Considered one of the sport’s rising stars, Michael Dinan has been quickly making a name for himself in Pirelli GT4 America competition.
The Flying Lizard Motorsports driver earned three additional class wins, including his first overall victory, in the recent rounds at Sonoma Raceway, teaming with Robby Foley in the SprintX races, and currently leads the Sprint Am drivers’ standings.
Dinan is the topic of this week’s Pirelli Paddock Pass and discusses his recent success, switch to the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 and his ultimate racing goals.
How would you sum up your weekend at Sonoma Raceway?
“Sonoma was a great weekend for myself, Robby, and the whole Flying Lizard team. Jim Bell engineered a fantastic car for the weekend and I was happy to be able to deliver the results to show.
“Robby and I achieved our first overall win in a SprintX race, which I am super proud of.
“Having two wins and two 2nd place finishes over the weekend is a fantastic result by any measure. We earned solid points for the championship and are hoping to keep the momentum going in the next round of the championships at Road America.”
Where do you feel you’ve made the biggest gains in GT4 America this year?
“My biggest gain has been in my ability to better execute races. I have a stronger ability to focus, minimize my mistakes and improve my consistency over the course of a race.
“Robby and I spent a lot of time working together on iRacing in the off-season to improve this aspect of my driving.
“I also have become better at managing risk during races. While I always go for a gap when I see one, it is important to know when a move is going to result in contact and when to take care of the car. With multiple races over the weekend, mistakes can be costly.”
Do you feel that competing in both Sprint and SprintX has been beneficial to your success?
“Competing in both Sprint and SprintX has definitely been beneficial to my success. I am able to get more experience racing, with more starts and also more track time over the weekend.
“Both formats help me develop different aspects of my racecraft, which I plan to use in the future as I move into more endurance racing.
“It is also super helpful to have Robby as my co-driver. We are able to compare data, which allows him to get up to my speed. He’s super helpful with setting up the car, which is a skill I am still working on developing.
“Robby is an incredible mentor, and I feel lucky to have him guide me through these early years of my racing journey.”
How does the Aston Martin Vantage GT4 compare to other cars you’ve driven in the past?
“As far as GT4 cars go, the Aston Martin has been my favorite. The chassis dynamics suit my driving style very well, which gives me a really good feel for the car. It also helps me get up to speed at new tracks faster and have more confidence in races.”
Do you take any sense of pride driving for Flying Lizard Motorsports, which has such a successful and fan-friendly operation?
“It is an honor to drive for Flying Lizard. They are one of the most legendary teams in North America, and to be a small part of their historic success is definitely special. Everyone at the team and all the Flying Lizard fans are supportive, and motivate me to improve and deliver my best possible results.”
What are your career goals? Where would you like to be in two or three years from now?
“Currently, I am entering my senior year at the University of Pennsylvania. I am working on an automotive leasing startup, which I hope I can continue to build with my partners after I graduate.
“I want to continue pursuing my racing as competitively as possible, while still working a full-time job after I graduate college next year.
“I always push myself to do the best I can, and I want to be as competitive as possible in all of my racing endeavors.
“My longer-term racing goals are quite big, but I hope to compete in the top endurance racing categories around the world, and capture that elusive victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Daytona.”