THE LIGHT STILL SHINES ON 'ONE OF THOSE WEEKENDS' Sonoma, CA (March 20, 2007) -- You know you're dealing with a rising star when the light still shines during 'one of those weekends.' And the season-opening Star Mazda Championship Presented by...
THE LIGHT STILL SHINES ON 'ONE OF THOSE WEEKENDS'
Sonoma, CA (March 20, 2007) -- You know you're dealing with a rising star when the light still shines during 'one of those weekends.'
And the season-opening Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear race at Sebring International Raceway this past weekend provides a case in point.
Dane Cameron, the fast-rising 18 year-old open wheel driver from Sonoma, California was quickest in three of the four practice sessions and put his #19 JDC Motorsports Pro Formula Mazda on the pole -- lowering the track record by more than a second, from 2:01.0 to 1:59.986 (111.03 mph). He ultimately finished 4th in the rain-shortened race.
"We missed the first practice session due to a mechanical problem, but after that the car was fast and we dominated every session," says Cameron, the 2006 Cooper F2000 Zetec Championship Rookie of the Year.
"The JDC team and I work really well together and pretty much every step we took was forward. With a team of this caliber behind me, I'm really looking forward to competing for the championship this season."
Looking forward is the key, because looking back at Sebring is to see a monsoon blow in right at race time, provoking series organizers to curtail the race from 45 minutes to 30. The downpour resulted in huge puddles on the front straight and as soon as the green flag dropped, cars began aquaplaning and a multi-car wreck toward the rear of the field resulted in an immediate -- and lengthy -- full course yellow.
Though leading at the re-start, the dive-bombing melee following the NASCAR-style green-white-checkered finish left Cameron with the choice of risking a DNF to stay in front or take the long view of the championship battle and be satisfied with a 4th-place finish.
"The sprint to the end was just a kamikaze attack and we decided to focus on finishing in the top-5 rather than risk a crash," says Cameron. "I'm young and competitive, so I always want to go for the win, but winning the championship and the Atlantic ride that goes with it is the main goal."