-up with Highcroft’s LMP1 car, the top prototype class.

Franchitti isn’t brand spanking new to Level 5, either; he has dealt with engineers Rick Mayer and Jeff Braun. “A car is a car, and guys like Scott, Christophe and Joao [Barbosa] are good to drive it to the maximum that it’s capable of,” Franchitti explained. With Level 5 Motorsports, the likelihood is good for Franchitti getting a hat trick of LMP2 wins in Petit Le Mans.

“We’re ecstatic to have Marino on board,” Tucker reported. “With the momentum we’ve built up to this point in the season, with the boost of our new prototype, we’re optimistic for a strong performance at Petit Le Mans. Marino is an obvious choice for this team, and we’re glad to have him.”

In a month’s time, Franchitti will officially grab the wheel as a Level 5 driver during the two-day test at Road Atlanta. They also expects to have its 2nd vehicle on the track, an ILMC-designated No. 33 HPD. The Petit Le Mans revs up on Oct. 1.

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

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