GRC Lites Season Review: Austin Dyne
Austin Dyne was one of a handful of GRC Lites drivers to compete in multiple racing disciplines in 2013, running in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East alongside his rallycross aspirations. Despite the challenge of going back and forth between two very different cars, including running races on the same weekend more than once, Dyne still earned a solid sixth place finish (tied in points with Geoff Sykes) in the Lites championship.
The #99 Royal Purple car earned its way into four main events in 2013—the first two in New Hampshire and Bristol, and the last two in Charlotte and Las Vegas. Dyne’s best finish came at Bristol, where he earned a runner-up placement, and he drove exceptionally well at Vegas to secure a season-ending fourth place as well.
But despite building momentum with main event appearances in the first two events, the middle part of the GRC Lites season left Dyne with unfortunate results. A hard accident at X Games Los Angeles left Dyne in a disappointing 10th place, while finishing fourth in the last chance qualifier in Atlanta left him out of the main event for the second time in seven days.
The biggest challenge for Dyne came in Charlotte, when he had to practice his Lites car on Thursday, fly to New Hampshire to race his stock car on Friday and Saturday, and come back to Charlotte on Sunday to run the Lites final. To further make things difficult, the Charlotte track was comprised of mostly dirt, compared to some of the series’ more pavement-heavy tracks that might have aided the transition. Even still, Dyne put those challenges behind him, patiently progressed to the Lites final, and kept the car on the lead lap.
It’s hard not to be impressed with the way that Dyne attacked two championships with such significant differences. With most of his stock car races on paved ovals instead of the twisting, multi-surface courses that GRC features, and with little in common between the two types of cars (stock cars are rear-wheel drive, while Lites cars are all-wheel drive), taking on both challenges was certainly a difficult task.
Adaptability is a driver’s greatest asset in Global Rallycross, and Dyne certainly has that. At the age of 21, his career prospects remain bright as he works his way up the ranks. Expect him to push harder, drive faster, and show even more consistency in 2014.
Photo credit: Matthew Kalish (1); QBA/QNIGAN.com (2); Larry Chen (3)