Franck Montagny Joins Scott Tucker and Level 5 for Monterey
Level 5 Motorsports and Scott Tucker head into next weekend’s third round of the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón with a new name amongst its driver line up. Former Formula One and Peugeot Sport driver Franck Montagny will join the team for the six-hour race into the darkness at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.The 34-year-old Frenchman brings not only speed but also a wealth of prototype experience to Level 5 and will be listed to drive both the No. 055 and No. 95 Honda Performance Development ARX-03b P2 entries. Left without a full-time drive after Peugeot’s shocking withdrawal from international sportscar racing just prior to the start of the season, Montagny is excited to be back competing at the highest levels once again.“I haven’t met Scott yet but I’ve heard a lot about the team because of all their successes over the years so I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone and working with the guys,” says Franck. “Level 5 seems to have achieved all their goals so far and when you join a team like this it’s very motivational; you want to match that success. I have good memories of racing at Laguna Seca but I prefer to always look forward instead of at the past. The track is maybe not Monaco but it’s a great place in the USA, and a good place to shine!”Montagny came to sports prototype racing alongside a successful career in open-wheel racing which encompassed time in Champ Car and Indycar and Formula One, racing for the Renault, Toyota and Super-Aguri teams. He made his debut at the Monterey Peninsula road course in 2008, winning the LMP2 class in an Andretti-Green Racing Acura ARX-01B. Five-time national driving champion Scott Tucker is delighted to welcome Montagny to the team. “Franck comes with a great pedigree,” he notes,“ and I don’t believe it will take any time at all for him to adjust to the P2 HPD and to our Dunlop tires. We know we have a very competitive package and we’re confident that our driver line up can’t be bettered, but we know the race will be tough, as always. The longer format and driving into darkness will provide us with a great rehearsal for Le Mans next month. Together with Sebring, it’s a rare opportunity to race at night and one we intend to make the most of.” The Wisconsin-based team and its owner-driver are currently leading the ALMS P2 Driver and Team championships after just two rounds, and are looking for a hat-trick of victories in this first part of the season to solidify their hold on the title chase. With a longer race format than usual and a larger points haul at stake, Level 5’s No. 95 HPD ARX-03b Honda entry will be in the excellent hands of regulars Scott Tucker (Leawood, KS) and Luis Diaz (Mexico City, Mexico) plus Franck Montagny (Grandvaud, France). Both Tucker and Montagny will also pilot the Alpina Watches-sponsored No. 055 with Christophe Bouchut (Voiron, France). The American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PT on Saturday, May 12, from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available starting at 4:15 p.m. ET on ESPN3.