Motorsport News - Le Mans
Countdown to Le Mans Underway for Scott Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports
9th June 2012The countdown to the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 16/17 is well and truly underway, and LMP2 entrant Scott Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports are as well prepared as it is possible to be for what is undoubtedly the world’s most famous and gruelling international sports car race.
The Wisconsin-based team has remained in France following last weekend’s official Test Day to fully prepare the HPD ARX-03b for the Technical and Administrative Scrutineering checks which take place prior to any track action. Team owner Scott Tucker and his teammates Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz will all be present at the Place de la Republique in the centre of Le Mans for the ceremonies, and all have a specific and interesting perspective on this year’s twice-round-the-clock French classic.
Tucker, of Leawood, Kansas, will be making his third appearance at Le Mans and the second in a Level 5 Motorsports-run entry. After recording a fine podium finish in the LMP2 class twelve months ago, Tucker will be seeking to improve on his third place in what looks to be one of the most hotly contested battles within the race. There are 20 entries in the class and Level 5 will need to draw upon all its considerable American Le Mans Series championship-winning success and experience to secure victory against some top-line competitors. A win at Le Mans is currently missing from the driver’s illustrious competition CV but it surely can’t be far from reach.
Not that Level 5 is anything less than a top line competitor itself. Frenchman Christophe Bouchut is the most experienced driver going into Le Mans, having taken part in more 24 Hours of Le Mans than any other driver entered this year. Going into his 19th race, Bouchut has proved beyond doubt that he knows how to win the event, finishing first overall in 1993 with Peugeot Sport on his debut at La Sarthe and notching up over 100 international victories in his long and storied career.
Joining the team at Le Mans this year will be regular ALMS team mate, Luis Diaz, who is one of 41 ‘rookies’ amongst the 168 drivers taking the start on June 16. The 34-year-old Mexican, a resident of Mexico City and two time winner of the ALMS ‘Most Popular Driver’ Award, had first sight of the 8-mile track at the Test Day and is now even more enthusiastic about fulfilling his Le Mans dream.
Recognized as the toughest test for man and machine, Le Mans is a marathon event in every respect. The circuit is made up primarily of public roads, with 56 cars on track being cheered on by 250,000 passionate spectators, and a challenging timetable to contend with which sees practice/qualifying end at midnight on the Wednesday and Thursday nights leading into the race weekend.
Level 5 Motorsports has, in its relatively short existence, re-written the record books in terms of success. On its debut in the ALMS, Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and the team clinched the driver and team championships in the inaugural 2010 LMPC season, with the team boss being named ALMS Rookie of the Year for 2010. Headquartered in a 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art racing, engineering and fabrication facility with a full-time dedicated staff of more than 30 professionals, the team boasts an impressive pedigree of motorsports championships on a number of levels. A win at Le Mans must surely be within reach.
The 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans will begin on Saturday, June 16 at 3.00 pm local CET (10.00 am EST) from the 8-mile Le Mans street course in France, and end at 3.00 pm on Sunday. Official practice/qualifying takes place on Wednesday, June 13 and Thursday, June 14.
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