Era Motorsport to Return to Rolex 24 at Daytona
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (November 18, 2020) – Following a successful debut in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, Era Motorsport will return to the series in 2021 to contest in the Rolex 24 At Daytona in the LMP2 class. Era Motorsport owner Kyle Tilley and co-driver Dwight Merriman will be joined by team newcomers Ryan Dalziel and Paul-Loup Chatin.
"I'm delighted we get another crack at the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said Tilley. “Era Motorsport are going all out to win the LMP2 class. Collectively the team has learned a lot since last January, and I think we have a strong shot at it! Ryan Dalziel and Paul-Loup Chatin are both drivers that I know well and trust to get the job done. They’re great additions to our team.”
In January of this year, Tilley and Merriman, along with co-drivers Ryan Lewis and Nic Minassian finished third in the team’s sports car racing debut, the Rolex 24 At Daytona. The team went on to win a series of podium finishes at some of North America’s top road courses, gaining valuable seat time and experience in their rookie season.
"I can’t wait to get back to Daytona now that I have significantly more time in the car,” said Merriman. “It’s such an intimidating event to do, even more so when it’s your first professional sports car race. To earn a podium finish run there was special, and I look forward to doing it again.”
Motorsports veteran Ryan Dalziel needs no introduction, with an established career in North America’s finest professional sports car racing series. His four podiums and overall win at the Rolex 24 at Daytona make him a stout addition to the young team.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic about joining Era Motorsport,” said Dalziel. “I was really impressed watching their first IMSA season in 2020. I can tell between Kyle and Dwight they are putting everything into making this program as strong as possible, and I’m humbled to have been invited to be part of this journey. My last few seasons in IMSA haven’t gone to plan so I’m extremely grateful to these guys for having the confidence in me to help guide this ship with them. Cannot wait to get started together and on the grid for my 16th consecutive Rolex 24 at Daytona. Let’s win some watches!”
While Paul-Loup Chatin may be new to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, the 29-year old currently holds two championship titles in the European Le Mans Series. The Frenchmen has shown his strength on the stage of endurance racing, most recently finishing sixth at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans with IDEC Sport, the team with which Tilley and Merriman joined for the iconic endurance event.
"I am really happy to join Era for the iconic Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said Chatin. “I was lucky to meet and work with Kyle and Dwight at the 2020 24 Hours of Le Mans, and I am sure that all together we will be able to fight for the top in LMP2 class. I am really excited to participate in my first IMSA race and I will do my best to honour the faith they put in me.”
The 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship pre-season begins January 22-24 with the “Roar Before the 24,” an unofficial test in preparation for the following week’s Rolex 24 at Daytona on January 30-31. The season-opening race will feature five classes: Daytona Prototype international, Le Mans Prototype 2, Le Mans Prototype 3, GT Le Mans, and GT Daytona. The No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca 07 Gibson will run in the LMP2 category at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, with the possibility still open to competing in other events in the 2021 season.