LevelFive team enters Rolex 24 Christophe Bouchut will be seeking his second overall victory in the Rolex 24 At Daytona Jan. 24-25 when he joins team owner Scott Tucker and Ed Zabinski in the 47th running of the classic.
The trio will be at the wheel of the No. 55 edata Solutions/Supercar Life Racing LevelFive Motorsports BMW Rileyfor the 2009 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Cask No. 16 opener.
The trio tested at Daytona International Speedway in October, with Bouchut unofficially shattering the Daytona Prototype circuit record in the brand-new Riley. Bouchut joined Jurgen Lassig, Giovanni Lavaggi and Marco Werner in winning the 1995 Rolex 24 in the Kremer Korsche K8 Spyder. It was a bittersweet memory for the Frenchman, who found out later in the day that his Formula One team had folded. It was his second victory in as many 24-hour races, having won in his first attempt at Le Mans for Team Peugeot. Since thenm, he's win the 24 Hours of Spa-Franchorchamps in his first two attempts, in 2001 and 2002.
"I won Daytona and I won Le Mans in my first time," Bouchut said. "Now, maybe I can win in my first race in a Daytona Prototype." Bouchut's only race at Daytona since then was the 1998 Rolex 24, when he finished third with team Larbre. Over his distinguished career, he has 95 victories and 77 pole positions, and is the only driver to capture the FIA GT title three times. He also has six French GT titles and one in the European Le Mans Series. In 2008, he won five races and the French GGSA GT title in a Larbrer Saleen S7R.
"It's great to be back here in the USA, especially in Daytona," Bouchut said. "It's a special track with the banking, and it's always nice, great weather. The DP car is really nice, and I believe the Grand-Am championship has a great future."
Zabinski and Tucker are both coming off successful seasons. Zabinski became the first driver to win an SCCA National Championship in any class last October, when he won the T1 National Championship at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kansas. Driving the No. 77 EData Solutions/U.S.Bank Ferrari, Zabinski prevailed after a battle with the Corvette C6 of Andrew Aquilante for most of the race.
"After 20 years of racing, this is my first National Championship, and it's really special to make history," Zabinski said.
"Right now, I'm the luckiest driver. It's so incredible to be part of this program."
Tucker also finished on the podium in the T1 National Championship finale. In October, he won a pole and scored back-to-back victories in the Ferrari World Finals in Mugello, Italy. Driving the No. 55 Westfund Ferrari F430, he finished the season with six victories and finished second in the championship, 12 points behind Roberto Fata.
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