It’s not unusual for a little boy to say that he wants to become a race car driver when he grows up. It’s much less common when he actually does become one. Even as a toddler, Cameron had a fascination with exotic cars. His first experience racing was in video games, where his exceptional eye-hand coordination was evident at an early age. Cameron’s first “in real life” racing experience, at 14, was with karting, joining a league at Autobahn. Within a year, he had won several pro-league championships.
Around this time, Cameron joined the Gilman community as a sixth grader. In Middle School he showed interest in technology and developed an interest in filmmaking, entering several shorts and earning prizes in the Gilman Film Festival. He was also active in the Car Club, led by his advisor, Andre Jones. “His interest in racing blossomed rapidly during Middle School,” said Mr. Jones, adding, “he was an excellent student.”
“I feel that Cameron got his self confidence while at Gilman’s Middle School. For that we are eternally grateful,” said Cameron’s mother, Tracy Das.
However, sometimes the best learning happens outside of a classroom, or even outside of a school. For Cameron, the racetrack called to him, and, much like an Olympic hopeful, he needed to move closer to a next-level training facility in order to pursue his dream.
Cameron left Gilman after the ninth grade, moving to New England and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent 10th grade before taking a leave of absence to compete in the world of open-wheel racing. Still committed to his education, Cameron continues his studies through the online Gifted and Talented Academy of Laurel Springs School.
He earned a professional racing license at 15, nearly two years before receiving his state-issued driver’s license. In his first year competing, the 16-year-old dominated the inaugural season of the SCCA Pro Racing Formula 4 (F4) U.S. Championship, which is a new level on the road to his ultimate goal, Formula 1.
The next stop for Cameron is British F3. He has signed with Carlin Motorsports, arguably one of the best racing teams, known for developing drivers for F1. And, coming full circle, Autobahn has signed on as a sponsor.
While the Das family still resides in Baltimore, they spent months in the village of Farnham in the county of Surrey, UK, helping Cameron settle in to his new home and new team. Following her brother’s footsteps, sister Maddi took a leave of absence from Bryn Mawr to accompany her family on this journey.
The British F3 season begins in April, and the Gilman community, Cameron’s “best friends in the world,” will be cheering him on from afar. No matter where he goes or how long he’s away, we will always consider Cameron Das to be one of our Class of 2018.
Race with Cameron for the Ronald McDonald House
To kick-off their sponsorship, Autobahn is honoring Cameron’s F4 championship with a celebration on Friday March 24, with 100% of proceeds to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Cameron selected RMH because they were so supportive of the Das family when Cameron’s sister underwent multiple heart surgeries.
Congratulate Cameron, enjoy drinks, hors d’oeuvres and karting, and bid on silent auction items including a day to test your performance driving skills with the F4 champion. This fundraiser will take place from 5-7 p.m. at the Autobahn Speedway at 8251 Preston Ct. in Jessup, MD. Learn more on the Autobahn BWI Facebook event page.
Click for Racer Magazine’s Article: 2016 Champions Issue (Cameron Das) – Racer Magazine