SEBRING, Fl. (March 17, 2023) – After three straight podiums from 2020 to 2022, Era Motorsport is hopeful to see continued success at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring this weekend, the second round of the 2023 IMSA Weathertech Sportscar Championship.
Returning from last year’s lineup is Asian Le Mans series champion Dwight Merriman and 2012 WEC champion Ryan Dalziel. Those two will be joined by Indy NXT driver Christian Rasmussen, who is hopping in the LMP2 for the third time after a strong performance with Era Motorsport at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year, and the Motul Petit Le Mans last year.
Last year at Sebring the No. 18 Oreca 07 qualified third in class at the hands of Merriman. Unfortunately for the drivers, the air conditioning in the car failed early on in the race, meaning most of the 12 hours were driven without it.
Despite this the team made it as high as second-in-class before a punctured tire forced an unplanned stop and dropped them to fifth. By the end of the race the team managed to pull themselves back onto the podium, taking third place back in the final hours of the event.
This year the team looks to finally take the top spot in the LMP2 class, especially after a disappointing end to an incredible push by the team last time out at Daytona when they hit engine problems around 5:00 a.m.
Despite only being his third event in the car, and his first race at Sebring, Rasmussen has been extremely impressive, taking the top LMP2 times in Free Practice sessions One and Two. Dalziel and Merriman have also shown great speed, and should be a force to be reckoned with come Saturday’s race.
“I’m super excited for my first Twelve Hours of Sebring,” Said Rasmussen. “This track is so much fun, and the car feels incredible here.”
Team-owner Kyle Tilley has been impressed by the showing so far, “I’m blown away by our pace this year,” he said. “We’ve absolutely got the best team in the paddock and it’s showing.”
“They’ve been doing everything they can to improve on what was already a fast car from the 24 Hour, and what we’ve ended up with is just amazing.”
“After having to retire from Daytona, we’re hungry for a win this weekend.”
Ryan Dalziel echoed these statements from Tilley, saying, “I’m super happy with how the weekend is going.” Dalziel added. “We had a good test back in February, and everything we learned from that we’ve applied, and it seems to be working for us so far.”
Qualifying will take place today at 9:40 a.m., and then the WEC Sebring 1000 competitors will take the track for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
Being the bronze-driver of the team, Merriman will be the one manning the car for the qualifying session.
“I feel really good about this weekend,” Merriman said. “We’ve always done well here, and I’m feeling pretty confident with the car as we have it for the event.
“I’m hoping we can take another podium this weekend. The field has really improved over the past few years so it’s a bigger task than ever, but we’re ready for it!”
How to Watch
Racing coverage for the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring will reside on Peacock, and the USA Network. Peacock will stream the entire race from flag to flag, while USA will cover the race from 4:30 p.m. until the podium celebration.
International coverage varies from country to country, but most regions will be able to watch the race live at IMSA.com/TVLive. A full list of international broadcasters can be found here.
Fans can follow Era Motorsport on Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Instagram for live updates and behind-the-scenes action.