Dempsey serious about winning
EARL FANNINPatrick Dempsey has played many memorable roles in his television and film career — he is best known as "Dr. McDreamy" in "Grey's Anatomy" — but he played one of his most impressive roles during the past year in improving his racing team.
Published: March 12, 2013
Published: March 12, 2013
Dempsey has played the negotiator, along with partner and co-driver Joe Foster, forging a partnership with Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero to form a new motorsports team — Dempsey/Del Piero Racing. They have already been invited to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans after switching to Porsche for the 2013 season.
He also has strengthened his team with the addition of Porsche standout drivers Andy Lally, Andrew Davis and Michael Avenatti. Dempsey/Del Piero will enter two Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars in the suddenly very competitive GTC class at the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida: Dempsey and Lally with pair with Bob Faieta in the No. 10 Porsche while Foster, Davis and Avennati will be in the No. 27 car.
"Our entire team is excited to work with Porsche, Michelin and the Proton Competition team to bring our 24 Hours of Le Mans goal to fruition," Dempsey said. "This news, combined with the opportunity I have to run with Andy Lally in the ALMS, gives our new program with Alessandro Del Piero added excitement for sure. It should be an exciting 2013 for all of us."
Last year was exciting for Dempsey and his team. Anchored by a combined four full-time efforts in the ALMS by Tequila Patrón, Grand-Am Rolex and the Grand-Am Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, Dempsey Racing was the only team in the world to field multiple full-season entries in both ALMS and Grand-Am in 2012. The team's 51 total race starts included five in the ALMS LMP2 division, where Dempsey and Foster co-drove to 2012 team-best podium finishes at Lime Rock Park (third) and Road America (second) in a Racing Lola-Judd P2.
In addition to the P2 effort, Dempsey competed in eight Grand-Am races, with a best finish of 10th at Daytona and Mid-Ohio.
From 2007 through 2011, Dempsey and Foster focused on Grand-Am, and in 2011 they finished third in GT at the Rolex 24 and led 28 laps.
The switch to Porsche and addition of experienced Porsche pilots like Lally and Davis makes Dempsey's team a force to be reckoned with this year.
Davis drove a Porsche 911 GT3 to the 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Series GT title. He also co-drove in GTC with Avenatti at last year's season-ending Petit Le Mans.
"I am extremely excited to be joining Dempsey/Del Piero Racing for the 2013 American Le Mans Series," Davis said. "Michael Avenatti gave me an amazing opportunity to drive with him at last year's Petit Le Mans, and I was instantly impressed with both his on-track performance and his passion for motorsports."
Avenatti is looking forward to the full GTC season, as well as his first Le Mans start.
"A great deal of off-season work and planning has gone into these recent announcements and I am heading into the 2013 racing season with more optimism and anticipation than ever before," Avenatti said.
"The high-profile nature of the team will keep us in the spotlight but, more importantly, with great drivers like Andrew and Bobby, we have a realistic chance to win every time we race."
Dempsey and Lally have been on-track competitors for years but will co-drive together for the first time in 2013.
"I think this will be a great fit," said Lally. "I know Patrick wants to win, he is very focused and driven. I always push my teammates and having raced against him in recent years, watching his progress, and seeing how fast he has become I am excited to get to Sebring and get this season started."
Foster has also been Dempsey's motorsports business partner for nearly a decade.
"We've got some opportunities this season to grow the team and we needed to shake things up a bit as regards who drives with whom," Foster said. "I'm super excited to have Andy and Andrew here to support Michael and Patrick. They are both proven winners and experts in the Porsche which will help our learning curve."