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.
Bad news continues to come out of the Monster Energy / Pro Circuit Kawasaki team as they announced Jo Shimoda injured his shoulder in a practice session and will not mount up when the Monster Energy Supercross 250 East division opens in Houston, Texas on February 4. A timetable has not been given for Shimoda’s return, but a press release from the team references multiple weeks.
“I’m doing my best to focus forward on my return to racing,” said Shimoda in the release. “Our goal was to compete for the 250 Supercross Eastern Regional Championship and I know we had been doing the right work to make that happen. Unfortunately, this crash will cause me to miss the start of the season, but I still aim to be back on the track racing for wins before the end of Supercross.”
Shimoda is joined on the sidelines by teammates Seth Hammaker and Austin Forkner, who also suffered injuries in recent weeks.
The news of Hammaker’s sidelining came just two days ago. His wrist injury is sufficient to require surgery, so he too will miss multiple weeks. Hammaker was scheduled to compete in the 250 East division alongside Shimoda.
Forkner was involved in a Lap 1 crash in the 250 West season opener at Anaheim. Multiple injuries, including an ACL tear, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. He described the injury and its aftermath on Instagram.
Forkner will be relieved by Carson Mumford, but not before that rider’s wrist has healed sufficiently. He is scheduled to debut with Kawasaki in Oakland for the rescheduled Round 2 Supercross race on February 18.
Shimoda finished fourth in the 2022 Supercross 250 West division and was second in 2021 points in 250 East. In 2021, Shimoda won his first Supercross race at Salt Lake City. Last year, he scored one podium and six top-fives in nine starts.
Shimoda finished second in last year’s outdoor Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season, where he added two more SuperMotocross wins including the Unadilla Nationals that kicked off a four-race streak of first- or second-place results.
Kawasaki is not the only team facing injury. Red Bull KTM initially reported Marvin Musquin would be out for the San Diego round with a wrist injury and “maybe more”. This week it was announced he will miss this week’s Triple Crown race in Anaheim and “at least the next several rounds.”