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Jul 05, 2013 - 05:08 PM
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Patrick Dempsey And Dempsey Del Piero Racing Bring Le Mans Momentum To Lime Rock
Posted by: newsla on Jul 05, 2013 - 05:03 PM
American Le Mans Series News
Patrick Dempsey And Dempsey Del Piero Racing Bring Le Mans Momentum To Lime Rock


Bringing the momentum of a fourth-place class finish in the 90th Anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans less than two weeks ago to the site of his team’s first American Le Mans Series (ALMS) podium, Patrick Dempsey and Dempsey Del Piero Racing return to ALMS GTC competition in the No. 27 Tully’s Coffee Porsche 911 GT3 this weekend with co-driver Andy Lally in the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park, July 5 – 6.

 

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In last year’s Northeast Grand Prix, Dempsey and longtime co-driver and motorsports business partner Joe Foster earned their first ALMS podium, and the first for the Dempsey Racing team, with a third-place P2-class showing in a Lola-Judd. The team has switched to Porsche and the GTC division this year where Dempsey and Lally are on the brink of their first ALMS victory as teammates after a close second-place finish one race ago in mid-May at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

More recently, Dempsey, Foster and Porsche factory driver Patrick Long made headlines with their strong 24 Hours of Le Mans GTE-AM class result, June 22 – 23, in the No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR entered by Dempsey Del Piero Racing with Proton Competition. Dempsey and company led several times during the race and never dropped lower than the top-five despite mixed weather conditions and a world-class GTE-AM field.

The only All-American driver team in the race, the Dempsey Le Mans effort developed a strong following back home as #TeamAmerica while the strong showing combined with Dempsey’s celebrity to generate news coverage around the world. Dempsey and Long also joined fourth-place GTE-PRO class finishers Jan Magnussen and Antonio Garcia from Corvette Racing in posting the highest finish for ALMS regulars in this year’s Le Mans race.

“We are still feeling the buzz and emotional high from Le Mans and couldn’t think of a better place than Lime Rock to keep it all going,” Dempsey said. “We scored our first podium here last year in the P2 car and came so close to the GTC win in this year’s last race at Laguna in the Porsche. We also legitimately had a shot at the podium at Le Mans and it is just a great feeling with the team to know that we have a chance for success every time we take the green flag.”

Dempsey and Foster followed up last year’s breakout podium at Lime Rock with a second-place P2 finish later that summer at Road America. The switch was made to Porsche and GTC this season and Dempsey and Lally battled to the finish at Laguna Seca before a last lap pass dropped the No. 27 from the lead to a runner-up result at the flag.

“We came so close in our last race together,” Lally said. “We dominated the last part of Laguna Seca and led so many laps but had something really crazy happen at the final green/checker restart after having a pretty commanding lead. We’re coming off the team’s best finish in ALMS and looking forward to getting one step higher at Lime Rock and taking the win.”

As hard as the Laguna runner-up result was to take after coming so close to victory, Dempsey himself has finally stepped into that hard-to-crack realm of believing he can compete for a podium finish each and every time he straps into his Porsche.

“I believe now that when I show up to a race that I am capable of delivering what I need to do to put the team in a position for a podium potentially,” Dempsey said. “It is the first time that I have felt that way. I still have a lot of work to do but that just comes with experience.”

Round four of this year’s 10-race ALMS schedule, the Northeast Grand Prix airs live on ESPN2 this Saturday, July 6, at 3 p.m. EDT/12 p.m. PDT. Simultaneous live streaming on ESPN3 begins with an online pre-race show at 2:45 p.m. EDT/11:45 a.m. PDT.

A two-day event, the Northeast Grand Prix begins with practice today before GTC qualifying later this afternoon at 4:35 p.m. EDT. Qualifying for all ALMS classes can be viewed online at ESPN3 beginning at 4:25 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 5. Race-day Saturday begins with a 25 minute warm-up at 9:55 p.m. EDT before that afternoon’s featured American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at 3 p.m. EDT.

Noteworthy

- Dempsey’s successful return to Le Mans is being featured in a four-part miniseries premiering Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on the Velocity network. “Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans” has been over two years in the making, is affiliated with Discovery, and will be distributed internationally. The documentary focuses on Dempsey taking his place alongside other iconic Hollywood race car drivers like Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and James Garner as well as the team’s tireless efforts on and off the track in preparing for the return to Le Mans. Footage from last year’s podium showing at Lime Rock Park is expected to be included in one for the early episodes.

- Dempsey Del Piero Racing’s sister No. 10 Tully’s Coffee Porsche 911 GT3 will not compete this weekend at Lime Rock Park or at the upcoming Mobil 1 Grand Prix of Mosport in two weeks. No. 10 lead driver and Dempsey Del Piero Racing team principal Michael Avenatti selflessly gave up his seat at Le Mans to Long when off-track business commitments emerged in the weeks leading up to the race. Those same business demands will keep Avenatti, and co-driver Andrew Davis, on the sidelines for July but both drivers and the No. 10 team plan to return to ALMS competition later this summer.

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