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Era Motorsport Takes Two Podiums on Sno*Drift Rally

Indianapolis, IN (February 13, 2023) - Kyle Tilley and Martin Brady of Era Motorsport have come away third in overall points after the first event of the 2023 American Rally Association Green APU Championship.

The Sno*Drift Rally is the only true winter rally in the United States, and often touted as one of the most difficult rallies in the world due to its snowy and icy conditions combined with local regulations forbidding studded tires.

The result is a highly unpredictable event where often competitors who take it easy and competitors who push hard end up with comparable times at the end of the weekend.

This year would be no exception as the entry list included reigning US Champions Brandon Semenuk and Keaton Williams, Mexican and NACAM Champions Ricardo Cordero and Marco Hernandez, and Canadian Champions Jerome Mailloux and Philippe Poirier all battling out on the same stages for the first time.

Era Motorsport would also be joined in the RC2 class by Tom Williams and Ross Whittock in a Fiesta Rally2, and fellow Hyundai i20 competitors Pat Gruzska and Florian Barral.

After acquiring a Hyundai i20 R5 Monday before the event, Tuesday was spent converting the car from tarmac to gravel spec so the team could test in the car for the first time Wednesday.

Thankfully everything came together and because of the intense prep-work from the crew, the car felt perfect for Tilley from the second he hopped in.

"After the first test stage in the car we knew it was going to be an enjoyable weekend,” Tilley said.

“The Hyundai i20 was just a joy to drive, it reacted perfectly and I was able to make the car do what I wanted, when I wanted.”

Still being relatively new to Sno*Drift having only entered once before, the team decided to play the safe strategy of driving conservatively and keeping the car on the road and allowing the cars pushing for the win to take themselves out.

After the first night of the rally this strategy seemed to be paying off, as the No. 18 i20 had already found itself sitting fourth overall, and second in the RC2 class.

Saturday things got exciting during the second loop when Era Motorsport moved into third overall on SS10 following an off from the Test Racing car of Jerome Mailloux who had previously held the position.

One stage later Era would move up again when Tom Williams went off and got temporarily stuck at a spectator corner, allowing the No. 18 to hold second overall and first in class.

Not wanting to start making the same mistakes, Tilley continued to drive easy and stay on the road, while Williams pushed hard to make back the time.

By the start of the power stage, there was a 3.2 second gap separating Tilley and Williams with Tilley ahead.

Unfortunately, Tilley suffered his first real off of the weekend in the final stage, leading to Williams getting the spot back, but still held third overall and second in class as he crossed the final flying finish.

“We really didn't come into the event thinking we would be as competitive as we were,” Tilley said of the effort.

“I had to learn the car, and I didn't want to make the mistake of pushing too hard and getting stuck, so we decided to just take it (relatively!) easy, play it safe and let the rally come to us.

“Thankfully that paid dividends and we walked away with two podiums, third overall and second in class!

“To have had such a great feeling in the car from the get go, on a surface that's still a little alien to me, makes me excited to get the car on gravel!"

Era Motorsport will have to skip the next round of the Green APU Championship as it clashed with the Sebring 12 Hour which the Era Motorsport LMP2 team will be competing in, but Tilley and Brady will be back on stage in in March for Rally North Wales, and make their next ARA Championship appearance at Olympus Rally in April.

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