Era Motorsport secures LMP2 victory at the Rolex 24

Era Motorsport secures LMP2 victory at the Rolex 24

Era Motorsport secured the LMP2 class victory at the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona after holding off CrowdStrike Racing by APR in the final laps.

The No. 18 Era Motorsport Oreca 07 LMP2 entry driven by Christian Rasmussen, Connor Zilisch, Ryan Dalziel and Dwight Merriman surged to the LMP2 class victory at the 2024 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

The No. 18 Oreca 07 Gibson crossed the line 6.8 seconds ahead of the No. 04 entry driven by George Kurtz, Colin Braun, Toby Sowery and Malthe Jakobsen.

This comes after Era Motorsport team surged from the bottom of the LMP2 field to the front by maintaining speed, making flawless pit stops and deploying strategic tactics to secure their first LMP2 class victory for the 2024 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and their second at the Daytona 24.

LMP2 featured an account of drama, suspense and enthralling battles for one of the most hard-fought victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona after the green flag.

Ben Keating led the way after topping qualifying in the No. 2 United Autosports Oreca, marking his fifth consecutive pole at Daytona. However, Keating was unable to hold onto pole position after the first few minutes, given that the Daytona course has speedway turns which force LMP2s to race closely together.

Throughout the course of the 24-hour race, the typically reliable and stable LMP2 class experienced a significant attrition rate. The early stages of the race witnessed some high-profile incidents in which other well known cars got involved in the crosshairs.

The first major incident occurred during the race’s opening lap when Dennis Anderson in the No. 20 High Class Racing and Steven Thomas in the No. 11 TDS came into contact through the bus stop chicane.

Dennis Anderson also slipped slightly on the grass, resulting in a spin that hit Mike Conway’s proximate GTD Pro Vasser Sullivan into the left-side concrete wall. This resulted in the race’s second full course caution as well as the second in the first hour alone.

Jakobsen put himself in danger of receiving a penalty, but all he received was a warning after he tagged Jesse Krohn’s No. 24 BMW M Hybrid V8 into Turn 3.

As the last 30 minutes of the race drew to a close, the No. 04 car remained in the hunt for victory, but Rasmussen was able to hold off his countryman and eventually pull away to win Era’s second LMP2 class race at Daytona.

The CrowdStrike by APR team placed second in the LMP2 class for the second year in a row after missing out on victory a year ago. Meanwhile, the No. 74 Riley Oreca, driven by Gar Robinson, Felipe Fraga, Josh Burdon and Felipe Massa rounded out the class podium.

The No. 52 Inter Europol by PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports Oreca, piloted by Kuba Smiechowski, Nick Boulle, Tom Dillmann and Pietro Fittipaldi came in fourth. The Inter Europol by PR1 Mathiasen Oreca started the race in second and delivered a very strong performance in an attempt to hold off for the podium in the final moments of the race.

Tower Motorsports’ No. 8 car driven by Scott McLaughlin, Michael Dinan, Ferdinand Habsburg and John Farano completed the top five in the class. Sixth place went to United Autosports No. 2 Oreca driven by NTT IndyCar star Pato O’Ward and shared by Ben Keating, Nico Pino and Ben Hanley.

The No. 88 AF Corse Oreca, driven by Luis Perez Companc, Lilou Wadoux, Nicklas Nielsen and Mathieu Vaxiviere failed to reach the checkered flag while AO Racing made an early stop with their No. 99 car.

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