Level 5 Motorsports owner/driver Scott Tucker has announced today that the team will once again field two entries in the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season-opening event for the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Jan. 29-30. The team returns with a pair of BMW-powered Riley Daytona Prototypes and hopes to improve upon last year's podium finish.
Level 5 has entered the No. 55 with Tucker and longtime co-driver Christophe Bouchut sharing the driving duties with Mark Wilkins and Luis Diaz. 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 racing. He drove for Chip Ganassi Racing in the 2004-'06 Rolex Sports Car Series.
In the No. 95, Tucker will be joined by 2010 teammates Ryan Hunter- Reay and Richard Westbrook, and 2009 teammate Raphael Matos. 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 de Ferran Dragon Racing where he finished the season in 14th position overall.
The team will have Microsoft Office 2010 on board as primary sponsor of both entries for the event. This is the first time the software company has sponsored a Grand-Am Rolex series team. Other partners include eData Solutions, The Selling Source and US Bank.
"The Rolex 24 is a race like no other," said Tucker (ABOVE left, with Bouchut). "You have to approach it like no other. This team works incredibly hard to prepare these cars and we, as drivers, draw on every bit of experience we have to put together a good run. We've got a great lineup of drivers who know what it takes and we'll be prepared on race day."
Following his third-pace finish for the No. 95 in the 2010 season-opening Rolex 24, Tucker and Level 5 embarked on a whirlwind season of racing that saw them claim two National Championships and 10 victories in various race series. In addition, the team's efforts in the 2010 Rolex 24 was the subject of a feature film that premiered this past summer. Daytona Dream made the rounds on the film festival circuit, and will be aired on the Discovery Channel in prime time Jan. 30 – the same day the 2011 Rolex 24 concludes.
"The film gives you an idea of what goes into this race," Tucker said. "But, every endurance race presents challenges you've never faced before. You just have to be able to overcome them and persevere."
Teams will have an opportunity to test the newly repaved Daytona International Speedway track surface Jan. 7-9, 2011, in preparation for the Rolex 24.
Level 5 won the American Le Mans Series LMPC championship this season, and will move up to the LMP2 class next year in the ALMS with a pair of Lola-Hondas.