Dempsey Racing Double Podiums in American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix with Third Place in P2 and PC at Lime Rock
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 8, 2012) – Dempsey Racing scored a pair of podium finishes Saturday in the American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park where Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster finished third in the P2 class in the No. 27 GNC Beverages/Trina Solar/Motegi Racing/Dempsey Racing Lola-Judd as teammates Henri Richard and Duncan Ende snagged the final podium spot in the PC division in the Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing No. 25 STANDD/Racer’s Roast Oreca FLM09.
Both finishes were career-best team results for Dempsey Racing in its first season of competition in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron. The showing was the best to date for Richard and Ende, who are running a full season in PC this year, but the P2 podium for Dempsey and Foster came in just the team’s second race with the new Lola-Judd program that debuted at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in mid-May.
“Today was actually a very good result for the team, we got both cars on the podium, which is great for Duncan and Henri, and we are very happy for them and everybody on the Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing effort who have been working so hard all season,” Foster said. “As far as our 27 effort, Patrick drove a fantastic stint, lots of crazy traffic here, and my opening stint was good and a little bit longer than planned.”
After a top-10 overall and fourth-place P2 qualifying effort on Friday, Foster was slated to drive both the opening and race-ending shifts in the Drink GNC Lola while Dempsey was set for the race’s middle stint. As the race unfolded, however, the timing of some yellow-flag caution periods and other strategy factors saw Foster stay in the No. 27 longer than planned. The quick decision to make only one driver change put Dempsey in the car to the end of the race. He was at the wheel of the Lola for a Dempsey Racing podium finish for the first time in his nearly 10-year driving career.
“It’s good to get on the podium and have a finish here, which is really important for everybody on the team,” Dempsey said. “It is good to see the 25 Silicon Tech car do well too, we were both on the podium with third-place finishes, so we are happy with that. At the same time, our Mazda GT program was doing very well testing at Indy so a very positive weekend for the team.”
While Dempsey Racing’s ALMS prototypes were having a career weekend at Lime Rock Park, the team’s VISIT FLORIDA/Mazda RX-8 GT program was wrapping up a successful two-day GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with teammates Charles Espenlaub, Charlie Putman and Tom Long. The Dempsey Racing-prepared Miller Racing Mustang Boss 302R GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge team, and drivers Roger Miller and Ian James, also participated in the Indy Test.
Lime Rock, however, was where the racing action was on Saturday and Foster climbed to as high as third overall, and second in P2, in the GNC Beverages/Trina Solar/Motegi Racing Lola by the end of his extended stint.
“We actually got up to third overall in the opening stint and I was just trying to preserve the car for Patrick when we realized he was going to being taking it to the finish,” Foster said. “We still had a little bit of incidental contact, but the car basically stayed in one piece. It did mess up the toe a bit, a little bit of tiny damage, but in general the car ran fantastic and we are definitely proud of the team, proud of the work that they and Patrick have done.”
In addition to being longtime co-drivers on the track, Dempsey and Foster are Dempsey Racing motorsports business partners. Not long after the victory lane celebrations they looked at the successful Lime Rock weekend from an ownership perspective.
“We have a lot to work on to get up to pace,” Dempsey said. “Made a lot of mistakes in the pits and out on the track in traffic, but very, very happy with the result. A lot to build on, certainly, we overcame a lot of little problems in the car for a good result and we are ready to move on to the next step from here.”
Foster joins Dempsey in already looking to the near-term future and the immediate work ahead.
“It was an eventful day on track,” Foster said. “A big learning day for everybody, a good podium finish in only our second P2 race, but we know if we want to be competitive in the future we still have a long way to go, but we have got to start somewhere.”
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.
Photo: Rick Dole