I’ve you’ve ever been in the tech shed in the NASA NorCal Region or at any Championships event in the last seven years, you have found yourself under the watchful eye, gauge and caliper of Hans Dinse. He hasn’t missed a Championships event since 2011.
It’s difficult to come up with a duty that Dinse hasn’t fulfilled in racing. He raced Formula Vee in the 1970s, has been a crew chief for a United States Touring Car Challenge team, raced on a LeMons team, and worked his way up from a tech volunteer in the NorCal region to chief of tech for the region and now Championships events.
A resident of Elk Grove, Calif., a suburb of Sacramento, Dinse is a service adviser at Niello Mini in Sacramento. Married with two daughters and three granddaughters, Dinse grew up around cars, working in his father’s foreign car shop starting at 10 years old. He began his apprenticeship at a Volkswagen dealership in Napa, Calif., and he has done everything from sweeping floors and selling parts to working as a technician and a service manager at BMW dealership.
We caught up with Dinse to help racers make the most of their tech experience at this year’s Championships at COTA.
Q: We’ve got 400-plus cars coming to the Championships at COTA. How big a job is something like that for tech?
A: Huge! I’ve been working on assembling a team that will be able to handle the impound and inspections quickly and efficiently.
Q: How do you prepare for a Championships event?
A: I communicate with the different race directors prior to the event, getting their requests for compliance checks in order so we have an organized “game plan.” I check the functionality and availability of test equipment that may be required during the event. And I am getting the tech staff together.
Q: What was the most, uh, creative “tech infraction” you ever found?
A: A non-compliant roll cage (missing welds) that had been repaired and brought back for re-inspection. We found it had been “welded” with epoxy and painted over.
Q: How has the addition of more classes with Super Touring rules affected your duties as a tech inspector?
A: It takes a little more time in the impound area. It adds some additional checks for the new classes.
Q: Which class of cars is your favorite and why?
A: I enjoy the “U” classes. Big power, fast cars and we may only do safety checks because anything is legal!
Q: Any friendly words of advice for competitors coming to COTA?
A: Please have your weight/horsepower stickers placed on both sides of your car, know your minimum weight before you come to scales, and have a great time at COTA!