May 30 2014

Dempsey Racing Doubles Up in Detroit and Le Mans This Weekend

DETROIT (May 30, 2014) – Dempsey Racing is doubling up in more ways than one this weekend with a pair of Porsche 911 GT Americas in the IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship in Detroit and Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long in the Dempsey Racing-Proton Porsche 911 RSR for 24 Hours of Le Mans testing on Sunday.

Saturday’s race in Detroit on Belle Isle is the fourth TUDOR Championship GT Daytona (GTD) round of the season and starts at 12:10 p.m. EDT. The 100-minute sprint race, which also includes the TUDOR Championship Prototype class, can be seen in virtual live coverage – the telecast will begin before the race is over – on FOX Sports 1 at 1:30 p.m. EDT/10:30 a.m. PDT. Live coverage can be heard on MRN Radio and leading Detroit sports radio network WDFN-AM 1130 starting at Noon.

Davis is Dempsey’s full-season teammate and shares the No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America this weekend with debuting team driver Brett Sandberg, who is filling in for Dempsey.

The Dempsey team has also returned to a two-Porsche operation this weekend with Madison Snow and Jan Heylen bringing their No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America and more to the Dempsey stable.

Of the four team drivers in Detroit, only Davis has previous experience on the 2.360-mile, 11-turn Belle Isle street circuit.

"The last time I ran here was 2012 and the configuration was different,” Davis said. “Basically Turns 2 through 6 have been changed and I like it a lot better. It now has a long straight down to Turn 3 with an extra brake zone, but it always helps to have been here before. I know the surface and remember some of the bumps. It’s a fun track, it takes a lot of your attention any time you are driving on a street circuit, but it is a blast to drive.”

Sandberg is an experienced sports car road racing driver who knows his way around a street course.

“I have done quite a bit of street-track driving,” Sandberg said. “St. Petersburg, Toronto, Long Beach, Baltimore to name some, so I have quite a bit of street course experience, but this is my first time here at Detroit. The track is cool. It is a fast, fun track, I have a good feel for it now after a few laps under my belt in the car and on the track. I am excited to try to push the limits of the car and get a good sense of it.”

Snow and Heylen finished third in GTD in the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona with Wright Motorsports and brought team principal John Wright and technical director Bobby Viglione with them to Dempsey Racing.

“Both of our teams were looking to get together and it’s a great deal for both of us,” Snow said. “A two-car team is much better than a single-car team so we brought John Wright and Bobby with us, our engineer, and they are working on both cars. They are bringing the entire team up and we will be able to work together and get faster.”

A two-car program is what Heylen believes may get them to the top step of the victory-lane podium. He was the fourth fastest Porsche in Friday qualifying and the No. 58 will start the race from the ninth grid position. The No. 27 will grid on the outside of row eight after qualifying 16th.

“I think it is what we were missing,” Heylen said. “We have had very good pace all year, and good cars thanks to John, Bobby and the team, but we have missed a little bit of structure. With both groups coming together here hopefully that will be the perfect mix.”

Race-day Saturday in Detroit starts with a 20-minute warm-up at 8 a.m. before the green flag drops for the featured race at 12:10 p.m.

The #TeamAmerica trio of Dempsey, Foster and Long will again run No. 77 on their new Type 991-based Dempsey Racing-Proton Porsche 911 RSR built to GTE-AM regulations. They will take their first laps in the Porsche in Sunday’s official test on Circuit de la Sarthe but are already in France for a full schedule of media and promotional appearances.

Last year at Le Mans, Dempsey and Foster joined Long for their best result in two appearances in the classic day-long race in France. The team led the GTE-AM class – in which at least one driver per car must be a sportsman competitor – several times throughout the race and battled for the race win and a podium before finishing fourth.

 

 

 

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