Two-time IMSA DPi champion Cameron, 35, returns to IMSA competition after two years in the World Endurance Championship racing for Penske’s LMP2 and then Porsche 963 Hypercar squads.
The Californian has been recalled to America for 2024 in a straight swap with its Australian young gun Matt Campbell, as Porsche Penske Motorsport looks to reap full benefit of racing its 963 LMDh car in both series to cross-pollinate the car’s development after a sometimes fraught debut season.
“I think it’s clear that we’re still improving,” Cameron told Motorsport.com. “If you look back at the second half of the year in both programmes, there were better results. And there’s still lofty expectations for it, so still a lot of work to be done, still issues here and there that need to be cleaned up – on the reliability side in the longer races, things like this.
“We’re trying to push on, to be faster like everyone else and to be more reliable for the big races, which is where we fell short a bit last year. It definitely never stops, the push to improve, but I think overall the team structure – there’s been a few changes on both programmes – and having more time now…
“Something that was difficult last year was not only bringing new race cars, which everybody did, but we were less stable, less mature than everybody else. And that takes time, I think it’s easier to change a race car than it is to build a team from the ground up.
“Building four cars with two new teams was certainly a challenge.”
Photo by: Richard Dole / Motorsport Images
#7: Porsche Penske Motorsports, Porsche 963, GTP: Dane Cameron, Felipe Nasr, Matt Campbell, Josef Newgarden
Penske split its running in the December Daytona manufacturer group test, with the car that will be raced full-time by Cameron and Felipe Nasr focusing one car on pure endurance running, while the other continued to search for added performance and pace.
Cameron explained: “It was divided between the two cars, our #7 was simply cranking around and trying to prove-out a few things, so we can walk away confident that the thing is a tank, more or less! We were just running, running, running – and it was pretty flawless.
“The other boys were trying to see what they find, learn and improve. We hadn’t been back here since we raced, so our generic baseline is already a lot better now – we’re in a much more driveable place than what I recall racing here last year.
“We need to keep improving because perhaps we’re not quite as quick as our competitors, so even if we’re better I’m sure they will be too. We’re keeping pushing forwards, we ran well here and let’s hope that continues into January.”