RISING STAR DANE CAMERON CONTINUES HIS CLIMB UP THE MAZDASPEED LADDER
CO-DRIVING THE RACER'S EDGE RX-8 IN THE 2009 GRAND-AM ROLEX SERIES GT SERIES
Continuing his climb up the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Driver Development Ladder, rising racing star Dane Cameron has signed to co-drive the #30 Racer's Edge Mazda RX-8 in the full 2009 Rolex Series GT season. Sonoma, California native Cameron and his co-driver, veteran competitor Doug Petersen, will make their series debut in the 2009 Rolex 24 at Daytona, January 22 – 24.
Cameron arrives at this major step in his career via an accomplished climb up the open-wheel ladder. Driving for Genoa Racing in the ultra-competitive 2008 Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Cameron started from the pole once and scored two podium and five top-5 finishes to finish seventh in the championship during his rookie season.
In 2007, he was both series champion and Rookie of the Year in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear with three wins, six pole positions, five podium finishes and two top-5s. He won the championship in Round 11 at Road Atlanta, one race ahead of the season-ending event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Cameron was the 2006 F2000 Rookie of the Year and finished second in the championship. As a Team USA Scholarship driver, he won the 2006 Palmer Audi Winter Championship in Europe. In 2005, he was the SCCA Formula Jim Russell Series champion and Rookie of the Year. His karting career, beginning in 2000, was similarly successful, including the 2003 Jim Russell Karting 80cc Junior Shifter Championship and a 2004 finalist in the Red Bull Driver Search.
"Both Star Mazda and Atlantic, both of which are Mazda-sponsored series, were great preparation for this next step in my career,” Cameron said. “Any driver who has raced in both definitely has some serious experience and skills. I feel that I’m a better-rounded driver than I was. Last year was good experience as a one-car team, but this is a new chapter for me. This is the right thing for my career long-term. In a 24-hour race, anything can happen. It’s great to stay with Mazda and I’m really excited to be with this new program.”
The team Cameron is joining for the 2009 season, Racers Edge Motorsports, is a former Star Mazda team that won back-to-back championships in 2002 with Guy Cosmo and 2003 with Luis Schiavo before moving up to the Grand-Am series in 2007. Under the guidance of President, Team Manager (and former driver) Jon Mirachi, Racer's Edge has established itself as one of the premier teams in North American road racing with substantial achievements in both open wheel racing and sports cars. In the 2007 Grand-Am Rolex GT series, Racer's Edge led three races, scoring five top-5 and ten top-10 finishes. In 2008, racing the same Mazda RX-8 they will field this season, the team again led three races and scored three top-10 finishes.
Cameron will be on a steep learning curve this season, changing from open-wheel sprint racing to sports car endurance racing… and making his debut at the season's biggest race at a track where he has never competed before.
"I've never raced at Daytona, Watkins Glen or many of the tracks we will be at this year," Cameron, a 19 year-old native of Sonoma, California, who co-drove a Daytona Prototype with Michael Valiante in the 2007 Rolex Series season finale at Miller Motorsports Park. "I've been strictly open-wheel up until now, so this is a new chapter for me and I'm looking forward to it. I did a couple of test days with the team and it's a good program. Every time I tested with them, it got a little bit better, we were able to raise the game up a little bit. The team has done well in its previous two seasons in the GT class, but this year I think we're going to be able to challenge for podiums and wins."
In addition to the Racer's Edge Motorsports team, Cameron’s participation in the 2009 Rolex GT series is made possible by a variety of long-time personal sponsors; including the Finlay Motorsports Driver Development Program, Lynx Racing, Rett.org, Nearburg Exploration, and Sparco USA.
On track activity at the famed Daytona International Speedway begins with morning practice followed by the traditional 15-minute afternoon qualifying session on Thursday, January 22. Additional practice and qualifying sessions are scheduled for Friday, January 23, with the green flag scheduled to wave for 47th Annual Rolex 24 at Daytona 3:30 pm, Saturday, July 24. The checkered flag will greet the survivors 24 hours later, at 3:30 pm, Sunday, January 25. The opening and closing hours of the race will be broadcast on SPEED TV, with periodic updates during the event; check speedtv.com for exact times.