RED BULL ROOKIE RISING
Keep an eye on GRC racer Austin Dyne
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Sat, Aug 9, 2014
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Words by BT Justice
Pictures by Alison Merion & Larry Chen
Red Bull GRC Rookie Austin Dyne is on the rise
Most observers of auto racing don’t expect a young 22 year-old rookie to be threatening the veterans of the ascendant Red Bull Global Rallycross. Yet, Austin Dyne, in his first year of Red Bull Global Rallycross Supercars, is doing exactly that. With only a partial season under his belt in the GRC Lites feeder division in 2013, the Californian has already made a standout impression on the race track this year—and he’s only halfway through this year’s Red Bull GRC championship season.
Red Bull Global Rallycross is getting a lot of attention and is growing rapidly. With industry veterans and manufacturers taking interest in this novel and progressively more popular form of motorsports, Austin Dyne has shown spectators as well as fans and fellow competitors that age is just a number when it comes to holding his own on the racetrack. At each of the five races that have taken place thus far this season, Dyne has shown fierce determination to deliver results. Dyne has yet to make it to the podium, but he has made it to the main event at each race—a notable accomplishment that only two other drivers in the RBGRC have managed.
At this point in the season, Dyne has scored 94 points, which puts him in eighth position in the championship, and just one point behind veteran driver and past series champion Tanner Foust. The rookie has comprehensively outscored six other veteran drivers.
With five events left this season, it’s safe to say Dyne will be racking up more points. But taking on the best of RBGRC week in and week out is no easy feat. “Red Bull Global Rallycross is so competitive and is definitely challenging,” says Dyne. “There are so many things that can happen and even if you’re the fastest, you’re not guaranteed a spot in the main. Makes it a little stressful for a driver but it makes it fun too; it’s really exciting for the fans.”
“Exciting” may actually be an understatement. Red Bull GRC is a true action sport and features lively and unpredictable events that offer the fans at the track and watching from home a viewing experience like no other in auto racing. The sport also offers its fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with its drivers, who are some of the biggest names in the sport and have mainstream crossover appeal. Fans are free to walk through the completely open paddock, where they can interact with the drivers and watch mechanics at work. The sport has been able to connect with younger audiences reared on action sports and video games, and this has drawn a wider youth culture audience than most forms of traditional motorsports in the past several years.
The experience is indelible for fans and spectators and the events are massively challenging and pressure-packed for the drivers. In order to make it to the final, drivers must go through three rounds of heat races and, depending on their performance, a last chance qualifier race. The heats usually consist of four cars and six laps each. The top two finishers from the final round of heats transfer to the main event. During this time, the teams can work on their cars as the other drivers continue to compete. The drivers who do not advance to the final from the heats get one more opportunity to advance and take the remaining qualifying spots during the last chance qualifier race, or LCQ. Ten cars end up competing in the main event. Getting through the heats is perhaps the most stressful part of the race weekends, as drivers work feverishly amidst changing track conditions to avoid going to the LCQ. “It’s definitely something you’re thinking about the whole weekend—just trying to get your car through the heats, to the semifinal, and avoid going to the LCQ like my team has done in every event, although we’ve advanced in every single one. It’s really stressful but definitely feels good after making it to the final,” says Dyne.
Another unique characteristic of a Red Bull GRC race is the makeup of the tracks, which consist of a mixture of dirt and tarmac. The tracks include other obstacles like jumps and uneven surfaces, some of the most diverse and technical challenges in the world of motorsport. Dyne, who cut his teeth racing on asphalt, has managed his transition to these uniquely challenging tracks with aplomb and is looking forward to showcasing his rapidly developing talents in the remaining five Red Bull GRC races.
Red Bull GRC will be traveling to Daytona, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Las Vegas for the remaining events of the season. The next event will take place on August 23 at the Daytona International Speedway. As Dyne looks ahead to Daytona, he has high hopes for his team and is confident that he will make it to the main event for the sixth consecutive time. “That’s when I have the most fun. I have no stress when I make the final, especially with how small of a team we are. It’s definitely a really big challenge to get to the final and to just race in that is good for the team. It helps us grow to where I think we’ll hopefully be in the future.” To view Austin Dyne's race preparation at the Port of Los Angeles, click here. To purchase tickets to attend the race in Daytona, visit redbullglobalrallycross.com/events. For more information on Austin Dyne visit austindyne.com and follow @AustinDyne on Twitter and Instagram.