Era Motorsport’s sophomore season in professional sports car racing has been one for the history books, with the team kicking the year off with victory at the Rolex 24 At Daytona in January, followed by clinching the Asian Le Mans Series LMP2 Am championship in February. In addition to running the full LMP2 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Era has also secured entry into the 24 Hours of Le Mans and has confirmed participation in the European Le Mans Series, both with IDEC Sport. Kyle Tilley, Dwight Merriman, and Ryan Dalziel, who all drive in the IMSA effort, will be the three drivers in both the Le Mans and ELMS entries.
“A 24 Hours of Le Mans invite,” said Tilley. “Last year was a complete roller coaster of emotions for me at Le Mans. To have the opportunity to go back and push for the class victory is huge! I learned a lot there last year and am confident that we will be fast. It’s the perfect compliment for our ELMS season with IDEC SPORT, and I can’t wait to get the show on the road at Barcelona in a few weeks!”
Era Motorsport first partnered with IDEC SPORT for the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, where the team finished eleventh in class. The 2021 Le Mans outing will mark Tilley’s second time at the famed event, and co-driver Dwight Merriman will have his first run at the race August 21-22. Merriman’s Le Mans dreams were cut short last year after an on-track incident, resulting in him being replaced by Patrick Pilet. This year, he’ll return to race in the No. 17 Oreca LMP2 with Tilley and Dalziel.
“I’m very excited to be able to return to contest again at Le Mans,” said Merriman. “It’s such a special race, and with 25 other cars currently listed in the LMP2 category, it’s going to be a good challenge for us. We’re partnered with a great team in IDEC SPORT and I’m looking forward to see what progress will come from a year of experience together now.”
Ryan Dalziel will return to Le Mans for the first time since 2016. He has competed at the legendary event five times, claiming victory in 2012 in the LMP2 class with Starworks Motorsport. Dalziel is the third driver in the No. 18 for the four endurance races on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship entry and will race the full season in the No. 27 Oreca in the European Le Mans Series entry with Merriman and Tilley.
I’m super happy and unbelievable excited that I get to go to Le Mans for my sixth time with Era Motorsport and IDEC SPORT Racing,” said Dalziel. “When we first chatted about working together, this was the goal and it’s completely awesome we got the invite. With the new Bronze P2 class, I really believe myself, Dwight, and Kyle will be at the pointy end. Le Mans is such a special place, and I cannot wait to get over to France and soak it all in. Massive thank you to Era Motorsport, Kyle, and Dwight for giving me the opportunity to race with them.”
The continued partnership with IDEC SPORT will continue into the ELMS season, which is currently set to begin April 17 in Barcelona. Forty-three cars will compete in the season, 16 of which will be LMP2 entries. The 2021 season will host six races between April and October, each running four hours in length.
“It’s a continuation from Le Mans. We really appreciated having them with us,” said Patrice Lafargue, president of IDEC GROUP. “They showed they have the same values, the same ambitions. That facilitates the partnership we have this year. The three drivers know each other and have just had a win in Daytona (Era Motorsport won the 2021 24 Hours of Daytona). Kyle is getting pretty experienced with the LMP2 and is counting on making further progress by coming to Europe. Dwight will have an important role to play. He’s Bronze and can only continue to grow with this championship. As for the addition of Ryan, he’s a real asset.”
The team next heads to Sebring International Raceway for next week’s Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, March 17-20.
Source. KBru Communications