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Laurent Replaces Tilley in IDEC Sport Oreca

Former LMP2 class winner brought into IDEC Sport in last-minute driver change…

Photo: MPS Agency

Thomas Laurent has been drafted into the No. 17 IDEC Sport Oreca 07 Gibson for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, replacing Kyle Tilley in the lineup.

The 23-year-old Frenchman, a former class winner at Le Mans, will now share driving duties of the LMP2 Pro-Am class entry with Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman.

Silver-rated Tilley, who missed Sunday’s Le Mans test day, was due to arrive on Tuesday from last weekend’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR Cup Series race although was replaced by Andy Lally in that race at the last minute.

Tilley stepped out of the NASCAR event due to an “injury that needs taking care of” per a statement on his Twitter account.

He serves as the owner of Era Motorsport, which works in conjunction with IDEC on its No. 17 LMP2 entry at Le Mans and in the European Le Mans Series.

“Obviously, no one wants to replace anyone under these conditions, but you also must seize the opportunities,” said Laurent.

“I will do my best to provide the benefit of my experience at Le Mans since it will be my fifth time. I never rode with these tires there, but I rode in Dunlop the first year in LMP2.

“I know Oreca well, but it will still change a bit with this latest version. I am delighted to join IDEC Sport and to discover the team.”

The French/American squad is looking to bounce back from a challenging start to the event following an accident by Merriman that has forced the rebuild of the car around a spare tub. 

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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