Cameron Takes A Win, Two Seconds on Impressive International Debut Podlesni Also Displays Good Pace as Team USA Scholarship Drivers Star at Snetterton Attleborough, England (November 5, 2006) ---- Team USA Scholarship winners Dane Cameron and ...
Cameron Takes A Win, Two Seconds on Impressive International Debut
Podlesni Also Displays Good Pace as Team USA Scholarship Drivers Star at Snetterton
Attleborough, England (November 5, 2006) ---- Team USA Scholarship winners Dane Cameron and Robert Podlesni provided most of the highlights during today's opening three rounds of the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Trophy series which took place at the famed Snetterton track in England.
Cameron, from Sonoma, Calif., earned a win and a pair of second-place finishes, while Podlesni, from Thousand Oaks, Calif., fought his way to 10th after an incident in the first race and then followed up with a pair of strong fourths.
"The boys are obviously very talented," said ex-Formula 1 driver Jonathan Palmer who runs the FPA series and owns the race track. "They both did a good job this weekend, especially Dane, and they provided a real education for the [young] Brits, who don't have the same level of dedication or maturity. They're just so committed and so professional."
Race One this morning saw Cameron, who started fourth, quickly moving toward the front. He passed series veteran Stephen Young and debutant Alex Brundle (son of ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle), and was closing on race leader Luciano Bacheta when the full-course caution flags waved following an incident farther back in the pack. Cameron did not make the best restart but maintained his second place and set the fastest lap as he chased Bacheta to the finish line.
Podlesni also made excellent progress, up to fourth from sixth, before being taken off in an incident at the Esses soon after the restart. Podlesni resumed in 20th, then charged back to 10th in the remaining four laps.
Cameron started on the pole for Race Two and was never headed en route to his first international win.
"Hearing the US National Anthem in a foreign country is something that I will never forget," said Cameron.
Podlesni again was on the move, moving from seventh to fourth before another late-race caution. At the ensuing restart, the American found himself on the outside of a thrilling three-wide battle with Bacheta and ex-Formula BMW UK Scholarship winner Aaron Steele heading down the back straightaway.
"Consistency is the key in this series and there was no one pressing from behind, so I dropped back to save the points," recounted Podlesni, who wisely settled for fourth. "It was more important to finish all three races than to risk totaling the car in a banzai move. " The grid for the third and final race of the afternoon was set according to each competitor's fastest lap from Race Two. Cameron lined up second behind Bacheta, while Podlesni started fifth.
"I was able to stay with the leader but did not quite have enough to try to make a pass on him," said Cameron. "We had another safety car period and I was hoping that would be my chance but I didn't quite have enough to make a pass. I finished a solid second place and I now lie second in points, two points behind [Bacheta] with three races to go.
"Overall, my first European race weekend went better than I could have hoped," he continued. "I can't wait to get to Brands Hatch and try to win the Autumn Trophy Championship. I learned quite a bit about saving tires and boost as well as racing and strategy, and I think it will make me more prepared when I get to Brands next weekend."
Podlesni claimed another fourth-place finish and lies fourth in the points table, 22 markers behind Cameron.
"This whole weekend has been just a tremendous experience," summarized Podlesni. "Dane did a fantastic job, I'm so proud of him, and I'm really looking forward to running up front with him at Brands Hatch."
-credit: jeremy shaw