Tucker and Level 5 looking to bounce back in Monterey

Built on a former U.S. Army base, the Laguna Seca circuit is a challenge for drivers and engineers alike, with a mix of slow and fast corners as well as notable elevation changes.

Monterey, Calif. — After a challenging outing on the streets of Long Beach, Scott Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports will be looking forward to the wide open spaces of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, as the three-time American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón champions target a fourth consecutive victory in the American Le Mans Monterey.

#551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX/03b: Scott Tucker, Ryan Briscoe
#551 Level 5 Motorsports HPD ARX/03b: Scott Tucker, Ryan Briscoe

Photo by: Martin W. Spetz

Saturday’s four-hour race at the 2.238-mile, 11-turn circuit, located on the scenic Monterey Peninsula, has always been a favorite for nine-time national driving champion Tucker, who has been undefeated in ALMS competition at Laguna Seca since his driving debut here in 2010.

The Kansas City native, who is nearing a milestone 100 career victories, will be pulling double-duty between both of Level 5’s Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort-sponsored Honda Performance Development ARX-03b prototypes this weekend. He will be joined by IndyCar star Ryan Briscoe in the No. 551 car, while the No. 552 will have Marino Franchitti sharing driving duties.

Thanks to their hard-earned podium finish in last month’s Tequila Patrón American Le Mans Series at Long Beach, Tucker and Briscoe maintain their lead in the P2 drivers’ championship heading into the third round of the ALMS season, which also serves as the final warmup before next month’s 90th anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans, where Level 5 will make its third consecutive start in the French endurance classic.

“While we already have one eye on Le Mans, we’re still very much focused on having another good result at Laguna Seca and extend our points lead,” said Tucker, who will also be competing in the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites by Mazda championship this weekend.

“We’ve had a lot of success here in the past and I’m confident we can return to the top step of the podium. It will be an important race for us as preparation is key for Le Mans, so to come out of the weekend with a strong performance will be key for achieving success next month in France.”

Built on a former U.S. Army base, the Laguna Seca circuit is a challenge for drivers and engineers alike, with a mix of slow and fast corners as well as notable elevation changes. The Corkscrew, a steep 90-degree left-hand bend that sweeps away to the right, stands as one of most iconic corners in the world and offers breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay.

"Luckily we've been to Laguna so many times before so we know what to expect," team manager David Stone said. "It’s a technical track with low grip levels and there’s often drifts of sand. But we’ve done some sim work in preparation for the track and have three good drivers that have had time there. So hopefully we’ll unload pretty good off the trailer and go from there.

"We definitely need to have a good race at Laguna to get re-tuned up after Long Beach,” Stone added. “We made some mistakes there and need to tighten things up a bit.

We've had a number of team meetings to address some of the issues we had and we can now move forward. Hopefully it will be a good event for the American Le Mans Series and we can continue our fight for the P2 championship.”

Level 5 Motorsports

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About this article
Series ALMS
Article type Previews
Tags alms, briscoe, franchitti, honda, laguna seca, level 5, monterey, tucker

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