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Cameron: IMSA Restart Will Change Championship ‘Dynamic’

Dane Cameron believes Daytona, Sebring July races will result in different approach taken…

Photo: Barry Cantrell/IMSA

Dane Cameron believes the addition of the July sprint races at Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International Raceway will change the dynamic of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, with an advantage potentially going to cars better suited to those circuits.

The two races, which are set to serve as IMSA’s season restart, have been added onto the calendar in place of canceled events at Long Beach, Belle Isle and Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

It will come in significantly different conditions to the traditional 24 and 12-hour enduros held at the tracks, with warmer weather also to impact the outcome in the pair of two-hour and 40-minute races.

Cameron, however, believes his Acura Team Penske squad will be well-equipped for the task at hand.

“The limited amount of time and obviously we’re still under the testing ban for IMSA, it’s not as if you can jump out and get a bit of a head start,” Cameron told Sportscar365.

“I think Sebring and Daytona, at various times being in Florida, we’ve been there when it’s been pretty hot, probably not as hot as it’ll be in mid-July, but we’ve been at both of those places on 90-degree test days throughout this program.

“I think we have a little bit of an idea of what it should be like, a little bit of an idea what to expect. But you’re going to be doing your fine tuning once you get there on the weekend.

“We’re confident in what we have as a package and as a group that we can make the adjustments we need on our feet quick enough to to come to grips. 

“I think that’s a strong suit of the Acura Team Penske program.

“I’m not too worried about that but it certainly will change the dynamic of this championship now being two races at Daytona and two races at Sebring, losing a few of the other different rounds.

“So it’s going to sort of change the flow of the championship, seeing these places for two times. It’ll be a little bit different as far as how the points might play out.

“It will certainly have an effect with every car and every team having strengths in different circuits. It’ll definitely have a different complexion to the year.”

The defending DPi champion, who has not finished on the podium in any of his previous starts at Daytona, is hoping for a bit of redemption next month after unlucky breaks in the 24-hour race that denied Cameron of a trip to Gatorade victory lane.

“For my entire career it’s been that way in Daytona,” he said. “I’ve led lots of laps there over the years and in lots of different categories but always seem to just be unlucky for whatever reason.

“I’m looking forward to having other crack at Daytona to at least get half a monkey off my back and get a bit of a result.

“For the number of years I’ve been there and not having been on the podium kinda drives me a little bit crazy.

“It would be nice, on a personal note, to have a small glimmer of success at Daytona for a change, whether it’s January or July and make that a little better.

“A win or some success there in the July race would ease some of that pain for sure.

“We’ve been quick there so we’re not super worried about that from a speed standpoint. It’s just going to be a lot different being there in such a hot condition.

“The approach you normally take to your car at Sebring, knowing that you have to finish at night, and then what you would do at Daytona, knowing you have a 24-hour race, what you need for comfort to drive vs. how the track changes. 

“A lot of that stuff will be out of the window. So it will be a fair bit different.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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