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Jul 01, 2014 - 06:15 AM
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Dempsey, Davis And Foster Earn Season-Best Fourth In No 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America In Watkins Glen Thriller
Posted by: newsla on Jul 01, 2014 - 06:14 AM
USCR News
Dempsey, Davis And Foster Earn Season-Best Fourth In No 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America In Watkins Glen Thriller


Following a hard-fought afternoon during Sunday’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen, Dempsey Racing drivers Patrick Dempsey, Andrew Davis, and Joe Foster finished a season-best fourth in the GT Daytona (GTD) class in the No. 27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America.

 

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“It was a great run today, good to show how competitive the team truly is,” said team owner and driver Dempsey. “We had a car that was able to run with the front runners all race and it’s great to finally have a top-five to show for it. We’ve definitely turned a corner in the performance of the car and the consistency of the drivers. Everybody drove really well. Andrew drove his heart out. So did Joe.”

Race-opening and qualifying driver Davis started from the sixth row and immediately took to the field in front of him. He gained several spots during the opening laps and raced into the top-five by the first round of pit stops.

Dempsey took the reins just past the one-hour mark and set a series of consistent and improving lap times before handing the car to Foster for the middle stages of the race.

Foster, who nearly drove a triple stint in his only shift of the race, kept the No. 27 team within contention of the lead pack during his run, knowing that Davis would return for the closing leg of the race. Setting some strong times of his own, Foster mastered the traffic and large field with a veteran’s experience, running without error and handing the car back to Davis for the run to the finish.

“Everyone made great pit stops, everyone drove the wheels off it, and it’s a great team effort to finish ahead of where our pace was,” said Foster, who was making his first start in the No. 27 since Sebring in March. “Some of the other marques seem to show a very strong average over the course of a full green flag run in race trim, so it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes. Having all four classes out there, we were fortunate to be relatively unscathed, only making light contact a couple of times without major problems. It’s great to see the team make the progress we have, and Mosport will hopefully be even better.”

Advancing throughout every stage of the six-hour race, the team was up to third in the closing hours and poised to take its first podium in the brief history of the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.

A quick series of final pit stops throughout the pack put the No. 27 in fourth but just seven seconds behind the third-place competitor. Davis ripped off a quick series of fast laps in pursuit but a late race yellow would end any hope of a podium, with a quick one-lap dash to the end solidifying the team’s fourth-place position.

“We turned a bit of a corner here with our best result of the year,” Davis said. “Fourth place in a six-hour race is something we should be proud of. The guys did a great job in the pits, and we’re working forward, everything is in the right direction. We’ll build on this, and I think we’ll be in very good shape for Mosport.”

Meanwhile, Dempsey Racing’s sister No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America of drivers Madison Snow and Jan Heylen endured a difficult day, finishing a season-low 13th despite some strong race-day pace.

Struggling in qualifying, Heylen and the team rebounded to set the fastest time in the morning’s warm-up session, setting the stage for a strong turnaround in the race. After light contact early on with Prototype Challenge (PC) traffic, the team immediately fell back a lap for small repairs to the right side of the Porsche, but a harder blow came later when a suspension issue forced the team to go to the paddock for long term repairs. After nearly an hour of work, the No. 58 returned to the track with a freshly repaired car, setting a series of consistent laps before finally taking the checkered flag.

“We thought we found a good direction after a test at Indy last week,” Heylen said. “Unfortunately a few of the things didn’t work here, but as soon as we made a few changes after qualifying, we may have had one of the fastest cars here. We were first in the morning warmup, and our times were some of the top all day, so we know we have the pace. We’ll carry this on to Mosport and we’re excited for the opportunity.”

With only two weeks until the next event, Dempsey Racing will turn both Porsches around quickly for the upcoming Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix presented by Hawk Performance at Mosport Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Canada.

Practice begins Friday, July 11, with the race being broadcast Sunday, July 13, at 2 p.m. EDT live on FOX Sports 1.

Noteworthy

- Having a generally mistake-free race was key to Sunday’s success for Dempsey and his No. 27 teammates. “No major mistakes,” Dempsey said. “It was certainly physical, I mean the car got beat up a little bit, but that’s the nature of a series like this that has this many cars. You’re going to run into people. I think we had a good result.”

- Foster, a championship-winning driver who has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech, had an uncharacteristically non-technical explanation for the team’s success at Watkins Glen. The six-hour race saw more than one team sidelined after brain-fade mistakes. “I think the big thing for us is nothing incredibly stupid happened,” Foster said.

- Sunday could have been the No. 58’s race if not for the on-track issues. “We found some things set-up wise that were a huge improvement, but we could only do it to one car and we did it to the 58,” Foster said. “That’s why you saw the pace of the 58 improve so much. So, we kind of knew what we had pace-wise on the 27 in the race and, honestly, I think we maximized the result of the car. All the pits stops were good, everyone drove well and didn’t make any big mistakes. We were in the top three for the whole middle third of the race. Andrew got us there, we had the pit strategy and we stayed there. I did a double and we stayed there and in the end it was really just the serendipity of pace. We didn’t really honestly have a podium car but the team and the drivers made up the difference.”

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