Back To A Two-Car Entry, Level 5 Owner Scott Tucker Optimistic About Petit Le Mans
Braselton, GA. – Level 5 Motorsports returned to a two-car LMP2 entry for the first time since the 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year. One reason for the departure from its typical double duty was owner Scott Tucker’s decision to change cars mid-season. The team has been eagerly awaiting the completion of its two new HPD ARX-01g prototypes since the announcement a couple months ago. The goal was to have the prototypes for the all-important ALMS championship Petit Le Mans, which finally took place last weekend, and Level 5 was ready, new cars and all.
The team performed some learn-as-you-go modifications during the week of practice and testing at Le Mans. In fact, they didn’t even receive the No. 055 car until days before they entered Road Atlanta; the team worked to finish the build on the car as they tested the other car. But, save for some minor adjustments, the cars were very clean coming out of the box.
“The one noticeable thing I can tell is that [the new car] has a little more down force than the Lola (Level 5′s previous car),” Tucker said. “Just as far as the driver comfort of it, our necks were kind of sore from driving that. We’ll get that sorted, and right now that’s our biggest difference. It seems really strong on the track, and the engine seems nice and strong.”
Tucker and his team had planned to use the cars at Petit Le Mans to ensure a high performance to end the season after some disappointing events at the 12 Hours of Sebring and a catastrophic wreck at Spa-Francorchamps early in the year.
“It looks like right now, if we have a strong result here and in China, a vice championship is realistic,” Tucker said. “Unfortunately, our issue we had at Sebring and the catastrophe at Spa really hurt us. So mathematically, it looks tough, but we’re still going to go out and compete at a really high level. Now that we have the Hondas, I think we have a car that can really compete with a Nissan.”
During testing week, the new cars handily finished at the top of the class, and the drivers were positive about the sessions and optimistic about Saturday’s race.
“So far, it’s performing above our expectations,” Tucker said. “Our expectations are high for Petit and we’re looking forward to it. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished [this season], and I’m working hard always trying to take my game to the next level.”
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