Level 5: Scott Tucker's Mid-Season Car Change Pays Off At Petit Le Mans

By Ryan Anderson

Braselton, GA. - "It's been a day of positives," said Level 5 Motorsports' newest driver, Marino Franchitti just before heading into Wednesday of the week leading up to Petit Le Mans.

On Monday, the Level 5 team rolled out its second HPD ARX-01g for the first time to accompany its No. 95 model, which had a flawless performance at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway last month. During practice laps on Monday, driver Luis Diaz finished with the fastest time in the class, which left pacesetter Christophe Bouchut in second and the team overall in a 1-2 position to begin testing Wednesday.

Franchitti, who has driven HPD ARX-01 models since the very first iteration, said he was impressed with the car. "The Level 5 guys did a fantastic job putting the new car together," he said. "Wirth Research and HPD did a fantastic job with a cost-capped car. Having not driven one since the beginning of the year, they made a lot of gains with the drive-ability. It's still underpowered with the regulations, but HPD did a fantastic job with the engine.

"It was a very positive day, and it's fantastic to be back on the track for me," he said.

The second prototype made it to Road Atlanta for Saturday's race with not minutes to spare. It had been still in production in England up until last week, and the crew there resigned to sending it to Petit Le Mans to be finished. "The build is being finished as we're running testing," said Level 5 Manager David Stone. "To see our cars running and performing like they are sure is a nice payback."

Team owner Scott Tucker decided to switch to the new cars mid-season, partially in preparation for Petit Le Mans. With an already successful season, he looked to the championship Petit Le Mans race and opted to get the top-performance vehicles to ensure they'd be tough competition for the typically field-dominating Nissans.

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