2017 Mid-Season Review: Austin Dyne
STATS (through 6 of 12 rounds): 8th in Supercar points (269), 1 heat win
POSITIVES: Now in his fourth year as a Supercar driver, Dyne moved to a new organization with an impressive pedigree: Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing, an Indianapolis 500 and IMSA championship-winning squad making its Red Bull GRC debut. By the end of the second race in Louisville, had already claimed their first victory, a heat win in the third round at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
“It’s a big change,” Dyne admitted of the shift. “We have a group of people who know how to run a race team, and they have a lot of resources. It’s completely different worlds: rallycross is really special, and it takes time, but we’ve sped up our process in a three-month timespan. I’m really happy with where things are going, and I think right now we’re as prepared as every team here.”
NEGATIVES: Unfortunately for the Los Angeles native, Louisville wasn’t just the site of his first win: it was the site of his first race. A mechanical failure in Memphis turned out to be catastrophic for the weekend, as Dyne wouldn’t complete a single qualifying or race lap on the session. Ninth place finisher Patrik Sandell would walk out of the weekend with 46 points; Dyne would leave Tennessee with zero, forcing him to play catch-up ever since.
Since then, Dyne has been fairly consistent, never finishing worse than seventh and cracking the top five for the first time in New England. But losing a whole race to the rest of the field has taken its toll: his 101 points earned in heats and semifinals is second lowest on the grid. And if he had even been able to take the minimum 36 points for starting every race session, he’d be breathing down Oliver Eriksson’s neck for sixth place in the standings.
OUTLOOK: As the season goes on, every single driver on the Supercar grid seems to be cursed with a mulligan race. Dyne got his out of the way immediately, but since then he and the RLL team have been a constant presence lurking on the edge of opportunity. They’ll need a couple of big races to change the course of the championship, but Dyne is as consistent as he’s ever been.
Photo credit: Louis Yio