The super-fast Canadian Tire Motorsport Park continued to hold out on Level 5 Motorsports and Scott Tucker today as they were denied a fifth consecutive victory in the American Le Mans Series.
Despite a late race penalty, Christophe Bouchut fought hard and brought the No. 055 Honda HPD ARX-03b home to second in class, and fourth place overall in the two hour 45-minute long race thereby allowing Level 5 and its drivers to retain their lead in the championship points standings. The P2 class was won for the first time by the Conquest Endurance Morgan-Nissan of Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier-Hansson.
Scott Tucker took the start of the fifth round of the ALMS from second place in class and fourth overall on the grid. A wet weather warm up session earlier on race day fortunately didn’t follow through to a wet race and there was all the play for as the green flag fell. Although considerable work has been carried out to the infrastructure of the historic track, including a new double-lane entry tunnel and spectator viewing banks around the perimeter of the 2.45 mile course, the layout of the popular and challenging high speed circuit has remained unchanged. The many loyal fans were therefore treated to another exciting round of racing in the series only Canadian visit of the year.
With three full course caution periods during the course of the race, pit stop strategy was shaken up somewhat; Tucker took the opportunity make his first stop for fuel under the first of the cautions at just 15 minutes into the event. The five-time national driving champion went on to drive a very solid and consistent 89-minute stint, setting fastest race lap of all P2 drivers, and kept the Level 5 HPD constantly in touch with the overall leaders, alternating a hold on the class lead with the Conquest Morgan as pit stops began to play out. There were some thrilling duels between the two cars, including some close contact racing, but respect and great driving were the order of the day and both cars were unscathed to the end.
Tucker handed off to Bouchut after 1 hour and 29 minutes of running while in overall lead of the race, and the Frenchman then did an excellent job to run strongly to the checkered flag in an effort to regain Level 5’s supremacy in the P2 class. Despite his best efforts to cut through traffic, the team was unfortunately hit with two penalties during the race, one for pit lane speeding and the second for having two wheels over the blend line at pit out.
Scott Tucker commented afterwards: “It’s always tough to get beaten, especially when you’ve had such a good run of victories as we have. We had a great battle with the Conquest Endurance car throughout the race today and they just edged us in terms of performance so fair play to them for that. But you know what, that makes us even more determined to work and race harder towards our next victory – hopefully at Mid-Ohio. Mosport will have to remain unconquered for another 12 months.”
Source: Level 5 Motorsports