Dempsey, Foster and Cameron in Dempsey Racing's No. 27 Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing Lola-Judd P2 at Petit Le Mans
BRASELTON, Ga. (October 18, 2012) – Dempsey Racing will close the curtain on its biggest year of competition operations to date this Saturday at Road Atlanta where team owner and driver Patrick Dempsey will co-drive the No. 27 Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing Lola-Judd with Joe Foster and Dane Cameron in the season-ending American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda.
Dempsey Racing’s Petit debut will be the fifth race for the team’s new ALMS P2 program that was campaigned in a partial development season this year. Dempsey and Foster co-drove the No. 27 to P2-class podium finishes in races earlier this season in the Northeast Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park (third) and Road America Road Race Showcase (second). Dempsey and Foster debuted the Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing P2 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May and also competed in this season’s race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
“To be at this track at Petit Le Mans, here at Road Atlanta, it has been a long road,” Dempsey said. “It has been almost 10 years to the day when I first really fell in love with this event, and we have been working that long to get here. So, it is just incredible to finally have that goal realized and hopefully we will have a good run at it on Saturday.”
One of Dempsey’s earliest experiences in racing was at Road Atlanta at the Panoz Racing School in 2003 where Foster was among his instructors.
“It’s great to get back in the car,” said Dempsey, who most recently raced in the Trofeo Maserati World Series in September at Sonoma. “It is the first time that I have raced here at Road Atlanta since the Panoz Racing School days, so it has been a good eight years or more. The first session was really getting used to the track again, certainly through Turns 1, 2 and 3 and through the esses, just visually where to go. I had a really good time though, really nice to get back here.”
Dempsey joined his teammates for the first time this weekend on Wednesday at Road Atlanta but Foster and Cameron were at the wheel of the Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing machine as early as Monday on the 2.54-mile, 12-turn road course. All three drivers were at the wheel of the No. 27 again on Thursday for both the morning and afternoon practice sessions.
“We have had a very crazy year in many ways, adapting to so many changes, and everybody knows it would be a huge thing for the team to just get on the podium here,” Foster said. “That’s our goal, this is our home race, Patrick and I met at the Panoz School here and I have been coming here for years. I have done a million miles around here but never in a car this nice.”
Cameron is making his second start with the Dempsey Racing P2 program after co-driving with Dempsey and Foster at Mid-Ohio and playing a key role in the initial testing and development of the team’s Lola-Judd earlier this year.
“I am relatively close on pace to Dane, which is good, and it is great to have him back in the car as well,” Foster said. “It’s also good to get Patrick back in the car for the first time in a month or so. Really, this is another building event for next year. We are working on what our program is for next year, we want to get the best result that we can, and it would be a big catharsis for all of us right now to get this thing on the podium.”
Cameron’s time of 1:14.367 (122.958 mph) in Wednesday practice has been the quickest lap for the No. 27 so far this week and ranked third fastest in P2 in that session.
“For all of us, it is still very much a learning process, understanding this car and making progress on what Joe showed on Monday,” Cameron said. “Patrick has a lot of experience here in different cars, and I think that helped him get acclimated today. Everything is building toward 2013 and 2014, so everything for them is all about gaining experience, learning the car, understanding how to drive the car, learning how to get through traffic, so I am happy to be invited back and come and help out. I am just here to do my part and help them get up to speed and pass on as much knowledge and experience as I can from driving these types of cars in this type of racing.”
Dempsey Racing is also fielding the PC-class Silicon Tech Racing No. 25 STANDD/Racer’s Roast Oreca FLM09 this weekend at Petit Le Mans. The PC car has been driven all season by Henri Richard and Duncan Ende who will be joined this weekend by Ryan Lewis.
- All three Dempsey Racing drivers are making their P2 class debuts at Road Atlanta while Dempsey and Cameron are set for their Petit Le Mans debuts although Cameron nearly made the show each of the last two years. “I have never driven a P2 car around Road Atlanta before,” Cameron said. “The last two years I drove in the PC class but was never able to start the race because of various things. I tested but didn’t have a seat available in the race in 2010 and last year we were an over entry, even qualified on the pole, but we didn’t get to start. I will actually get to start the race this time, unlike the last two years when it has been a bit of a tease.”
- Like Foster, Cameron can now claim Road Atlanta as his home track after relocating to the premier Georgia city two years ago. “Road Atlanta is always a place that I have enjoyed and it is even more special now that I live 15 minutes down the road from here,” Cameron said. “Hopefully some friends and family will come out on race day. The schedule is very unique, it definitely feels like my home track, I can wake up in my own bed, have breakfast in my house, go the gym and then come to the race track in the afternoon and drive the P2 car. It is kind of an interesting feeling, it doesn’t happen too much, and then I can go home.”
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.