Frenchman Christophe Bouchut completed eight laps in qualifying, and hustled the No. 055 Level 5 Honda Performance Development ARX 03b around the scenic VIR track in a neck-and-neck battle with Conquest Endurance’s Morgan. On this occasion, however, Martin Plowman had an edge over Bouchut and his quickest time around the 3.27 mile track was 0.422 seconds behind the British driver’s pole winning time. Luis Diaz, who was qualifying the No. 95 HPD, was just over half a second back from Bouchut, and the teammates will line up fifth and sixth on the overall grid.
Scott Tucker, who will share the driving duties in the No. 055 with Bouchut, watched from the pits as his teammate gave every ounce of effort he possessed in his bid for pole position. On what turned out to be his final, eighth lap, Christophe got a wheel just off the narrow track which unsettled the the car and sent him spinning across the grass. There was no damage to the car, but any hope of lowering his lap time was gone.
The team has embraced the challenge of the new track, and worked hard in the practice sessions prior to qualifying on the balance and performance of the car. Luis Diaz will be partnered once again by Ricardo Gonzalez and the Mexican duo in practice worked specifically on adjustments to the aerodynamics and shocks of the HPD before declaring themselves to be in good shape.
Scott Tucker is happy with how things have been going in the early part of the weekend. “We fine-tuned the set-up of the car in practice and it was pretty good right from rolling off the trucks, the engineers got it right. We’re real pleased with how the car responded to the track. We know that in ALMS racing every part of every second counts and tomorrow is sure to be yet another real close battle between us and the Conquest car. It’s a shame we couldn’t get another pole in the final minutes like we did at Baltimore, but the race is going to be a whole different ball game to the street fight we had in Maryland.”
With a four-hour race ahead of the 31-strong ALMS field, the Level 5 team is confident they will have an edge through consistency and strategy which will allow them to finish ahead and claim the P2 championship title.
Source: Level 5 Motorports