Acura Team Penske driver Dane Cameron is confident that the ARX-05 Daytona Prototype international’s performance at the Rolex 24 At Daytona proved that the car is capable of fighting for this year’s 2018 IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car Championship.
The two new Acuras were fighting at the front during the opening half of the race before both were beset by problems. The No.7 entry shared by Helio Castroneves, Ricky Taylor and Graham Rahal and its sister No.6 car driven by Cameron, Juan Pablo Montoya and Simon Pagenaud were running 1-2 after 10 hours, but the No.6 fell out of contention after developing alternator problems, while the No.7 lost time to repairs after contact with a Cadillac during the night.
Despite the result, Cameron said that the Acura had demonstrated its potential.
“It’s been amazing, a dream come true, to drive for Roger, for Acura, for Team Penske,” he said. “It was really enjoyable. But then, also, disappointing, because I think we had great pace. We had one issue, and that was it. It would have been nice to be there in a fight for the win at the end. Still, not a bad way to kick off the year. We know we have a strong Acura ARX-05, and we’re good enough to make a push for the championship.”
Castroneves, for whom the race marked the beginning of his first season as a full-time sports car driver, said that he is proud of the result despite losing a shot at victory.
“We qualified up front, ran strong the whole day and finished the race,” he said. “There is something to be said about finishing a 24-hour race. It’s too bad that both of our cars were running one-two into the early hours of the morning and we both ran into problems. First, the other car had alternator problems, and then we got run into by another car while running second. I feel like we had a legitimate shot to win this race, which tells you how prepared we were coming into today. Overall, we have nothing to hang our heads about.”
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