Dempsey Racing Encouraged By Strong Showing in ALMS P2 Debut with New Lola-Judd at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
MONTEREY, Calif. (May 12, 2012) – Dempsey Racing and team drivers Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Jonny Cocker passed their ALMS P2 debut “test race” with flying colors and made it to the finish of Saturday’s American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in the No. 27 Trina Solar/GNC Beverages/Motegi Racing/Dempsey Racing Lola-Judd.
The trio split the six-hour endurance race into three equal parts with team owner and lead driver Dempsey pulling the middle stint between starting-driver Foster and Cocker who was slated to take the Lola-Judd to the finish.
Dempsey Racing entered Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca only after an encouraging shakedown run last week at Miller Motorsports Park and considered today’s six-hour race an extension of that successful test. The team took delivery of the new Lola B12-80 Coupe just two weeks ago and was in position for a podium finish Saturday despite adhering to its test-oriented race strategy. Cocker was in third place and turning competitive laps only to have the Lola suffer a broken half shaft one hour from the finish.
“A half shaft broke, unfortunately, but the guys fixed it and we got back out there and kept it on track to the finish,” Dempsey said. “For where we were with a new car, you really couldn’t ask for a better experience. It’s just unfortunate we had that break but I was proud of the team. I thought the team did a phenomenal job; the guys did a very, very good job in just two weeks. You couldn’t ask for anything more with them, the real credit goes to the team and certainly all of the mechanics. They got us to this race, kept us in it, and we can all be proud of finishing a six-hour endurance race in our very first start.”
Dempsey also took a big step in getting more familiar and comfortable with the new Lola-Judd P2 car, his first racing experience in a prototype.
“My confidence is much, much better,” Dempsey said. “I drove close to two hours, and did very well in traffic I felt. I still have to work on pace, but I drove as fast as I did all weekend consistently. I felt really good in the car, I learned a lot, a lot to build on certainly, and I really enjoy the car.”
The Mazda Raceway debut was the first event in a long-term ALMS and international sports car racing program for Dempsey Racing that includes a partial schedule of races this year, fulltime competition in future seasons and a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans as soon as 2013.
About Dempsey Racing: A fulltime and year-round enterprise, Dempsey Racing (www.dempseyracing.net) is a professional sports car auto racing team based in the greater Atlanta area in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Owned by actor/driver Patrick Dempsey, the team races in support of the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing (www.dempseycenter.org) in Dempsey’s hometown of Lewiston, Maine, and the Team Seattle Guild (www.teamseattle.com) to benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital Heart Center (www.seattlechildrens.org).
About Trina Solar: Trina Solar is a leading manufacturer of high-quality solar photovoltaic (PV) modules that deliver reliable, environmentally-friendly power to homes and businesses and value to customers through a variety of end-user applications worldwide. For the North American market, Trina Solar has established its regional headquarters in San Jose, California. Learn more at www.trinasolar.com.
About GNC Beverages: GNC Beverages are built upon the 75 years of nutrition innovation from the leader in sports nutrition. GNC Beverages represent three beverage categories: sports nutrition, nutritional waters and protein nutrition. Learn more at .
About Motegi Racing: Through technical partnerships with leading professional racing teams, Motegi Racing Competition and High Performance Tuning wheels are designed and engineered for performance. Motegi Racing is owned by Wheel Pros, one of the largest suppliers of branded custom wheels, performance tires and related accessories for cars, SUVs and light trucks. Learn more at www.motegiracing.com.
Additional Dempsey Racing Partners: Dempsey Racing is an official Mazda (www.mazdausa.com) racing team and has competed exclusively in Mazda RX-8 GTs since 2007. Team partners include VISIT FLORIDA (www.VISITFLORIDA.com), the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, its ShareaLittleSunshine.org and FishingCapital.com promotional programs, and the television show Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller. Dempsey Racing is also supported by Specialized Bicycle Components (www.specialized.com), a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of technically advanced bicycles and related components. A new partner for 2012 is Silicon Tech Racing (www.silicontechracing.com) which provides high-tech corporations an opportunity to leverage exciting road racing events with a dedicated marketing platform focused on technology executives interested in informal and intimate insight into the sport.