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GRC Personalities // Austin Dyne: Movin’ On Up in Barbados

June 2, 2014
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My first Supercar race wasn’t anything more than I expected. I liked it a little more than Lites—the car suits me a lot better, and my style of driving, than the Lites car. I knew that going in, but lots of people didn’t realize that. The Lites car handicapped me quite a bit, but this car allows me to shine a little bit more, to drive how I’ve been taught and know how to.

I definitely didn’t feel like there was that much respect out there compared to other series I’ve raced in from the guys, but hopefully that will get better. There are more and more racecar drivers coming into this series, and I think that’s definitely helped the show. It was definitely one of the best races in Barbados, just watching, compared to last year, with how much closer and more driving and fighting with other guys there was. But it wasn’t anything more than I thought going into it.

The track being mostly tarmac in general definitely helped me, because I went into Barbados with only 20 laps of testing—I wouldn’t even call it testing so much as a shakedown. The whole weekend, I was still trying to learn the car, it wasn’t like I had much seat time in the thing. I just tried to learn it. But the track was kind of what I grew up racing as a kid, from go-karts to Skip Barber and even some of the road course stuff we did in K&N West and East. And the braking—I think a lot of the guys that come from rally aren’t used to braking that way. It’s just different—but it seemed like I definitely got to go in the corners a little bit deeper than some of the other guys.

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These cars are so easy to go in a corner, brake late, and downshift with. A stock car is quite difficult on a road course because they don’t stop nearly as good as these cars. So the Supercars drive way better than a stock car, which makes it a lot easier to drive around a road course. That’s basically what Barbados was, with a little bit of coral. So I didn’t really have to learn much, it was more me learning the car—the track I learned pretty fast.

I didn’t feel like I was raced very well by some people, but I just raced how I was taught in road racing. I mean, rubbing is racing, but I think some people got carried away, and I think some people thought I was that kid in the Lites who kind of struggled and they could push me away. It was my turn to show them that I’m not here to play, I’m here to race, and I’ll drive clean, but you have to drive clean back with me to get respect.

I respect a lot of these guys in the series, but at the same time you have to stand up for yourself—it’s something I learned in NASCAR, though hopefully it doesn’t get as bad as it does over there sometimes with the short track stuff! But it’s something I’ll continue doing throughout the year. I’ll race people the way I want to be raced, but there were definitely some people who were not driving quite clean towards me. I’m sure that’ll keep happening throughout the year, but I think Barbados showed them that I’m not here just to drive around, and hopefully I’m getting better.

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Unfortunately we had a rear differential failure on the second start of the final. That was definitely frustrating, because I had a pretty good start on the initial start. I think we were fifth or fourth, I’m not really sure, and then Ken had his big crash. I was pretty bummed, but I was glad he was okay, because that looked pretty gnarly. But on that last restart, just going through the gears, the diff just kind of self-destructed on us.

It was definitely frustrating, knowing that I had the pace to be with Arpin. It was frustrating knowing that I could have been on the podium if it weren’t for that. But it’s out of our hands—the team did a great job, and sometimes that stuff is just out of your control. Hopefully we’ll have some better luck in the next few races!

Photo credit: Alison Padron