KENNOL AT HOME IN MID-OHIO, AGAIN
KENNOL and Level 5 Motorsports took their fifth P2 win from six races in the 2012 American Le Mans Series, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course near Lexington, Ohio today, and backed up the victory with a third place for Ricardo Gonzalez and Tucker in the team’s sister car. Step by step, the team and the drivers are finding their way to some new ALMS Champion crowns, though the adversity is stronger each race.
The next races are going to be really really tough, for sure!
▌ THE TEAM RENEWS WITH POLE AND VICTORY
Humid and hot temperatures of over 90 degrees, a searing track temperature of over 110 degrees, Scott Tucker started the two hour 45 minute race in the No.055 HPD, with team newcomer Ricardo Gonzalez at the wheel of the No.95. Always in contact with the class-heading Conquest car, Gonzalez was well poised to take the P2 class lead when Heinemeier Hansson was called in for a stop/go penalty as the 1 hour 30 mark approached.
Shortly after that point, the first Level 5 Motorsports driver change took place and Tucker handed off to Bouchut in the No.055, while the Mexican driver remained in the car for a further 15 minutes in order to allow Kansas-resident Tucker a short amount of cooling/recovery time. With 45 minutes of the race to run, Gonzalez pitted from the class lead and, after a short but nail-biting delay due to a glitch in securing the driver’s safety harnesses, Tucker departed in third place. Despite his very best efforts, Mid-Ohio is a circuit at which overtaking is not easy and Scott held the position to the finish.
Meanwhile, Bouchut profited from slower traffic to pass Plowman in the Conquest Morgan and – despite contact with a GT car towards the end which dislodged a portion of the HPD’s rear bodywork, the Frenchman held on to take the victory. Scott Tucker said afterwards: “At the end of the race, it’s always greasy and this is a low grip track. Fortunately we had a really good setup and I was really happy that the tires came in as quickly as they did. At the start we got in to the GTC cars in traffic and I got in a bad spot and our competition was able to get around me. Luckily the team worked us back and Christophe could make a move to get us back in the lead. It’s a great result for the team, always more so when you have to work for it as we did today.”
The next round of the ALMS will be the Road Race Showcase at Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on Saturday, August 18. The four-hour race will start at 3:30 pm ET and will be shown free for everyone, as usual, on ALMS.com live!