ALMS: Level 5 Commits To Sebring, All-Star Lineup Revealed

Scott Tucker will join Ryan Briscoe, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud and Marino Franchitti, creating one of the strongest-ever driving lineups for next month's Twelve Hours of Sebring. (Photos: LAT & John Dagys) EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Briscoe, Ryan-Hunter-Reay, Simon Pagenaud, Marino Franchitti to join Scott Tucker in two-car P2 effort for ALMS season opener…

What a difference a few weeks can make. On the heels of the surprise switch to P2 for Extreme Speed Motorsports has come confirmation that Level 5 Motorsports will enter next month’s Twelve Hours of Sebring with a two-car effort, featuring an all-star driver lineup for its HPD ARX-03b entries.

In a exclusive, the Scott Tucker-owned squad has revealed that former Penske ace Ryan Briscoe will join fellow IndyCar star and defending champion Ryan Hunter-Reay, the multi-faceted Simon Pagenaud and sports car veteran Marino Franchitti in next month’s American Le Mans Series season-opener.

The exact driver pairings for Level 5’s impressive lineup, featuring some of the sport’s top open-wheel drivers, has yet to be determined, although Tucker will be at the helm of both the No. 055 and 95 entries, as usual.

“We always were interested in racing at Sebring if there was going to be some competition,” Tucker told “When we found out Greaves was coming from Europe, we committed to one car. Then when we found out ESM was coming with two cars, we went back to our normal protocol and committed to two cars for Sebring.”

Hunter-Reay and Franchitti are no strangers to the Wisconsin-based team, having made previous starts in Level 5’s PC and P2 machinery over the last few years. That included a class win at Sebring in 2011 for RHR, who recently celebrated a breakthrough first IndyCar Series title.

HPD factory driver Pagenaud, the 2010 ALMS LMP champion, will make his debut with Level 5 fresh off an impressive rookie season in IndyCar, where he battled Briscoe, another newcomer to the team. Briscoe also boasts an impressive resume in open-wheel and prototype racing, having been a part of Penske’s Porsche RS Spyder program in 2007-08.

Absent from the Sebring driving squad are Christophe Bouchut, who had been Tucker’s right-hand pilot since the team’s debut in 2008, and Luis Diaz, who had driven for Level 5 for the past two seasons. The trio teamed for class victory at Petit Le Mans last year, a race which saw Level 5 clinch its second consecutive ALMS P2 title and third straight in the series.

Despite confirmation of its Sebring program, Level 5 has yet to commit to a full-season effort in the cost-capped prototype ranks. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is currently the only other race on its schedule, an entry gained thanks to an auto-invite awarded by IMSA.

A commitment to the entire 10-round championship would be dependent on the adjustment of the minimum drive-time rules in P2 to be in accordance with fuel stints and a clarification on the driver rating system in the class, according to team manager David Stone.

“Whether or not ESM will be following suit like we did in 2011, and be racing by themselves, or we’ll find some way to be there is currently up in the air,” Stone said. “We’ve got some time to figure it out.”

The drive time rules for Sebring does not pose an issue for Tucker, the team’s nominated Silver-rated driver who must meet the minimum requirements in both cars. He is expected to log at log between six to seven hours of time behind the wheel in the race.

Stone said no decision has been made on the team’s driver lineup for Le Mans, although the services of Hunter-Reay and Pagenaud can be ruled out due to a conflicting IndyCar race that weekend.

Level 5 joins the already confirmed entries from ESM and Greaves Motorsport, which adds up to a respectable five-car P2 class field for the ALMS season-opener, set for March 16.

John Dagys is’s Sportscar Racing Reporter, focusing on all major domestic and international championships. You can follow him on Twitter @johndagys or email him at

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