One of America’s most talented young sports car drivers has a new, fresh opportunity for this weekend’s TUDOR United SportsCar Championship race at Long Beach.
Dane Cameron will step into the No. 62 Risi Competizione Ferrari F458 Italia, in place of the suspended Matteo Malucelli, for this weekend’s 100-minute race. Malucelli was suspended by IMSA following his role in two serious on-track accidents at Daytona and Sebring.
For Cameron, it’s a huge opportunity to compete in the factory-driven GT Le Mans class, in a one-off race with the GT Daytona class not running at Long Beach (he was class polesitter for Turner Motorsport in the BMW Z4 GT3 at Sebring). He’ll co-drive with Giancarlo Fisichella.
“I am so excited to be racing with Risi Competizione at Long Beach,” Cameron said in a team release. “The red No. 62 Ferrari is such an iconic car, one that every driver dreams of an opportunity to race. Giuseppe Risi runs a first class team that has been pushing forward despite a really difficult time recently. It will be very cool to share a car with Giancarlo Fisichella and learn from his experience in the F458 Italia GTLM.”
Cameron has one prior Long Beach start, in his Formula Atlantic debut in 2008, where he finished 11th.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”