Austin, TX. — In a picture perfect day in Texas, Level 5 Motorsports cemented its lead in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón P2 championship with a dominant 1-2 result in Saturday’s race at Circuit of The Americas. Team principal Scott Tucker and co-driver Ryan Briscoe celebrated on the top step of the podium following a flawless and strategic run for the No. 551 Honda Performance Development ARX-03b prototype.
Tucker, a nine-time national driving champion, took over the lead early from Saturday’s pole-sitting No. 552 Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort-sponsored car of Guy Cosmo. The two Michelin-shod prototypes ran nose-to-tail in the opening hour. Level 5’s strategy went exactly to plan, as both cars pitted shortly after the 1-hour mark for service and driver changes.
It ultimately gave the David Stone-led organization a clear advantage over its competition, with the No. 551 car of Briscoe the lead shortly after. While the No. 552 HPD of Marino Franchitti briefly took over the top spot, an unscheduled stop with 32 minutes to go for a left-front tire puncture handed the win to Tucker and Briscoe, who led another Level 5 sweep.
'It was a great comeback race for us,” said Tucker, who earned his 23rd ALMS career victory. “We came here testing about a month ago and we feel that it paid off. The team performed flawlessly today. Our strategy went as planned and as expected, Ryan drove a fantastic race, as well as Marino and Guy. I was able to do my job in the first stint. Overall, it wasn't very dramatic for us, which was nice. We had some of the normal struggles with traffic, but beyond that, it was a normal race for us. Ryan did a great job at the end, as well as Marino.”
Briscoe, who picked up his 7th ALMS victory, echoed Tucker’s comments following a flawless weekend that included pole position, victory and fastest race lap for the Level 5 team. Saturday’s 2-hour and 45-minute race remarkably ran without a full-course yellow, marking the first caution-free ALMS race in more than 4 years. It was also a debut victory for the team's new No. 551 HPD, which was built following a heavy accident in last month's Grand Prix of Baltimore, which destroyed its primary car.
"Scott did an awesome job in the first stint and gave me a competitive car," said Briscoe. "It was great and ran smoothly. I'm really just proud of the whole Level 5 team. The engineers and everybody had done such a phenomenal job preparing and giving us unbelievable race cars. I'm really happy to get back on top of the podium with Scott. We've had some bad luck lately. We had a brand new car here after Baltimore and there were no reliability issues at all. It was a picture perfect weekend."
The win for Tucker and Briscoe signals a significant turnaround in the P2 championship race, as Level 5 drivers now head the top 3 positions heading into the final two rounds of the season.
Next up is the Oak Tree Grand Prix. The race, from Virginia International Raceway, is set for 2 p.m. EDT on Saturday October 5, with live coverage on ESPN3. ESPN2 will broadcast the race on Sunday, October 6 at 5:30 p.m. EDT. ESPN3 will also show live qualifying on Friday, October 4 at 3:35 p.m. EDT. Live timing and scoring will be available at http://www.alms.com.