Level 5 takes thrilling win at Lime Rock - video

The No. 551 car recorded its third P2 win in four ALMS races following a hard fought battle that took man and machine to their limits.

Lime Rock, Conn. — Level 5 Motorsports continued its winning ways in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, with Scott Tucker and Ryan Briscoe claiming victory in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park. The No. 551 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort-sponsored car recorded its third P2 win in four ALMS races following a hard fought battle that took man and machine to their limits.

With ambient temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, nine-time national driving champion Tucker and co-drivers Briscoe and Marino Franchitti had their work cut out for them in the 2-hour and 45-minute scorcher around one of America’s most challenging circuits. However, in typical Level 5 fashion, all three drivers celebrated with a double podium finish, including Tucker, who logged more than two hours of drive time between both cars.

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

Photo by: Art Fleischmann

Having started from pole, Tucker led the opening 16 laps before relinquishing the lead to Franchitti in the No. 552 car, who then paced the P2 field until the halfway mark. The Level 5 team principal continued his solid opening drive before handing over controls of the No. 551 car to Briscoe just past the 1-hour mark before stepping into the No. 552 car just 20 minutes later to continue his marathon day.

Quick pit work by the David Stone-led crew helped put the No. 551 HPD of Briscoe back in contention in the closing laps, with the IZOD IndyCar Series star reeling in Extreme Speed Motorsports car before taking over the lead with less than 4 minutes to go. It was another thrilling win for the Level 5 pairing, Briscoe’s second of the season and Tucker’s milestone 20th win in ALMS competition.

"It's a great result for the Level 5 team," said Tucker, who closes in on his 100th career victory. "I drove both cars today and it was hot out there. After about 2 hours between both cars, I was ready to get out. But it all went well. Ryan picked up in the No. 551 car and did a great job and Marino got back in the No. 552 car to take it to another podium finish. I'm really proud of the team. It was a hard race today."

Briscoe crossed the line 42.737 seconds ahead of the the ESM car of Guy Cosmo, whom he had battled with for the win until the cars made slight contact on the back straight. The No. 01 ESM entry was classified second in class, with Tucker and Franchitti’s No. 552 Level 5 HPD completing the podium in third.

“It was a great effort by everyone at Level 5 today,” said Briscoe, who earned his 6th ALMS class victory. “The pit stops were flawless again. It was really tough conditions with the heat but a lot of fun. Guy was doing a great job today but he was definitely using all the road. It looked like he got on the curb a little bit and the traction control may have come in on his car or something. It looks liked my nose just tagged his rear. It was certainly not the way we wanted it to go as I think it was going to be a good battle.”

With another win in the bag, Level 5 heads North of the Border looking to extend its P2 championship lead in the Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport.

Level 5 Motorsports

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About this article
Series ALMS
Drivers Guy Cosmo , Marino Franchitti , Ryan Briscoe , Scott Tucker , David Stone
Teams ESM Racing
Article type Race report
Tags alms, level 5, lime rock, tucker