COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – In its first try at an overall IMSA championship with a DPi prototype entry, Meyer Shank Racing will put a former DPi champion behind the wheel in 2021.
The Pataskala-based motorsports team announced Monday that Dane Cameron, a 2019 champion in IMSA’s top vehicle class, will race MSR’s No. 60 Acura ARX-05 full time next year. The 32-year-old Californian won the DPi and overall titles two years ago with Juan Pablo Montoya driving the same Acura chassis for Team Penske.
“I have a lot of experience with the ARX-05 and I know that car inside and out,” Cameron said Monday in a release.
Cameron has driven an ARX-05 for Penske since Acura debuted its DPi program in 2018. He also won the prototype class title in 2016 and the GTD (Grand Touring Daytona) class title in 2014.
“I will certainly do my best to bring everything that I’ve learned about this car to the team and make sure that MSR and everyone gets up to speed quickly,” Cameron said.
MSR will take one of Acura’s two factory-supported DPi (Daytona Prototype International) teams away from Team Penske in 2021 after Penske ended its relationship with the automaker. The DPi class is IMSA’s fastest, and the class winner is virtually guaranteed to be the overall winner of IMSA’s top-level WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
“We’re very excited to have Dane join us next year,” MSR owner Michael Shank said. “He’s proven that he is a top contender in one of the toughest classes out there. Just like what we did with the Acura NSX, he did for the Acura ARX-05. He developed that car and made it a championship winning car.”
In IMSA, America’s top sports car racing series, two drivers are assigned to a car, and each run part of the race. In races longer than a couple of hours, such as the 12 Hours of Sebring or the 24 Hours of Daytona, teams use three or more drivers.
Cameron will drive full-time with Olivier Pla, 39, a French driver known for his endurance racing. 2021 will be Pla’s first full IMSA season.
Part-time NASCAR driver A.J. Allmendinger, 38, will join Cameron and Pla to run the 24 Hours of Daytona, his 15th consecutive year driving a MSR or MSR-related entry in the race. The team is expected to add another driver to their Acura ARX-05 before the season starts.
MSR’s announcement Monday comes two days after the team defended its GTD class title, eking out the championship by just two points in Saturday’s nail-biting finale at Sebring. MSR’s DPi entry next year will replace its Acura NSX GTD program.
Coincidentally, one of 2020’s DPi champions, Hélio Castroneves, will drive six IndyCar races next year for MSR in a brand new second entry.
The 13-race 2021 IMSA schedule begins at Daytona in late January and concludes at Road Atlanta in early October. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, however, could shake up the schedule as it did this year.
IMSA is scheduled to return to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course May 14-16 for a 2-hour, 40-minute race around the 13-turn road course.