Interview by David Haueter (Photos by David Haueter and courtesy Grand Am, Synergy Racing)
Founded in 1979, Dinan is most well known for their high performance BMW products and have established themselves as North America's premiere BMW tuner. Unlike many "tuners" that simply resell parts made by aftermarket suppliers, Dinan engineers and manufacturers many of their own parts. Their attention to detail, engineering and performance backed by a warranty that matches the factory has made them the only North American BMW tuner that has their products distributed through select BMW dealerships (similar to the relationship AC Schnitzer and Alpina have with BMW in Germany). Steve Dinan also has a passion for racing, which has led to his involvement in Grand Am. He has been building the engines for G & W Motorsport (now Synergy Racing) since Daytona Prototypes debut season in 2003, a relationship which continues through this year. Dinan also picked up Finlay (Ten) Motorsports as a client for 2004, building both their Daytona Prototype engine and the powerplant for their Grand Am Cup M3. We talked with Steve Dinan about Grand Am, his BMW engine and the future of the series.
How did you first get involved in building engines for Daytona Prototype?
I've know Price Cobb for a long time, and he had been impressed by the straight-line speed of the BMW 540i I raced in World Challenge. He knew that I had been building V8 engines for years, so he called me and asked if I was interested in building the engines for the G & W Motorsport (now Synergy Racing) DP. I read the rules and talked with Grand Am on the phone, and they were very serious about sticking to the rules. I have to give them an A - they've been doing a good job, and that's why the series is growing so well. That's not to say more money won't win. Ganassi won last year and they also outspent everybody, but in Grand Am, the impact of that money is smaller than it would be in other series.