Ryan Briscoe joins Level 5 for Sebring as team ponders ALMS return

IndyCar refugee Ryan Briscoe will return to sportscar racing in next month's Sebring 12 Hours with the Level 5 Motorsports LMP2 squad

Ryan Briscoe joins Level 5 for Sebring as team ponders ALMS return

The Australian, who was let go by the Penske IndyCar squad during the off-season, has been picked up to drive one of Level 5's HPD ARX-03bs.

It will be his first time back at the wheel of a LMP car since his stint with Porsche in the American Le Mans Series in 2007-08.

Briscoe, who tested for the 2012 ALMS title-winning team at Sebring earlier this month, joins a roster of drivers that includes fellow Level 5 newcomer Simon Pagenaud, returnees Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marino Franchitti and team boss Scott Tucker.

Level 5 team manager Dave Stone said: "We're excited to welcome both Simon Pagenaud and Ryan Briscoe to the team.

"Simon has been someone I've had my eye on for several years, and he was really good at our pre-Petit Le Mans test last year. And Ryan was a name that popped up recently. We had him in the car at Sebring a few days ago and things went well."

Level 5 ALMS entry still uncertain

Level 5 has yet to commit to racing beyond Sebring in defence of its P2 drivers' and teams' ALMS titles, despite Extreme Speed Motorsports signing up to provide opposition. Tucker's team had previously said that it would not race alone in P2 this season.

The obstacles that could still prevent Level 5 from committing to the full season include concerns over tyre supply and the sporting regulations.

Dunlop, on whose tyres Level 5 ran last year, has pulled out of the ALMS but will support teams at Sebring.

A full-season programme would mean the team signing with Michelin, which only has LMPC control tyres available for the early-season races.

Level 5 has also requested a change in the rules governing minimum driving time to make it easier for Tucker to drive both its cars during a race, which is understood to have so far been declined.

Failure to contest the full season could have implications for Level 5's participation at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Rules for so-called guaranteed entries in theory demand that the recipient undertake a full season in a series running to Le Mans rules.

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