iRacing prodigy Dayne Warren on facing his biggest challenge yet.Dayne Warren is an exceptional talent in Supercars. Being just 20 years old, he has already claimed several titles in various Supercars competitions. This year, he is looking for new challenges as one of 20 online qualifiers for the 2020 Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup.
OverTake talked to the Australian about his dedication to Supercars, his inspirations in racing and his goals in esports racing.
OverTake: Hi Dayne, thank you very much for joining! What was the last game you played before this interview?
Dayne: Thanks for having me, guys! The last game I played was without a doubt iRacing, but I have been dipping into some other games recently as a bit of time off from iRacing too.
You’re a three-time iRacing V8 Supercars champion and also a two-time champion in the Oceanic Sim Racing V8 Supercars Series. What makes Supercars so unique and why do you like to drive them?
The Supercars’ biggest point of attraction for me and a lot of others is the challenge of driving them on the limit. They’re naturally a handful as a result of being locked diff, pretty heavy and not overly aero dependant when compared to a lot of other classes or series at the moment. So it really comes down to driver input and setup to get 100% out of the car.
What is your favorite car and track to drive it on?
As an Australian, I’m obliged to say any car and Bathurst is probably an ideal combination, but just recently my favorite has actually been the Supercars at Road Atlanta. The car didn’t really suit the track, but for me it was just heaps of fun doing lap after lap.
You’re from Australia where you raced in a lot of competitions already. How big is the Australian esports racing scene and what makes it special?
I’d say the Australian esports scene is only set to get bigger as the years go by. I’ve competed in a few externally hosted competitions like VSR Showdown and most notably the Supercars Eseries, and no doubt will these pave the way for bigger and better competitions in the future.
Do you have a role model in (esports) racing who inspires you?
Not anyone in particular I’d say, but I certainly respect the front running guys like [Joshua] Rogers and [Sebastian] Job for just how quick they can be on a consistent basis without making mistakes. It’s definitely something I still need to work on myself, so it’s good to have those guys ahead to push toward.
Besides Supercars, you’re also taking on new challenges: Over 5,000 people tried to qualify for the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup. You were one of only 20 new drivers to join the competition. How hard was it for you to qualify and how much effort did you put into it?
Qualifying was both difficult but maybe not as difficult as it could’ve been in honesty. In the early stages I didn’t actually have the iRating to make first or even second split in some cases, so a lot of our point results came from lower splits which arguably aren’t as competitive as top split.
Regardless, though, it was a hard task, it required heaps of effort due to each round being only a week apart and getting consistent wins and podium results. Luckily, we made it work and now find ourselves in the most competitive series in sim racing.
You had a great start into the Supercup and even led the competition after Round 2. Did you expect to be this successful against so many big names like Max Benecke, Sebastian Job or Max Verstappen?
I never expected to be leading the championship, especially in my pro series debut against all of these big names. It was a bit of a shock which probably hurt me going into Round 3 in which we caused a few issues and sadly lost it. But the pace has been really good so far, so I’d like to think once we sort a few of our own issues out, we’ll be back up there in the championship.
How important is your team in a competition like this?
A lot of our benchmarking and set development is all teamwork, so without any of that I’d say it’s very difficult to be competitive in a series like Supercup. Having multiple guys trying different things all the time in setup or on track just takes a bit of the stress out of the upcoming round which is always a good thing.
What are your goals in the Porsche TAG Heuer Esports Supercup and for the next years in general?
For this year’s Supercup, I’d like to see out the championship in the top 5 at least. I think it’s doable, but I have a lot to improve on till that can happen, so some hard work will be in order for sure.
For the coming years, I’d say it’s a pretty big unknown and will be based on whatever happens by the end of this year. Obviously the major goal would be to one year win a world championship, but for the most part it’s a waiting game to see whatever happens next for us.
Make sure to follow Dayne Warren on Twitter!