Warren Dexter earned his first Pirelli GT4 America Silver class win at Sonoma Raceway driving alongside his brother Ryan for the family-owned Dexter Racing team and heads to Circuit of The Americas in a tie for the championship lead after one round.
This week in the Pirelli Paddock Pass, Dexter discusses the team’s switch to Aston Martin machinery for 2021, driving alongside his brother, the team’s plans for expansion, and more.
What were your first impressions of your first race weekend in the Aston Martin Vantage GT4?
“We felt good about the weekend. Our team for the most part had felt like we were missing a little something from our program as far as being able to get through cars late in the race agains the higher weight, higher horsepower cars.
“The Aston definitely seemed to play a big role. Last year it felt like late in the race Ryan passed three or four guys and that was a lot more difficult in the Ginetta. The Aston was a good step, a step that we needed, and I think hopefully from here on out we can keep the momentum rolling.”
In your partial seasons the past two years the pace has been strong, what was the significance of turning that pace into a breakthrough win?
“It felt really good! I feel like Ryan and I both probably ran our best SRO races that we’ve run so far. We just kept the mistakes almost to a zero. We happened to hit our pit stop perfect, came out side-by-side with the Murillo guys, and we were able to get the job done.
“The pieces just fell into place. Sonoma is really a drivers’ track and I feel like we have two very equally-paced drivers, which really helps when we are going against the Ams in the Pro-Am lineups.
“We struggle maybe a little bit more on the Pro side of the drivers, but when Ryan gets in with the Ams he’s really able to run towards the top of the field and really I feel like that’s where a lot of our success comes from.”
What is the experience like to share the car with your brother?
“It’s been good! Ryan and I drive very similarly. It probably has a lot to do with coming from Spec Miatas. We were both in a lot of the exact same cars growing up, so it’s been a good balance. The thing too is we also work together so we are able to work on the car throughout the week and on the weekends.
“We’re always building up that teamwork, scheming on how we need to be better at managing the tires or certain things that we need to improve throughout the whole racing organization.
“The fact that we get to spend so much time together, I feel like, is a real benefit for us.”
How does an upstart family owned team from Nebraska find such immediate success against the established teams of Pirelli GT4 America?
“That’s a great question! I don’t know what to tell you besides the fact that we probably aren’t able to do quite as much testing as most other teams but when the green flag drops everyone is the same.
“I feel like the fact that we’re a full family team, we have the ability to constantly work around and with each other, so that helps.
“And the similarity in driving styles between Ryan and me helps us to be able to set up a car with as few compromises as possible driver to driver. The brotherly competition helps too!
“As far as us being the little guys from Nebraska, I think we really thrive on trying to punch above our weight. I think that’s one of things that helps, too.
“We have good competition that’s proven, that’s been around the block a few more times than we have, but it doesn’t intimidate us. We’re ready for any competition.”
Are there plans to expand beyond the one entry?
“I believe we will have a second car for three or four Pirelli GT4 America races this year. That would be in a brand new Ginetta G56 GT4 with the LS-based engine up front and the transaxle in the back.
“Those are a few of the things that car needed. It needed a little more power and it needed a little more rear stability. With those two big changes to that platform, I think it will be a real weapon moving forward.
“We have our car controller and our crew chief [Matt Rivard and Ben Anderson] that will be the guys driving for us, so the plan is for them to be in the Ginetta as an Am pairing and for Ryan and I to be in the Aston in Silver.”