Bowmanville, ON. — Level 5 Motorsports continued its hot streak in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón Saturday at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, with the pair of Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b race cars sweeping the P2 front row for tomorrow’s Mobil 1 SportsCar Grand Prix.
Super sub Mike Conway, filling in for the injured Ryan Briscoe, claimed a brilliant pole position in his debut appearance with the Scott Tucker-owned organization. The 29-year-old Englishman, a regular in the IZOD IndyCar Series and FIA World Endurance Championship, ran a 1:08.785 lap time in the No. 552 HPD to give Level 5 its fifth pole out of five ALMS races this season.
Conway pipped the No. 551 car of teammate Marino Franchitti to make it another lockout of the front row for the three-time and defending series champions. More impressively, the Level 5 cars will start second and third overall for tomorrow’s race.
“It was a good lap but I kind of wanted more laps out there, to be honest, as we would have been quicker,” he admitted. “But we have to save these tires for tomorrow. So all in all, it was a good day and a big thanks to Level 5."
Conway has been a quick learner to the historic 10-turn, 2.459-mile road course, formerly known as Mosport, having posted the quickest time overall in Friday’s test session and also being the pace-setting P2 driver in the first official practice on Saturday morning. Franchitti, who leads the drivers’ championship heading into the midway point of the season, paced the second and final practice of the day, proving the pace is in both cars this weekend.
"I felt at home fairly quickly and it was just a case of running the track and finding the limits there,” Conway added. “I feel very welcome within the Level 5 team and they've given me everything they could, from data and videos and things like that, to get up to speed. Tomorrow, we've just got to deal with what comes our way. I'll be starting the No. 552 car and it should be fun taking the green flag. We’ll see how it goes.”
Level 5 team principal Tucker will again be the driver with the most race miles this weekend, with the nine-time national driving champion scoring a podium finish in Saturday’s Cooper Tires Prototype Lites powered by Mazda race. He’ll also drive in the second round of the weekend Sunday morning, before splitting driving duties in both Level 5 HPDs in the 2-hour and 45-minute ALMS race in the afternoon.
“We’re happy with another 1-2 run in qualifying,” said Tucker, who recorded the fastest P2 race lap at CTMP last year. “The cars have been dialed in this weekend and it’s been great welcoming Mike to the team. He’s been very quick and the pole is proof of that. Tomorrow is going to be another tough race, but we have a good team and great drivers to get the job done and extend our points lead.”
Level 5 Motorsports