Tech and Talent Team for Level 5 Success

August 24, 2013

Tech and Talent Team for Level 5 Success

August 24, 2013

Level 5Being a consistent winner in the American Le Mans Series takes significant measures of technology and talent. For the defending Grand Prix of Baltimore champions from Level 5 Motorsports, that has certainly been the formula for success.

The Wisconsin-based team, headed by Scott Tucker, is headquartered in a 60,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art racing, engineering and fabrication facility with a full-time dedicated staff of more than 30 professionals.

Another key to success is the team’s all-star line-up of drivers. While many teams stick with fixed driver line-ups, Tucker and the Level 5 Motorsports team has found that there are many paths to victory.

The P2 class rules require ranked pro drivers to be paired with silver or sportsmen drivers.

Often pulling double-duty by splitting time in both cars, Tucker has teamed with top talent aboard the team’s pair of HPD Honda P2 class prototypes. So far in 2013, the Level 5 driver line-up has included stalwart Marino Franchitti, Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Mike Conway and Simon Pagenaud.

Here at Baltimore, the team faces pressure from three directions.

The defending ALMS P1 class series champion Muscle Milk Pickett Racing Honda and drivers Klaus Graf and Lucas Luhr have taken the overall wins at the last five ALMS events. Baltimore is one of the few venues where the Muscle Milk team has yet to taste victory and team leader Greg Pickett is looking to correct that this week.

Dyson Racing is the two-time defending P1 class champion at Baltimore and has proven quick and nimble on street circuits and is rounding into form after early season disappointments.

In the P2 class, the competition comes from the rival Extreme Speed Motorsport team. Despite a late switch to the class for 2013, the ESM team led by Scott Sharp, a past TransAm, IndyCar and ALMS series champion, shares a similar approach with highly regarded drivers backed by top technical talent.

ESM’s Sharp and Guy Cosmo led an ESM 1-2 ahead of Johannes van Overbeek and Ed Brown on the streets of Long Beach. The street circuit here in Baltimore could be right in their wheelhouse.

ESM finished second in the 2012 ALMS GT competition, taking a pair of victories, including an impressive win at the season ending Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. Sharp and company seem poised for a late season charge.

Also making progress as the season unfolds is the radical DeltaWing, driven by Katherine Legge and Andy Meyrick. Designed to compete with significantly less power and weight than traditional prototypes, the DeltaWing led for the first time at Road America before finishing fourth.

With Briscoe, who suffered a wrist injury in an IndyCar crash last month, due to return to the Level 5 line-up here at Baltimore, the team may be looking to put the 2013 ALMS P2 class championship out of reach.

When seven different cars from five different teams all have compelling stories as to why they should win the Grand Prix of Baltimore, there is only one answer. Let’s race.

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