Era Motorsport drivers Kyle Tilley and Dwight Merriman have signed with IDEC Sport to race in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and will be joined by Jonathan Kennard in the No. 17 Oreca 07 Gibson.
The French squad, which won the 2019 European Le Mans Series championship, will field its second LMP2 entry for Tilley and Merriman, who raced with IDEC sporting director Nic Minassian in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona.
It will mark both drivers’ debuts in the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.
“Participating in the Rolex 24 At Daytona and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the same year is just fantastic,” said Era team owner/driver Kyle Tilley. “It’s an exceptional opportunity to be able to do the 24 Hours of Le Mans with such a great team. It’s the biggest car race in the world, and we get to be part of it! I am still a little speechless.”
Merriman added: “Never in my wildest dreams did I think we’d be running the 24 Hours of Le Mans in our first year of professional sports car racing.
“Kyle has been a great leader in what has been a crazy year. We’re going to make the most of this opportunity with IDEC Sport and Jonathan Kennard.”
In preparation for the event, the Era drivers recently completed a two-day test at Road America with Kennard.
IDEC’s other Oreca LMP2 entry will be driven by the full-season ELMS trio of Richard Bradley, Paul-Loup Chatin and Paul Lafargue.
“I know that we share the same values in motorsport,” said IDEC Sport President Patrice Lafargue. “They are professional, passionate and eager to learn.
“Like us, they obviously want to get the best possible result at the 24 Hours of Le Mans while remaining humble. We intend to make this new adventure a success. We are proud of the trust that Dwight, Kyle and Jonathan have placed in us.”
Tilley, Merriman to Potentially Miss Watkins Glen
With current COVID-19 restrictions for international travel requiring a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival if allowed into the country, it would likely result in Tilley and Merriman missing the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.
Le Mans is currently scheduled for Sept. 19-20, two weeks after the Watkins Glen race.
Sportscar365 understands the team is hopeful of contesting all LMP2 races on the WeatherTech Championship calendar, which would result in an alternative lineup for the second round of the IMSA Michelin Endurance Cup on Sept. 4-6.