Sonoma Infineon Raceway
- Level 5 Motorsports owner keeps busy
- Tucker returns from Le Mans test to race in Sonoma
- Back in action for return to Ferrari Challenge Series
Tucker Returns to Ferrari Challenge Action in the New 458 at Infineon Raceway
This series runs on the great road courses of the world with some of the greatest cars you would ever want to drive.
Scott Tucker could very well be the busiest man in motorsports. After scoring a second-consecutive victory in the American Le Mans Series two weeks ago at Long Beach and testing for three days at Le Mans, the three-time national champion takes his Level 5 Motorsports team to Sonoma, California, this weekend for a pair of Ferrari Challenge Series races at Infineon Raceway.
It is the 2011 season opener for the Ferrari Challenge Series and marks the debut of the Ferrari 458 Challenge, the fifth model to be used in the series since its inception in 1993. The most successful driver in series history, Tucker tested the new Ferrari in an exclusive session in Valencia, Spain, in November, and again in Sebring this spring. He is excited about racing the car in competition for the first time this weekend
“Since the test at the end of last season, I’ve been looking forward to getting into this car and racing it competitively,” Tucker said. “It is going to be a great car for the series. We had a lot of success previously in the F430 and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can do in the Ferrari 458.”
Tucker competed in the first F430 event in 2006 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and won the final event with the F430 as the sole model (competitors will still be allowed to race the F430 this year, alongside the 458) at the World Finals in Spain in 2010.
The Ferrari 458 is a lighter, faster car, based on the popular 458 Italia. The race car, however, includes several modifications. Among the specifications for the car are a 570 horsepower, 9000 RPM direct injection V8 engine and modified gearbox for higher torque at lower revs. The car is also equipped with Brembo CCM2 brakes, which debuted on the 599XX, another car with which Tucker is very familiar thanks to his time as a Ferrari test pilot in 2010.
Another first for a Challenge model is the addition of the F-1 Trac traction control system, the most sophisticated of its kind. Developed in-house by Ferrari, this system monitors grip for maximum high-performance and employs logic and strategies derived from Ferrari’s extensive racing experience in the Formula One series.
Tucker has a great deal of Ferrari Challenge Series experience on the 2.52-mile, 12-turn road course, which includes four wins. Despite the brutal schedule, he keeps coming back for more.
“This series runs on the great road courses of the world with some of the greatest cars you would ever want to drive,” Tucker said. “It’s something I really enjoy. So, if there is any way possible to be there, I want to be there racing.”
A 20-minute qualifying session for Race 1 for the Ferrari 458s and the F430s is set for 1:55 p.m. ET Saturday. The green flag will wave on the combined race at 5:20 p.m. ET.
Qualifying for Race 2 is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET Sunday. The green flag will wave at 5:30 p.m. ET.
Following the Ferrari Challenge Series races at Infineon, the Level 5 team will return to competition in the prestigious Intercontinental Le Mans Cup. The second round is slated for Saturday, May 7, at Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Level 5 is the first American Prototype team to compete for a World Championship since 1984.
After an extended break from action, the American Le Mans Series gets back on track July 9 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. Tucker and teammate Christophe Bouchut lead the LMP2 standings after two events.
-source: level 5 motorsports