THEY MAKE HISTORY AT 12H OF SEBRING!
Tucker, Bouchut and Wilkins made history Saturday, by winning the 12h of Sebring, establishing the new track record, and leading the 2010 Championship! Starting 3rd, the #55 quickly overtook the leaders, and finally bested the competition of 16 laps… « Winning this race in the inaugural running for this Le Mans Prototype is something we’ll never forget. » said Tucker, waiting for the upcoming Long Beach GP in California, next month.
▌Level 5 Motorsports has made history
SEBRING, Fla. – Level 5 Motorsports made history Saturday with a dominating win in the historic 12 Hours of Sebring. The trio of Scott Tucker, Christophe Bouchut and Mark Wilkins turned in an unforgettable performance in the inaugural Le Mans Prototype Challenge besting their nearest competition by 16 laps. The team took one of two Microsoft Office 2010 Oreca LMPs entered by Level 5 to an early lead. After starting in the third position, the No. 55 quickly overtook Gunnar Jeannette and paced the field in the early laps. A miscue in the pits briefly cost them positions; but they proceeded to put on a tactic, regaining the lead and putting the rest of the class behind them.
1st ALMS LMPC race!
Saturday’s win comes as part of an extremely successful start to the racing season for Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports. Things got off to a fast start as they claimed their first podium finish in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in late January. Then, just last weekend, Tucker picked up more hardware in Florida with a win in the Ferrari Challenge Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
For the great opening of the 1st ever ALMS-LMPC Championship, KENNOL and Level 5 wanted to shine at famed Sebring International Raceway. And they did!
▌HOW TO QUALIFY AND WIN THE RACE
The two-car Level 5 Motorsports team wasted no time showing what their Microsoft Office 2010 Oreca LMP entries are made of, setting the two fastest times in the opening practice session Thursday. The team backed up that performance by qualifying second and third, respectively, in class. Ryan Hunter-Reay qualified the No. 95 Oreca FLM09 with a fast lap of 1:55.397. In a thrilling qualifying session, he finished his final lap with the low time, only to be nipped for the top spot in class in the closing seconds by Gunnar Jeannette, who posted a time of 1:55.279.
We certainly didn’t expect to manufacture replacements. But this team doesn’t give up.
The No. 55 completed 327 grueling laps in the 12-hour race over what is considered one of the most difficult circuits in racing. The commanding win enters the record books as the first win for the new car and proof-positive that the LMP is a durable and exciting race car. « When you consider how demanding this race is on drivers and equipment, you’ve really got to love this car, » said Bouchut, who posted the No. 55′s fast lap of time 1:56.977 sec. « The crew did a great job getting it ready and it was a great car to drive. »
Bouchut adds this victory to an already impressive resume that includes wins in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the 24 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He will contest the entire 2010 American Le Mans season with Tucker as the duo look toward the championship. The team’s second entry, the No. 95, appeared to be out of the event around the half-way point as the steering pump pulley failed. With no replacement part on hand, the team manufactured one on site!
After a three-hour delay in the pits, the car returned to the track in style setting the event’s fastest lap for the LMP with Tucker behind the wheel posting a remarkable 1:56.759 sec. Tucker was performing rare double-duty as a driver of both cars. Along with him in the No. 95 were IZOD IndyCar standout Ryan Hunter-Reay and James Gue.
▌ AMAZING SEASON STARTER FOR LMPC!
« What a great day for the Level 5 team, » said owner / driver Scott Tucker who also earned the Constructors Championship with the win. « Winning this race in the inaugural running for this Le Mans Prototype is something we’ll never forget. It’s great to be in this series – it’s a great place to come and race. »
The American Le Mans Series resumes action April 17, 2010, with the Long Beach Grand Prix in Long Beach, Calif. SPEED will have television coverage at 8:00 p.m. ET. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.americanlemans.com.
Meanwhile, you can enjoy again this 2010 Sebring victory from the inside with this exclusive video report:
▌KENNOL | 2010 ALMS debuts at 12H of Sebring
Whole week summary