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The #7 Porsche Penske Motorsport car at the 24 Hours of Daytona


A desperate desire to add more American success for Porsche

Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at many of America’s biggest and most prestigious races, but its list of American works drivers is much shorter. Dane Cameron talks about having the opportunity to be a Porsche driver and represent his country

When Dane Cameron initiated his attack on the IMSA Weathertech Championship this year, he headed into the first two rounds at Daytona and Sebring looking to be the first American works Porsche driver since 2003 and 1987 respectively to win those two events.

Cameron is a treble IMSA champion who needs no introduction to anyone in that paddock, and with the 24 Hours of Daytona win he helped to deliver in January, he’s now won all but one of the major American sportscar classics - with the Petit Le Mans outstanding.

After a year in the World Endurance Championship last year with Porsche, a swap with Matt Campbell means Cameron will get his chance to go for Petit Le Mans, and is also getting the chance to add success in some of his favourite, native events which mean so much to him and his family.

“It's incredibly special to be a part of a top project with Porsche, to be a works driver with Porsche, especially as an American,” Cameron says, in the build up to the 12 Hours of Sebring last month where he, Campbell and Felipe Nasr managed a podium finish despite a race where plenty went against them.

“There's obviously not been a huge amount of us [American factory Porsche drivers], but the guys that have done it have achieved many great things and are quite synonymous with the brand. I think that's very special. 

“The guys that are here for a long time become really ingrained into the fabric of this company. I think the road cars and motorsport history go together and have developed in this company probably unlike any other brand that you see. That's pretty cool.”
The #7 Porsche Penske Motorsport car at the 24 Hours of Daytona
Cameron helped the #7 car to victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona
Cameron remembers watching the Penske-prepared Porsche RS Spyder winning in the late 2000s while he plied his trade on the US single-seater ladder often sharing a paddock with that team and watching it win some of those aforementioned sportscar classics.

“That was a pretty iconic programme that was successful and that was one that really stuck with me being really impressive, kind of being the goalposts for, that would be so amazing one day to be in this sort of programme, as an achievement in itself,” Cameron adds.

“So it's pretty special to now have come full circle from looking across the paddock to having a name on the side of that thing is very, very cool.”

It's incredibly special to be a part of a top project with Porsche, to be a works driver with Porsche, especially as an American

Dane CameronDriver, #7 Porsche
Cameron’s resume in the States now includes overall and class wins at Daytona, Sebring, Mid-Ohio, Detroit, Laguna Seca, Mosport, Road America, Watkins Glen and Virginia in a spectacularly diverse winning career.

He made his Le Mans debut in 2022 with Penske in the build-up to Porsche’s entry the following year, and aside from a win there and a victory at the Petit Le Mans, it’s hard to imagine what’s left to chase.

It’s reasonable to assume that joining Porsche at this stage of his career, at a time when he has won almost everything, that being part of the high-level Porsche Penske programme and sharing a car with some of the best sportscar drivers in the world leaves no room for complacency.
Dane Cameron is a treble IMSA champion
Cameron is a treble IMSA champion who needs no introduction to anyone in that paddock
“In motorsports, nothing is ever really enough,” Cameron explains. 

“You can be on pole by two tenths, three tenths, seven tenths, then you are greedy for that next bit more, you wish it was more and more and more. 

“It's funny now to be a bit older, 35, and there's guys that are on our team that are mid-20s or whatever. You're in the older half of the group of drivers that we have. It's funny to have that, you're not the young kid anymore, but you can fall back on a lot of experience. 

“Certainly very, very proud of what I've been able to achieve, feel very grateful to have driven for a lot of great teams and great marques, achieved a lot of things, probably more than I would have expected when I first came to sportscars in a way, having kind of a hard go at the beginning some small teams and then a lot of gentlemen programmes. 

“But yeah, you always would like for a bit more. So if it's over and you don't get any more championships or any more of the big race wins, I think I can certainly be satisfied. But you always want more, so you're always looking to try to just get the next one or a bit further down the line. 

“Daytona was a big one that was kind of the main outstanding one on the list for sure. Petit Le Mans remains outstanding for me so that's kind of another obvious single race focus. But yeah, three championships is great. But four, five or six would be even better!”
Dane Cameron, Matt Campbell and Felipe Nasr finished third in the 12 Hours of Sebring
Cameron took another podium in the 12 Hours of Sebring
Cameron is tied for the lead of the IMSA championship after Daytona and Sebring. 

Sebring itself is a place with so much Porsche history. Steve McQueen’s second-place in 1970 is a famous motorsport tale, and Porsche’s 18 wins is far more than the next best team.

“It's one of the best races in the US for sportscars and unique as well,” Cameron reckons.

“Obviously Daytona is prestigious and it's our big 24-hour race, but it just has a different feel, that start of the year, first day of school feel. 

“So to come to Sebring, it’s a unique atmosphere compared to anywhere else in the world really, in terms of the fans, the passion, the fan parties in the infield, it makes this unlike anything else. 

“It's always been a really cool event to me, since even being here in the support paddock and single-seaters in the mid-2000s. 

“It's somewhere I get along with, I like the mix of corners, you've got fast stuff, slow stuff, it's quite technical, the compromises and choices you have to make not only on the car side, but on the driving side, on how you're going to approach some of these bumps, how much can you sort of live with and how much do you compromise?

“For me, it's one of the highlights of the year for sure. There's honestly nothing like it anywhere in the world I don't think.”
The #7 Porsche drives through the night at the 12 Hours of Sebring
Porsche is the most successful manufacturer at many of America’s biggest and most prestigious races
#7 had to do a complete power cycle at Sebring early on - IMSA forced the team to do so because one of the loggers did not work properly - and 13 cautions in the 12-hour race meant trying to predict and adapt strategy was tough. The lack of fresh tyres on the final stop compared to their rivals meant challenging for the win wasn’t possible, especially as overtaking was so hard on track, but to take a podium is still a big result.

Cameron knows that bagging podiums on tough days is absolutely vital to constructing a championship-contending run. With the 963 now in its second full year, the goal is clear. To fight for an IMSA championship and the big races. 

Daytona proved the latter, and Sebring proved the former. Continuing like this will make the #7 car a strong contender for an IMSA championship.

Cameron will be vital to that, and winning a championship with Porsche would not be lost on Cameron, who is acutely aware of the success his countrymen have had with the marque in the past, and how much Americans love Porsche as much as vice versa.