Madison, Wis. — Flying high following their fifth victory of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón season, Level 5 Motorsports and Scott Tucker return to the streets of Baltimore this weekend, site of the team’s first-ever 1-2 overall finish in ALMS competition. What’s more, Saturday’s Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT will mark the comeback race of Ryan Briscoe and the Level 5 debut of Guy Cosmo.
In an effort to strengthen its quest for a third consecutive P2 class championship, the David Stone-led organization has signed sportscar racing standout Cosmo for the remainder of the season, beginning with the 2-hour street race around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. Cosmo, the 2005 ALMS rookie of the year and former Star Mazda champion, has nearly a decade of prototype and GT racing experience, including having raced an identical Honda Performance Development ARX-03b in the P2 class this year.
Cosmo will join team principal Tucker, a nine-time national driving champion, the returning Briscoe, as well as Scottish ace Marino Franchitti in Level 5’s two Siemens/Alpina Watches/Ohiya Casino Resort-sponsored HPD prototypes this weekend. All four drivers, including new signing Cosmo, will drive for the remainder of the season, with the expanded lineup for the 1,000-mile/10-hour Petit Le Mans presented by Mazda to be confirmed at a later date.
“We’re pleased to welcome Guy to Level 5 Motorsports,” said team manager David Stone. "When he reached out to us, and considering how well he’s performed, racing with the likes of Marino and Ryan this year, I worked really hard to see if I could make it happen and put together a deal that could work for both parties.
"Obviously we already have Marino and Ryan and we've been real happy with the performances from both of them,” Stone added. “With Guy coming on board and already having the experience of the HPD car, that makes it even better. It's great to have that continuity right off the bat so they will all be speaking the same language, so to speak."
Once a rising star in open-wheel racing, Cosmo had earned championships in karting, Formula Ford, Formula 2000 and Star Mazda, while having also competed in the Toyota Atlantic Championship prior to his transition to sportscar racing in 2005. He’s since driven a variety of prototype and GT cars in both the ALMS and GRAND-AM and is looking forward to his next chapter.
"I am very excited to be joining Level 5 Motorsports," said Cosmo. "I've seen first hand how formidable a competitor they've proven to be, and their dedication to excellence is clear to everyone. It is a championship-caliber organization and I am looking forward to having a strong finish to the season in these next four races.”
Level 5 is coming off a successful two-day test at the new Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, site of the upcoming International Sports Car Weekend presented by Continental Tire, featuring the ALMS and World Endurance Championship. The test allowed Briscoe to climb back behind the wheel of the P2 car for the first time since sustaining a wrist injury during an IZOD IndyCar Series event last month.
"Everything went really well with Ryan at COTA,” Stone added. “I was real happy that his wrist had time to properly mend. Prior to Baltimore, I was looking out both in the interest of his long-term health and also to be sure that Level 5 would be in a good position. He came to COTA and tested really well and has since driven the IndyCar, which is physically harder to drive than the P2 car. We’re happy his recovery has gone well. We gained a lot of input at COTA and that will be helpful when we go back for the race.”
For now, Level 5’s focus will be on scoring a repeat victory in Baltimore. The Grand Prix of Baltimore presented by SRT is set for 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, August 31 with live coverage on ESPN3. ABC will broadcast the race on Sunday, September 1 at 12 p.m. ET. ESPN3 will also show live qualifying at 4:20 p.m. ET on Friday, August 30. Live timing and scoring will be available at http://www.alms.com.