Era Motorsport’s Oreca 07 Gibson will sport a livery designed by a six-year-old from Ottawa in next weekend’s Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Owen, a third-generation Canadian race fan, has been declared the winner of the team’s livery contest, which began in early 2020 when fans were originally invited to submit designs for the Motul Petit Le Mans.
With the Kyle Tilley-owned team withdrawing from competition amid its entry in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the contest was deferred to the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season-opener.
The team received a “wide variety” of designs from fans around the world according to Tilley.
“It was so great to see so many interesting designs from so many sports car fans and aspiring designers,” he said.
“We hope we gave them something to do during what has been a tough time for everyone.
“In the end, we reviewed all the images, and we knew the Owen’s drawing was the winner. He clearly loves racing, and we hope this gives him an experience he’ll never forget.”
Once notified that his design would land on the car, Owen submitted the following thank-you note:
“Hello Kyle Tilley and Era Motorsports.
“Thank you for this contest. My name is Owen and I am 6 3/4 [years old]. My favorite things are racing and hockey. I am learning to drive on a racing simulator. I chose this design because I like the colors and thunderbolts and flames are cool.
“This was fun because my grandpa, dad, and me all like racing and we were stuck at home during COVID.
In addition to seeing his artwork on a professional race car on national television, the team has invited Owen and his father to attend an IMSA event as their personal guests, likely to be once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and fans are allowed in the paddock again.
Tilley will share driving duties of the No. 18 Oreca with Dwight Merriman, Paul-Loup Chatin and Ryan Dalziel.