After serving for more than eight years at the National Director for 944 Spec, Dan Piña has announced he is stepping down. NASA Southeast 944 Spec racer Michael Dearstyne has been named as the new National Director for the series.

Piña was instrumental in sourcing OEM-style replacement pistons from CP Carillo, which allowed competitors to overbore engines so they can continue racing in the series. Piña also paved the way for use of steel LA Sleeves in the Alusil blocks used in the Porsche 944, another measure devised to preserve the viability of 944 Spec. He also worked with vendors to offer NASA competitors special discounts on short shifters, front valance panels and aftermarket fuel rails to prevent engine fires.

Dan Piña

“Michael has upgraded, sold and built at least 20 cars for the class nationally. Mike has served as my stand-in at the previous nationals, and is already familiar with the procedures involved,” Piña said. “Mike has even more technical knowledge of these cars than I do, and I’ve been keeping Mike in the loop of all the rule changes, vendor relationships, etc. over the past few years.”

A long time 944 Spec competitor, Dearstyne is famous, or infamous, for changing his transaxle Saturday night at the 2019 NASA Championships at Mid-Ohio. Starting from last on grid, Dearstyne worked his way forward through the field during the full 45-minute race, and finished first to take the GTS1 Championship.

“I have worked with the prior National Director, Dan Piña, for the last eight years on both the rules package as well as on strategies for increasing car counts,” Dearsytne said. “I had the opportunity to oversee the last two National races, therefore, I really look forward to taking on this role full-time.”

Images courtesy of Brett Becker and Jeremy Bryner

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