Era Podium Hopes Dashed by Final Lap Incident at Laguna Seca

MONTEREY, Calif., (September 13, 2021) – Era Motorsport’s hopes of again finishing on the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship podium were dashed Sunday afternoon when another car sent the No. 18 Oreca LMP2 car off course in WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca’s iconic Corkscrew with just seconds left on the race clock as the team ran in second place.

“Our car showed great speed all weekend, and both of our drivers were really dialed in,” said Team Owner Kyle Tilley. “It’s a real shame that we were taken out in the final corners. Everyone on the team deserved to celebrate another podium after the stellar performance they put on this weekend. I’m sorry they didn’t get that opportunity.”

The No. 18 Oreca, with drivers Dwight Merriman and Ryan Dalziel, showed strong speed in the opening practice, placing second in the LMP2 class. The team progressed for practice two, placing in first over the PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports car. For qualifying, the solid performance continued, securing a second-place starting position for Sunday’s sprint race, the Hyundai Monterey SportsCar Championship.

Dwight Merriman started the race in second, swiftly taking the lead from Ben Keating in the No. 52 PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca as they roared down the front straight at the drop of the green flag. An early race caution paused the race and grouped the field back together, eliminating Merriman’s lead over the LMP2 field. The No. 18 was passed on the restart, running the majority of the first stint in third.

Ryan Dalziel took over for the final two-thirds of the race, eventually working his way back up to second place, creating a comfortable gap ahead and behind the Era Motorsport car. He held the position to the final lap, when another car dove into Dalziel’s, sending him straight into the advertising signs propped up along the sides of the Corkscrew. Unable to fully see the course, Dalziel continued, swerving to try to remove the signage off the car. In the end, the No. 18 was unable to maintain position, finishing in fourth place.

The team next competes in Petit Le Mans on November 13, the final race of the 2021 season. Era Motorsport, who started the year off on victory circle at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, then a second-place finish at the Twelve Hours of Sebring will be a strong contender for the finale event, showing their strength in endurance events. For event information, visit imsa.com.

About Era Motorsport
Era Motorsport was formed in 2018 with the idea of providing unmatched excellence in historic racing. Just two years later, the team expanded to the world of professional sports car racing, fielding an Oreca 07 in the prolific IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. In 2021, the team went on to win at the iconic Rolex 24 At Daytona, in what was their second attempt competing in the event. Motorsport isn’t just a hobby, it is a way of life: a passion that is in the team’s blood. Whether you find us in the IMSA WeatherTech paddock with modern prototypes or chasing down lap records in our fully restored classic sports cars, or even globetrotting to experience historic F1 at some of the world’s most iconic circuits, Era Motorsport has something for everyone. In 2021, the team will return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship for the full LMP2 season and also contest in the full seasons of the Asian Le Mans championship and European Le Mans Series.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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