Dane Cameron says the opportunity to be a part of Team Penske’s return to sports car racing in its Acura ARX-05 DPi program alongside co-driver Juan Pablo Montoya is the “Gold Star” on his racing resume.
The former open-wheel prodigy has carved out a successful career in sports cars since making the transition in 2009, culminating in the 2014 GT Daytona class championship with Turner Motorsport and the Prototype class crown with Action Express Racing last year.
With 12 wins across various top-level series to his name, the 28-year-old Cameron has had little time to contemplate just what it means to be joining forces with some of the most illustrious names in motorsports, but the early returns have him eager to get started.
“It’s all really come together pretty quickly, in the last couple of days to be honest,” Cameron said.
“I only signed the contract last night, so it’s kind of escalated pretty quickly, but I’m really excited about a tremendous opportunity to represent Acura and work with everybody here at Team Penske.
“I haven’t seen much so far, but I’ve been around shaking a couple of hands and I’m impressed with what I’ve seen so far. I’m excited for what lies ahead.”
Cameron has come into his own in the past several seasons spent in the No. 31 Action Express Racing entry, and was quick to note that leaving his comfort zone was not an easy decision.
Ultimately, the pull of Team Penske and an opportunity to cultivate a relationship with Acura was impossible to turn down.
“It’s been a terrifically successful three-year stretch to win a bunch of races and win a title [with AXR],” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed myself there and want to thank everybody there, not only for the opportunity to go there in the first place, but also for great cars and teams and great results.
“It wasn’t an easy decision at all to come to this point. It’s been a good home for me there.
“It was not easy, but an opportunity to work closely with Acura and join Team Penske was a little too good for me to pass up.
“I think anyone who ever decides they want to be a racing driver, at some point you want the opportunity to drive for Roger Penske.
“They’ve dabbled in and out of sports cars in the past so it’s exciting for me to be in a good place in my career and for them to make a return to sports cars with Acura.
“I’m excited to work with everybody there and representing that brand. It’s cool to see it all come together.”
Along with co-driver Eric Curran, Cameron is currently third in the Prototype class standings with a win at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in the bag.
He remains committed to AXR for the rest of the season and will not be able to begin testing the Acura DPi until after the season-ending Motul Petit Le Mans in October, but expects the car to be strong right away in a highly-competitive field in 2018.
“I don’t think anyone in this program is doing it for any other reason except to win races, championships, and pole positions,” he said.
“As a driver you always have that expectation for yourself and I don’t think anyone expects more out of ourselves than Juan and I will. I can’t think of any reason why we can’t come out of the gate strong at Daytona.
“I think the IMSA Prototype category is in a very special place right now and every week there’s a really exciting piece of news and the series continues to grow and get more and more competitive.
“I think we’re going to have a lot of great tools at our disposal to hopefully win a lot of races.
“I think we’ll be really, really tough and it will be cool to see this program come to life over the next couple of months as we gear up for Daytona.”