Daytona24: Level 5 Motorsports preview
Tucker, Level 5 Motorsports Roar into Daytona in Search of Prestigious Rolex Victory
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Scott Tucker and Level 5 Motorsports stood on the threshold of Daytona glory when they finished on the podium in the 2010 Rolex 24 At Daytona in just their second appearance. This weekend, the team returns to racing biggest stage with even bigger aspirations.
Tucker co-drove the No. 95 BMW Riley Daytona Prototype to an outstanding third-place finish in last year's prestigious GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series event. Level 5 brings back both of its entries, the No. 95 and the No. 55 Microsoft-sponsored cars, in a quest for Victory Lane at the "World Center of Racing."
"The Rolex 24 is a race like no other," said Tucker, who is coming off a historical 2010 season in which he won two national driving championships and earned a Rookie of the Year title. "You have to approach it like no other.
"Getting on the podium for the Rolex 24 is an accomplishment within itself. Winning the race brings you to another level. Beating the competition in the Rolex 24 means you've beaten some of the world's best drivers. We've got a great sponsor and a great lineup of drivers who know what it takes to win."
This is the first time Microsoft has sponsored a GRAND-AM Rolex series team. Other partners include eData Solutions, The Selling Source and US Bank.
Sharing the driving duties with Tucker in the No. 55 Microsoft BMW Riley will be long-time teammate Christophe Bouchut, along with Mark Wilkins and Luis Diaz. In the No. 95, Tucker will be joined by 2010 teammates Ryan Hunter-Reay and Richard Westbrook, and 2009 teammate Raphael Matos.
Bouchut, a former winner of the Rolex 24 (1995) surpassed the 100 professional race victories mark during the 2010 season. Wilkins, who has three starts with Level 5, most recently drove for AIM Autosport in the Rolex Series. Diaz is new to Level 5, but is no stranger to GRAND-AM road racing. He drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2004-2006 GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series seasons.
Hunter-Reay is a regular in the IZOD IndyCar Series as a driver for Andretti Autosport, and earned a career best seventh-place finish in the 2010 season point standings. Matos also competed in the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010 for deFerran Dragon Racing where he finished the season in 14th position overall.
The race will be the first event on the newly repaved surface at Daytona International Speedway. Extensive testing has been done, including the Roar before the Rolex earlier this month, which turned out to be a success for both Level 5 Motorsports teams.
The No. 55 Microsoft Office BMW Riley and the No. 95 Microsoft Office BMW Riley finished 2-3 in the final test session. The No. 55, with Tucker, Christophe Bouchut, Luis Diaz and Mark Wilkins behind the wheel, turned a fast lap of 127.533 mph, only a half-second behind the No. 8 Starworks Motorsports Ford Riley.
The No. 95, with Tucker, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Raphael Matos and Richard Westbrook driving, turned a fast lap of 127.465 mph, less than one- tenth-of-a-second behind the No. 55 BMW Riley.
Sunday evening, following the conclusion of this year's Rolex 24, Discovery HD Theater will be airing "Daytona Dream," the feature film chronicling Level 5's preparation and participation in that historic 2010 race. The Drive Motion Pictures production has been featured in several film festivals and is scheduled for a 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT television debut. Viewers should check their local listings for channel information.
-source: level 5 motorsports
SCC: Kinetic Motorsports Daytona preview
SCC: Daytona practice 1 times