Productive Friday Practice and Qualifying for Dempsey Racing's ALMS P2 Team at Lime Rock Park with Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 6, 2012) – Dempsey Racing, and lead team drivers Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster, will start ninth overall and fourth in the ALMS P2 class in tomorrow’s American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park where Dempsey and Foster will make their second series start in the No. 27 GNC Beverages/Trina Solar/Motegi Racing/Dempsey Racing Lola-Judd.
The American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix is a two-hour, 45-minute race scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT tomorrow, Saturday, July 7, on the 1.5-mile, 10-turn Lime Rock Park circuit. Live coverage is available Saturday starting at 2:45 p.m. EDT/11:45 a.m. PDT on ESPN3, and ESPN2 will air the race in same-day “virtual live” coverage at 4 p.m. EDT/1 p.m. PDT.
Foster’s qualifying lap of 47.992 (110.568) on the tight but quick road course was well within one second of the second and third place P2 qualifiers and good enough for the overall top-10 starting berth. The encouraging qualifying run capped a productive day of on-track practice for Dempsey and Foster who debuted the new Dempsey Racing P2 effort one race ago in mid-May at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"It's great to back in the prototype again, especially here at Lime Rock,” Dempsey said. “It's a really fast track and the P2 has so much more grip and down force. The speeds are significantly greater at mid-corner, we went out with all the other classes, and it's going to be very challenging working around the slower cars. It's a very fast lap and very warm inside. We are going to look at the data and build on what we know.”
The Dempsey Racing team made some gains Friday despite missing a good bit of track time diagnosing some electrical problems. The crew rallied to resolve the issues just before qualifying and the competitive time Foster posted was more than anyone on the team expected considering the lack of laps on the books.
“Considering the minimal track time we have had with the car, and just a few short test sessions, honestly it was a better result than we expected,” Foster said. “On the lap following what turned out to be my qualifier I had an even better run going but I just had a slight bobble, over cooked it a little, that cost me a third-of-a-second advantage, but we really can’t complain. The car is good and we are in good shape for the race. We are still learning but can see where we need to be and it feels close.”
Friday practice at Lime Rock gave Dempsey and Foster some much needed time behind the wheel of the Lola-Judd.
"The first session went well, we both got some seat time and learned a lot,” Foster said. “We were working on chassis balance as well as resetting our thinking from the GT car that we've been driving. With the significant increase in down force and grip the turn-in is quicker, the car stops really fast, and mid-corner speeds are significantly higher. The first part of the session was with the GT cars and the traffic around here is insane but really fun."
Friday’s busy schedule for Dempsey, Foster and the Dempsey Racing team began with an 8 a.m. photo shoot where the No. 27 was unveiled in its first full livery after running its debut race at Mazda Raceway with only the team partner logos on the Lola-Judd’s unadorned carbon-fiber skin.
“The new paint and livery look fantastic, lots of comments already,” Dempsey said.
Race-day Saturday for the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park begins with a 30-minute warm-up at 10 a.m. EDT. The green flag is scheduled to drop at 3:05 p.m. EDT later that day for the featured two-hour, 45-minute race.
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 Dempsey Racing’s Partners: Dempsey Racing (www.dempseyracing.net) is an official Mazda (www.mazdausa.com) racing team and has competed exclusively in Mazda RX-8 GTs in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series since 2007. A primary partner for the Mazda program is VISIT FLORIDA (www.VISITFLORIDA.com), the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, and its www.ShareaLittleSunshine.org and www.FishingCapital.com promotional programs, and the television show Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller. Additional Dempsey Racing partners include Trina Solar (www.trinasolar.com), a leading manufacturer of high-quality solar photovoltaic (PV) modules that deliver reliable, environmentally-friendly power to homes and businesses and value to customers, and Specialized Bicycle Components (www.specialized.com), a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of technically advanced bicycles and related components. New partners for 2012 include GNC Beverages (www.drinkGNC.com), built upon the 75 years of nutrition innovation from the leader in sports nutrition, Motegi Racing (www.motegiracing.com), a leading manufacturer of competition and high-performance tuning wheels designed and engineered for performance, Racing Electronics (www.racingelectronics.com), the number one source for professional race communications worldwide, and Silicon Tech Racing (www.silicontechracing.com) which provides high-tech corporations a dedicated marketing platform through sports car road racing focused on technology executives.