His father submitted the entry with a photo of Owen, and it was essentially forgotten after that. The original intent of the contest was to select a winner whose livery would appear on the No. 18 in last year’s Motul Petit Le Mans. But like many things in 2020, the plan was sidetracked until team officials decided to revisit the idea for this year’s Rolex 24.
“It wasn’t until about a month before the Rolex that I got an email out of nowhere that said, ‘You won,’” Jason McEachern said. “I said, ‘Excuse me? We won what?’ I had to jog my memory a little bit. I’m still pinching myself.”
The McEacherns followed the race from their Toronto home as it unfolded and were elated when Paul-Loup Chatin took the checkered flag in the No. 18, besting the No. 8 Tower Motorsport ORECA by 19.513 seconds in a spirited battle over 24 hours.
“They’re just really nice people and they deserve what happened to them,” Jason said of the Era team. “There’s good karma, good work and some good people there.
“What Era Motorsport did – I know they’re a newer team – just putting this on and doing what they did for my son, I think they’re champions. To watch the car in the race and to watch their strategy play out and watch them cross the finish line first, it was unbelievable. My wife has a video of us from when they won, and I might as well have put rocket fuel in my tank. I’m blown away.”
The Era Motorsport crew was just as blown away. Team owner Kyle Tilley was a co-driver along with Ryan Dalziel, Dwight Merriman and Chatin.
"To have pulled off the victory in one of the biggest sports car races in the world is unbelievable,” Tilley said. “To have done it sporting Owen's livery makes the story even more of a fairytale!”