Cameron Wins Mazda Race Sonoma, CA – Dane Cameron maintained his status as the ‘body in motion’ with his second consecutive victory in this afternoon’s Star Mazda Championship event at Virginia International Raceway.
Cameron, starting third on the grid, moved his #19 JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda into second place before the first turn, and took the lead on the re-start after a full-course caution early in the race. He held the lead throughout the remainder of the 45-minute race. Ron White finished second, with Marco DiLeo coming in third.
“The team had the car balanced really well for the race and I won’t say it was easy because we had to hustle all the way to the checkered flag,” says the 18 year-old native of Sonoma, California. “But the car was much better than qualifying where we had a set of mismatched tires that really upset the handling. We got it all back on track this morning and were fastest in the warm up session and maintained our winning momentum in the race.”
Cameron’s momentum started gaining traction in the first race of the season, at Sebring, where he was fastest in every practice session and started from the pole. It was only the yellow-flag vagaries of a rain-swept, crash-filled race that relegated him to a 4th-place finish. In Round 2, with Champ Car at the Reliant Park street circuit in Houston, he was again fastest in every session, started from the pole – and led every lap, scoring his first victory in the ultra-competitive Star Mazda Championship series.
While the official points totals have yet to be announced, Cameron, a rookie in the Star Mazda series, went into Round 3 at VIR tied for the championship lead at 81 points with Daniel DiLeo… and emerged with a firm grasp on first place.
“This was really a special win for me because several of my sponsors and drivers that I really look up to were here,” said Cameron. “I’m a member of the Finlay Motorsports driver development program and Rob Finlay is here co-driving with Michael Valiante in a Ganassi Racing Rolex Prototype, so it’s good to prove myself in front of guys with those kinds of credentials.”
VIR was the third round of the 12-race 2007 Star Mazda Championship schedule. Star Mazda races are broadcast tape-delayed on SPEED TV. Date and time (all times stated are Eastern) for the one-hour broadcast is available at www.speedtv.com/programs. The VIR round is scheduled to air on Monday, May 7 at 3:00 pm ET, with a re-broadcast on Thursday, May 10 at 4 am.
The next event on the Star Mazda schedule is May 18 – 19 at Miller Motorsports Park with the American Le Mans series.
Cameron, currently keeping his skills sharp between races as an instructor at the Jim Russell Racing School at Infineon Raceway, arrives in the Star Mazda series via an accomplished climb up the open-wheel ladder. He 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 Cameron 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.