Crew

Kirt Wightman

Race Engineer Car 40

With over 25 years’ experience in the design, build and engineering of road racing sports cars, Kirt Wightman provides a wealth of practical engineering experience to the Dempsey Racing team.  Beginning as a fabricator and mechanic near his Tampa, Florida birthplace, Kirt eventually traveled the world as a mechanic in the late 80s “FIA Group C” era.  Returning to home ground, Kirt developed a reputation as a skilled chassis builder during the heyday of SCCA Trans Am competition and also as a tuner specialist for Lotus production-based racing cars.  Kirt is married to Trish and has two children Eric (17) and Mary Kate (14).

 
 

Scott Besst

Race Engineer Car 41

Beginning his professional motorsports career as a shock absorber specialist for Ohlins, Scott uses his extensive theoretical knowledge of vehicle dynamics to provide a strong analytical base for Dempsey Racing.  With a range of experience engineering Porsche and Ferrari GT2 competitors in the American Le Mans Series, Scott is a seasoned professional and an important contributor to the on-track success of Dempsey Racing.

 

Ross Needham

Lead Mechanic Car 40

Briton Ross Needham brings a range of world class experience to the #40 Mazda RX-8 GT as a member of both the Audi and Bentley Le Mans Prototype teams.  Prior to these efforts Ross had a stint with the championship winning Dick Barbour Porsche American Le Mans Series effort.  Ross is newly married to Jennifer.

Geoff Miller

Lead Mechanic Car 41

Helping bring the first Rolex Series win to Dempsey Racing with his #41 Mazda RX-8 GT, Geoff Miller brings an extensive resume to the team with Le Mans experience with Acemco Racing and additionally with Krohn Racing’s Daytona Prototype program.  Geoff builds and races “Pocket Bikes” in his spare time.

 

TJ Minarcine

Mechanic Car 40

Adding his own unique flair to the preparation of the #40 Mazda RX-8, T.J. has a degree in Computer Science and has even been a professional chef!  With the build of some beautiful BMW M3 race cars to the Kinetic Motorsport stable in his past, T.J. has become an integral part in the daily care and feeding of Patrick’s prized #40 Mazda.

 

Kevin Gainey

Mechanic Car 41

New to the 41 team for 2011, Kevin comes to Dempsey Racing as a graduate of the Lanier Tech Motorsports Vehicle Technology program and cutting his professional racing teeth with Warren Johnson’s championship winning NHRA Pro Stock drag racing team.

 

Ray Ray Quintero

Car 40 Fueler

As the original keeper of all things combustible for Dempsey Racing and Hyper Sport since our inception in 2003, Ray Ray is a fixture on the team and in the paddock.  As an advanced calculus teacher by day, the team always makes Ray Ray figure who owes what at dinner.

 

Christopher “Chad” Hooks

Car 41 Fueler/ Transportation Captain

As a part of the Dempsey Racing family for several years, Chad Hooks makes sure that all the team’s equipment is organized, loaded and down the road safely.  An experienced fueler in the Rolex Series, Chad also fuels the 41 car during race weekends.
 

 

Joe “The Gazelle” Cowart

Car 40 Tire Changer

A versatile member of the Dempsey Racing family since 2007 and an integral part of our 2008 Koni Challenge Championship winning team, Joe Cowart has done pretty much every job on the team and continues to support us as Chad’s partner in crime at the helm of the 2nd transporter on the road and a blindingly fast wheel changer on the 40 car during pit stops.

 

Stephen Priestman

Electronics/Data Acquisition

With formal electronics training in the British Army and Formula 1 data/electronics experience on his resume, Steve makes a huge contribution to the success of both Dempsey Racing cars on track.  Steve has been herding electrons at the highest levels of sports car racing for many years and is an avid mountain-bike racer.

 

Ryan Livingston

Fabrication

Blatantly poached from our local bicycle shop, Ryan is an artist in metal and dreams of building his own Trophy Truck someday.  As a part time engineering student also, Ryan works insane hours to make all the bits that the engineers can imagine while keeping his 4.0 GPA.  In his spare time he has built a road legal Jeep that could crawl over Grave Digger.

 

Joshua Varnado

Gearbox/Sub Assembly

A fixture since the “early days” of the Dempsey Racing Rolex Series program, Josh can and has done just about everything in the preparation process of a Mazda RX-8 GT.  Currently he runs the Sub Assembly department for the team and is in charge of gearboxes, drive shafts, uprights and steering racks for both Dempsey Racing cars.

   

Dean Goodrich

Bodywork/Parts

As a professional race mechanic for Dan Gurney’s All American Racers Toyota GTP and ChampCar programs in the 1990’s, Dean also adds brings a strong, experienced background to the Dempsey Racing shop.  Dean has also helped run the Spirit of Daytona DP car in Rolex Series competition.  Dean is known for his near photographic memory of the McMaster-Carr catalog.