BACK TO BACK BATTLES -- HOT OFF A TOP-10 FINISH AT VIR, DANE CAMERON AND THE RACERS EDGE TEAM HEAD FOR THE VERIZON WIRELESS 250 AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK THIS WEEKEND Deland, FL (April 29) -- Running a car that was much more capable...
BACK TO BACK BATTLES -- HOT OFF A TOP-10 FINISH AT VIR, DANE CAMERON AND THE RACERS EDGE TEAM HEAD FOR THE VERIZON WIRELESS 250 AT NEW JERSEY MOTORSPORTS PARK THIS WEEKEND
Deland, FL (April 29) -- Running a car that was much more capable than the results showed, the Racers Edge team and driving duo of Dane Cameron and Bryce Miller qualified second on the grid, led the opening laps and ran consistently in the top-5 only to be undone by at the end by a strategy that hinged on the reasonable expectation (given how many yellows punctuated the race) of a late race yellow... only no such yellow appeared. As a result, the podium-capable #30 Racers Edge / Marquis Jet / Total Petroleum / Piloti Mazda RX-8 wound up finishing 8th in the GT class.
"Nobody was happy with the results, but it was still a pretty good race weekend for us," says the rising racing star from Sonoma, California. "It was the first race back after three months off, the first sprint race of the season and we were on pole until the last lap of qualifying when the factory team nipped us by a tenth of a second. We got a good start, took the lead on the first turn of the first lap and led quite a few laps, but there were so many yellow flags that we decided it was best to just run in the top-5 and save the car. We got caught out on our strategy the way things worked out, but the team did a great job and Bryce and I work well together so we're confident about the upcoming races."
Cameron drove first, starting from second on the GT grid, but quickly taking the class lead on the first turn of the first lap on the 3.27-mile road course in Alton, Va. He held the lead five laps and then ran second until his first pitstop, 21 minutes into the two-hour 45-minute race. He returned to the track ninth, then regained seven positions to second. He stopped for fuel during a caution period just before the one-hour mark and was fifth as the race restarted. But the high temperature and a long stint took their toll on the car and tires -- Cameron was eighth when he pitted for a driver change with one hour remaining in the race. Miller took over, ninth in class. He was unable to hear or speak to the crew, so he waited for direction on a potential final pit stop. The resourceful crew crafted a sign board to advise Miller to stay on track, enabling him to gain a position to finish eighth.
Cameron, who won in an open-wheel car at VIR in 2007 on his way to the Star Mazda Championship, will co-drive four races in the with a new teammate, Bryce Miller, a young Grand-Am veteran with a record of one victory and 20 top-10 finishes in 27 Rolex Series starts. The next race on the schedule for the Racers Edge team is this weekend's Verizon Wireless 250 at New Jersey Motorsports Park. It's a facility Cameron is familiar with, having run there in 2008 with the Genoa Racing Atlantic Championship open-wheel team.
"I'm familiar with the layout, which is really quite nice, and they appear to have done a lot of work since last year, with grass and curbing to reduce the dust that was such a problem last year," says Cameron. "It's still early in the season, but we've been fast everywhere we've raced and tested, and we have some development stuff from VIR that we'll carry on developing here, so it should be good. In addition, this in Bryce's home race, so he'll have lots of sponsors at the event and we're hoping for a strong finish in the race."