VICTORY OF THE NEW PROTO A LAGUNA SECA
The penultimate race of this ALMS 2011 season, Laguna Seca was also the only life-size test for the new chassis that Level 5 and Wirth Developments have tweaked in recent weeks, before the grand mass of Petit Le Mans … And after so many questions and of doubts, so many hours of work and improvements, this new prototype seems to be cut for the victory!
The proto has turned like a clock today!
We clearly play the final title in ILMC …
David STONE, team manager
▌A WEEKEND WITHOUT FAULTS
Level 5 Motorsports enjoyed a faultless weekend with its new Honda Performance Development ARX-01g prototype at Laguna Seca, allowing drivers Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Luis Diaz to achieve their best performance of the season overall, All categories. After a promising qualifying session on Friday, during which Bouchut called the new LMP2 at the forefront, the craziest cravings were allowed. But nobody, not even the Level 5 team, imagined a performance of this level for the first few laps. The proto HPD had not put a single rubber before Wednesday, and had less than 3 hours of track at the start of the race!
With a flawless HPD ARX-01g during the 6 hours of racing, Tucker, Bouchut and Diaz managed to climb to 4th place overall, just behind the fastest LMP1s, and of course winning the LMP2 class. This is the 4th category win of the 2011 season, extending by one unit their record of consecutive victories in the American Le Mans Series; it is also the title assured for Tucker and Bouchut during the last event of the season next month: Petit Le Mans, Road Atlanta.
For Tucker, who is now in the process of winning his 4th national driver’s crown, it was a new full weekend on the track. He also competed in the IMSA Cooper Tires Prototype Lites and GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, winning both races in the program. «It was a busy day,» admitted Tucker. «I’m just trying to improve myself, and store the most track time on each track. Progress is there and it paid off. Everything was also well synchronized with the beautiful perfs of the proto HPD. We wanted above all to reach the finish line and it’s done. So for us it’s very encouraging for Petit Le Mans.» Indeed, there is something to be optimistic about seeing the initial performance of this prototype barely prowled. Bouchut achieved the best lap on the track in 1:16.867 in his second stint, which is only one second behind the LMP1 that won the race … More refined settings, habits taken by the trio of drivers, and the performance of this vehicle should undoubtedly make the powder speak during the last 2 meetings of the season, the final ALMS and the ultimate race ILMC in China.
«It’s sometimes difficult to push the car directly into its entrenchments, but it’s gone well today,» analysis Bouchut. «The traffic and racing conditions were not great, but I could see a bit of what she had in her belly, and she never went to fault. The very short time to acclimatize and make the main adjustments was obviously well used. The chassis reacts very healthily and logically to the changes we make. So this is a great start for this new program. All staff Level 5 is inflated to block!»/em>
And the overloaded calendar continues to scroll for Level 5, since part of the team has returned to England, to prepare the second new prototype HPD ARX-01g for its baptism next month at Petit Le Mans, the highlight of the ALMS 2011 season. The famous 1609km / 10H race at Road Atlanta will also be the scene of reunions for the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, and the penultimate race of the 2011 championship.