Ferrari Challenge - Tucker And Level 5 Complete Big Weekend in Austin
Austin Nov. 22, 2012: Scott Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports completed an encouraging weekend at the new Circuit of The Americas, with hard-earned finishes in both Ferrari Challenge and Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA West races. Held in support of Formula 1’s return to America, more than 120,000 fans were in attendance Sunday at the sparkling new facility near Austin.
Tucker, a nine-time national driving champion, accomplished his goal of getting acclimated with the 3.427-mile, 20-turn course, prior to Level 5’s planned return to Texas next September for the FIA World Endurance Championship and American Le Mans Series double-header weekend.Having grabbed the Gold class pole for Sunday morning’s GT3 Cup Trophy race and slotting inside the top-10 of the highly competitive Ferrari Challenge field, Tucker again proved to be a quick learner, with the entire David Stone-led organization heading in with high hopes of achieving podium finishes in all three races.
However, all did not go to plan on the Ferrari Challenge side of things, as a misinterpretation led to a post-qualifying infringement, which put the No. 55 Boardwalk Ferrari 458 Challenge at the rear of the 34-car starting field for Saturday’s first race. It resulted in Tucker mounting an impressive charge from dead last to eighth in the 10-lap sprint.
Sunday morning’s activities kicked off with the 10-lap GT3 Cup Trophy feature that saw Tucker finish a respectable fourth in class in his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car. It was followed up by another solid top-10 finish in the weekend’s second and final Ferrari Challenge race, which took the checkered flag under a packed, standing room only crowd in the six digits.
“It was a challenging but memorable weekend for us,” said Tucker. “Taking part in the first-ever race at COTA will be something that I’ll always remember. I always enjoy getting as much track time as possible and hopefully this will help us when we return next year. The track certainly lived up to the expectations and just makes me even more excited for 2013.”
The inaugural F1 weekend at COTA capped off an incredible season for Tucker and Level 5, which captured its third consecutive ALMS championship in a season that brought eight LMP2 victories in 10 starts. Tucker notched two additional SCCA National championships as well as claiming his first title in the IMSA-sanctioned Cooper Tires Prototype Lites series.
“Austin was a good way to close out the year for everyone at Level 5,” said team manager David Stone. “Scott did a great job all weekend and we can be proud of the run, despite having a few small hiccups. We achieved our goals we laid out at the beginning of the weekend and now look forward to resting up and coming back even stronger next year.”
Level 5 plans for an extensive testing and development program this winter, including a trip back to COTA next month as well as traditional pre-season testing at Sebring International Raceway early next year. Details on the team’s 2013 program will be announced at a later date.