Road Atlanta: Dane Cameron pre-race notes

DANE CAMERON'S STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP WITHIN REACH AT ROAD ATLANTA Rising open-wheel star Dane Cameron's dominant run for the 2007 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is within his grasp this weekend in Round Eleven at Road ...

DANE CAMERON'S STAR MAZDA CHAMPIONSHIP WITHIN REACH AT ROAD ATLANTA

Rising open-wheel star Dane Cameron's dominant run for the 2007 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is within his grasp this weekend in Round Eleven at Road Atlanta.

He comes to Road Atlanta with 381 points and needs to finish only 8th or better to clinch the championship, the first rookie to do so in the series' 17-year history. And his success in Star Mazda is already getting him noticed in other areas of racing; he co-drove the Chip Ganassi w/Felix Sabates #19 Z-Line Designs/ Mission Residential Riley Daytona Prototype in the Grand-Am Rolex Series season finale Sunchaser 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park on September 15.

Cameron, the 18 year-old series rookie from Sonoma, California, has driven the #19 JDC Motorsports/Finlay Motorsports Mazda with a mix of victory and consistency, compiling a 2007 record of three wins, five poles, four podium finishes and two top-5 finishes.The prize he's reaching for is one of the most coveted among young drivers on their way up the Motorsports ladder -- a full-season drive, sponsored by Mazda, in the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.

"The entire JDC Motorsports team has worked hard all season long to put us in the position we're in now, with the championship on the line this weekend," says Cameron. b^0x001cIt's a great feeling, particularly because it comes at a track that is both challenging and enjoyable. I plan, just like we've done so many times this season, to qualify on the pole and win the race... but the overriding goal is to make sure we nail down the championship in the race on Friday and fulfill the promise I made to all the people who helped me get to this point in my career."

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.

Cameron's participation in the 2007 Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear is made possible by a variety of sponsors including Grand-Am prototype racer Rob Finlay and the Finlay Motorsports Driver Development Program. Lynx Racing, instrumental in the early careers of many of today's top drivers, is also providing support, as are Mockett.com, Ocean Tomo, Rett.org, Nearburg Exploration, O'Neill Construction, Red Line Oil and Sparco USA and JDC Motorsports.Qualifying to set the starting grid for the race will take place from 4:05 pm to 4:50 pm Thursday, October 4. The 45-minute Round Eleven of the 2007 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear will take the green flag at 1:50 pm Friday, October 5. The season finale takes place at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Northern California October 19 -- 20.

Star Mazda races are broadcast on the SPEED Channel, with the Road Atlanta event scheduled to air on Saturday, October 13 at 12 noon ET. To confirm this air time and find out when future Star Mazda races will air, log on to www.speedtv.com/programs.

For more information on the Star Mazda Championship and its drivers, as well as the Mazda Motorsports ladder system, please visit www.starmazda.com and www.mazdausa.com.

-credit: jdc

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Rob Finlay , Dane Cameron , Felix Sabates