May 31 2014

Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT Americas Survive Detroit Street Fight

DETROIT (May 31, 2014) – Dempsey Racing’s pair of Porsche 911 GT Americas survived a typical Detroit street fight on the road course at Belle Isle Saturday to make it to the finish in a challenging 100-minute IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship sprint race.

Debuting Dempsey Racing drivers Madison Snow and Jan Heylen finished ninth in the No. 58 Porsche 911 GT America, a solid result considering the team was assessed a late-race drive-through penalty for hitting a tire during a pit stop.

“Obviously it is nothing to be happy about,” said Heylen, who couldn’t see the tire he hit in the crowded Detroit pit lane. “We put in one of the fastest laps of the race, we had a fast car and we finished ninth or something. We are here to try and win a championship and this was not a good race for the championship. It is better to have a bad day and be fast than have a bad day and be slow but that is not what we are here for. We just need to do better at the next race.”

Heylen did see a positive in the first weekend of a new collaboration between Dempsey Racing and Wright Motorsports.

“As far as the two teams coming together and all of that, that has been a really good experience,” Heylen said. “Going forward, I am really looking forward to the next test and race because this kind of came together at the last minute. Going to the next event things will be much, much better prepared and I am really looking forward to that.”

Brett Sandberg also made his Dempsey Racing debut in Detroit, filling in for team owner and driver Patrick Dempsey who is testing in France for the 24 Hours of Le Mans tomorrow. Sandberg raced to as high as sixth in the No. 27 Porsche 911 GT America and handed the car off to teammate and Dempsey Racing regular Andrew Davis in great shape.

“Brett did a superb job at the start of the race,” Davis said. “Very smart, he was stuck in some traffic behind slower cars, but remained patient and calculated as he got by. He took advantage of a few moves that he made and a few people running into each other and got all the way up to sixth. He brought me the car for our scheduled pit stop in great position.”

All of the leaders pitted under a caution period 30 minutes into the race and most teams made driver changes at the time. Davis took over the No. 27 but never had the chance to have a run as good as Sandberg’s.

“On my out lap I started getting battery voltage warnings,” Davis said. “We had a diode fail in the battery system so I lost all communication, all power steering, shifting ability, even engine power, all of that. On the restart when I should have been hot on it and moving up I was coasting into the pit lane.”

The Dempsey team quickly got the No. 27 back in the race where Davis ran just in front of and on pace with the lead pack. It was among the team’s top stints of the year but came after the entry was several laps down, eventually finishing 17th.

“Definitely a difficult day for the Dempsey Racing team,” Davis said. “We have certainly proved time and time again this year and in the past that the team doesn’t give up and tries really hard. It’s tough to continue to have these events where we don’t get the results. I hate it for the guys as hard as they work. We definitely need to turn it around, get to running for those positions on track, and we know we can do it.”

Like Heylen, Davis did see a silver lining in the new Dempsey Racing and Wright Motorsports collaboration.

“Still, lots of great things from the weekend’” Davis said. “Good feelings on the team, hard work by everybody, and we really appreciate the Wright Motorsports guys coming in and working hard in giving us a good car.”

Next up for Dempsey Racing is tomorrow’s 24 Hours of Le Mans Test at Circuit de la Sarthe in preparation for the classic French race, June 14 – 15. The #TeamAmerica trio of Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long will again run No. 77 on their new Type 991-based Dempsey Racing-Proton Porsche 911 RSR that has been built to GTE-AM regulations. They will take their first laps in the Porsche on Sunday but have been in France for a full schedule of media and promotional appearances the last two days.

Dempsey Racing’s IMSA TUDOR United SportsCar Championship schedule continues with the Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International, June 27 – 29. The six-hour endurance race can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 11 a.m. EDT.

About Dempsey Racing: Dempsey Racing is a year-round professional motorsports business based in the greater Atlanta area. The organization has fielded multiple teams in several different racing series throughout North America for nearly a decade and was the organizational and management entity behind the team’s successful campaign at Le Mans with Porsche in 2013. Owned by Patrick Dempsey and operated on a daily basis by Joe Foster and Team Manager Greg Cates, Dempsey Racing also employs year-round team of administrative and technical personnel that includes several motorsports career professionals.

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