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Era Confirms Daytona LMP2 Entry with Chatin, Dalziel

Chatin, Dalziel headline Era Motorsport lineup for Rolex 24 at Daytona…

Photo: Barry Cantrell/IMSA

Era Motorsport has confirmed that it will return to the Rolex 24 at Daytona next year with its LMP2-class Oreca 07 Gibson.

Double European Le Mans Series champion Paul-Loup Chatin and 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner Ryan Dalziel will spearhead the entry, sharing driving duties with Era regulars Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman.

Tilley and Merriman were joined by Ryan Lewis and Nicolas Minassian for this year’s Rolex 24 held back in January, with the quartet finishing third in the LMP2 division.

Era went on to contest the next three LMP2 rounds at Sebring, Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta before withdrawing from the rest of the season after Merriman sustained a back injury in a crash during practice for the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

On that occasion Tilley and Merriman were working with IDEC Sport, which is the team that Chatin drives for in ELMS.

“I’m delighted we get another crack at the Rolex 24 At Daytona,” said team owner-driver 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.”

Merriman added: “I can’t wait to get back to Daytona now that I have significantly more time in the car.

“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.”

New signing Chatin is set for his IMSA debut, although the Frenchman has extensive European LMP2 experience which includes winning the ELMS titles in 2014 and 2019.

Dalziel, meanwhile, made two IMSA appearances this season at Daytona and Sebring with LMP2 outfit Tower Motorsport by Starworks.

“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.”

Era has so far only committed to Daytona but the team has the “possibility” of adding other events to its 2021 campaign.

The team’s confirmation of its Rolex 24 return comes two days after DragonSpeed declared plans to defend its class victory with a new Oreca chassis for Eric Lux.

Daniel Lloyd is a UK-based reporter for Sportscar365, covering the FIA World Endurance Championship, Fanatec GT World Challenge Europe powered by AWS and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, among other series.

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