By Nancy Knapp Schilke
- Tucker aims high for 2011
- Level 5 Motorsports has busy schedule
- Championship is the goal
Scott Tucker takes fitness to a whole new level. The owner of Level 5 Motorsports keeps a tight regimen due to the duties he takes driving, not one car, but two cars in each American Le Mans Series race. This weekend at Sebring International Raceway, Tucker is not just racing in the Twelve Hours of Sebring. Yesterday, he competed in his first IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge race where he finished first in his first attempt in the Gold Cup class. Today, the CEO of Westfund will contest the SCCA Trans-Am race and the second GT3 Cup Challenge race.
“I got to make the most efficient use of my time instead of just driving one (series),” he explained as to how he continues to fine-tune his craft as a racing driver. Even though he owns the team, Tucker is just one of the drivers and team manager David Stone oversees the operations and his “seasoned staff”.
Level 5 Motorsports had and continues to have a very busy schedule in more than one series, yet what is unique for Tucker is that when the team entries two cars at an event, he does double-duty. In Saturday’s race, Tucker will start in one of the team’s Honda Lola prototypes as they chase for the LMP2 victory. Yet after his stint, he will climb into the cockpit of the other Lola.
Being fit is the only way any driver could accomplish the task. “I have always taken fitness seriously by working out on my own and with my “sports specific” trainer,” he said. “I compete in pro racing with drivers that are younger than me and another reason that when I can drive on same weekend in another series, I take advantage of the extra training. When not racing, I am in my office so I stay committed to working out at least two hours per day.”
To run for a world championship will not be easy.
Tucker had never attended a motor sport and “was not even a fan" but once bitten, he gives each series, each race event his full concentration to get the job done. He started by just enjoying driving a street Ferrari but once he ran his first race which he said “was kind of interesting, so that is how I got started.”
In 2007, he won his first FCS race and just two years later, he scored a record 10 wins in one season. He has competed in the North America Ferrari Challenge World Finals and in 2008, he landed the double championship. It was also the year that Level 5 Motorsports was born and Tucker competed in his first sports car race.
Tucker just “focuses on what I need to do”. He sharpens his skills by making the most of his time – again competing in other series at the same venue – as he stated, “skill sets in any sport is fundamental”. While it appears he has already accomplished a lot in the sport of racing, Tucker is not done by any means as he continues to set new challenges.
The 2010 LMPC champion looks toward this year and the team’s invitation to compete at the 24 Hours of Le Mans but that is just part of the goals for 2011. Level 5 Motorsports with Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Joao Barbosa will take the No. 55 Honda Lola Coupe to Europe and China while they chase for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup in the LMP2 class. Tomorrow’s race kicks off this year’s special challenge set up by the ACO. The team will also campaign the full season in the American Le Mans Series with both Level 5 prototypes.
“What I have told is that we are one of the first teams since 1984 to run a prototype for both an American series championship and a global championship in the same season,” said Tucker.
“To run for a world championship will not be easy,” Tucker said about the team’s new challenge. “However I have two very experienced drivers with me who have raced on the European circuits. China is the one none of us will have raced on before.”
As for Le Mans, the experience was a good way to get their feet wet before they run as a team this year. “Now we have a plan and what we need to do so we can aspire for a podium!” stated Tucker.