Solid Sunday at Circuit de la Sarthe for Dempsey Del Piero Racing

Dempsey Del Piero Racing Porsche 911 GT3 RSR third fastest in GTE-AM in productive Le Mans Test with Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long

Solid Sunday at Circuit de la Sarthe for Dempsey Del Piero Racing

Le MANS, FRANCE (June 9, 2013) – Dempsey Del Piero Racing and All-American team drivers Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long put in a productive day of testing Sunday at Circuit de la Sarthe in preparation for the 90th annual 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 23 – 24, with recent team addition Long posting the third fastest GTE-AM lap of the test in the team’s No. 77 Dempsey Del Piero Racing with Proton Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

Dempsey Racing press conferece: Joe Foster, Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long
Dempsey Racing press conferece: Joe Foster, Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Dempsey, Foster and Long are the only All-American driver lineup among the race’s 55 entries and are quickly developing a national following as #TeamAmerica. Long’s top lap of 4:04.006 trailed only the leading Aston Martin Vantage V8s that swept both of the top spots in the GTE-AM class.

Changing wet and dry conditions drew a number of top competitors into accidents but the Dempsey Del Piero Racing trio never put a wheel wrong during the test. Dempsey’s longest stint on track run was nose-to-tail with Larbre Competition Corvette driver Ricky Taylor and the duo steadily climbed the GTE-AM order during the 10-laps.

“It’s great to be back, we are really thankful to be here, and I forgot how much fun it is to be at Le Mans,” Dempsey said. “It was fun running with Ricky Taylor, Patrick Long is such a talented driver and Joe has worked so hard just to get us back here, he has really stepped it up, and is always there for us. Really, this is just a celebration of just being here.”

Dempsey and Foster are making their second-career Le Mans appearance after a ninth-place finish in 2009 in a GT2 AF Corse Ferrari F430 but had their first true experience of Le Mans in the rain on Sunday.

“I could feel my experience from 2009, but it was a little challenging at first in the rain, to relearn the track, but it was also really important to have that opportunity in the wet,” Dempsey said. “The last time here I didn’t really have any time on a wet track.”

Foster used the sketchy weather as an opportunity to see how the team’s proven Michelin tires, both dry and wet fitments, performed in the tricky mix of conditions.

“It rained most of the day,” Foster said. “There was a tiny bit of dry running near the end but we each got like two dry laps, literally. It really rained all day but we didn’t put a foot wrong and didn’t touch anything, nothing hard any way. It gave us a chance to try some tire stuff with the Michelins and some experimental setups and that was very valuable.”

Long is America’s only factory Porsche driver and a two-time GT winner at Le Mans. He won in his debut in 2004 and picked up a second class victory in 2007.

“Watching Joe and Patrick Dempsey work together this weekend, they have formed a partnership and a friendship and I am happy to offer my experience in the 911 RSR,” Long said. “This being my 10th time here at Le Mans for the race, anything that I have learned is an open book to these guys. We have really clicked and jelled quickly and that and this test has us really confident for the race.”

In addition to the productive on-track day Sunday, Dempsey and his pair of co-drivers participated in a full agenda of media and promotional activity on Saturday. The schedule included the team’s and Dempsey’s only official press conference of the 2013 Le Mans event that attracted a full house of international media.

“We are the only All-American driving team and I think that means a lot to all of us,” Dempsey said. “The history and heritage of that is so impressive and hopefully we can leave a mark and make a contribution in that great legacy.”

The Dempsey Del Piero Racing Le Mans entry is being fielded in a partnership with the experienced and proven Proton Competition racing team from Germany. Among the small group of American personnel working this year’s Le Mans campaign is longtime Dempsey Racing team race communications strategist Jim Jordan who was also part of the 2009 effort.

Long was asked by team principal and lead driver Michael Avenatti to take his place less than two weeks ago when several non-racing commitments emerged in the last month. Avenatti stepped out of the Porsche in favor of Long but remains committed to the remainder of the 2013 American Le Mans Series (ALMS) season in the GT Challenge (GTC) class.

Avenatti and Dempsey are lead drivers in Dempsey Del Piero’s two-car Tully’s Coffee Porsche 911 GT3 team in ALMS where Avenatti partners with Andrew Davis and Dempsey co-drives with Andy Lally.

Dempsey Del Piero Racing with Proton will now shift its focus to the start of race week activities which begin with the traditional scrutineering, June 16 – 17, followed by practice and qualifying on June 19 – 20.

Dempsey Del Piero Racing

shares
comments
REBELLION Racing is confident after Le Mans Test Day

Previous article

REBELLION Racing is confident after Le Mans Test Day

Next article

Scott Tucker and Level 5 complete Le Mans Test Day

Scott Tucker and Level 5 complete Le Mans Test Day
Load comments
Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood Prime

Inside the Le Mans finish too barmy for Hollywood

Team WRT has been at the forefront of GT racing for years and made a successful move to prototypes for 2021, capped by an LMP2 win on its Le Mans debut. It could've been even better had the race been one lap shorter, when its cars ran 1-2, but the stranger-than-fiction reality has spurred the team to reach greater heights.

Le Mans
Oct 16, 2021
Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked Prime

Why Toyota's Le Mans victory was not as simple as it looked

Toyota scored its fourth Le Mans 24 Hours victory and a 1-2, with the #7 car of Kamui Kobayashi, Mike Conway and Jose Maria Lopez beating the #8. But although it looked straightforward from the outside, Toyota faced serious problem that had to be solved with some quick-thinking and ingenuity.

Le Mans
Aug 24, 2021
What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far Prime

What we've learned from the Le Mans 24 Hours so far

The new dawn for the FIA World Endurance Championship has arrived at Le Mans, as Hypercars prepare to duel for victory in the world's oldest endurance race. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 things we have learned in the build up to the race.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide Prime

Le Mans 2021: The team-by-team guide

After a two-month delay due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Le Mans 24 Hours is set to get underway with the start of the Hypercar era at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Le Mans
Aug 21, 2021
The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans Prime

The ex-F1 drivers making a name for themselves in LMP2 at Le Mans

Kevin Magnussen will make his Le Mans 24 Hours debut this weekend alongside father Jan in LMP2. But the Danes won't be the only ex-F1 drivers to appear in the hotly contested category this year.

Le Mans
Aug 20, 2021
Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse? Prime

Can Toyota's #7 crew break its Le Mans curse?

One Toyota, normally with the number 7 on the side, always seems to attract the bad luck in the Le Mans 24 Hours. Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez are hoping for a change in fortune this time around, but face significantly more unknowns than in recent years

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload Prime

How to prepare an amateur for Le Mans sensory overload

The 23-car GTE Am field promises to be one of the most open in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, with the added jeopardy of managing the enthusiasm of amateur drivers to boot, as Absolute Racing Porsche driver Marco Seefried explains

Le Mans
Aug 19, 2021
Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow Prime

Why Glickenhaus should be taken seriously on its Le Mans bow

Many were quick to dismiss Glickenhaus when the boutique American sportscar firm's entry into the top class of the Le Mans 24 Hours was announced. It's all-new LMH racer, powered by an engine built by a rally specialist, goes in as the underdog against Toyota but the mathematical odds suggest that it has more than just a faint hope of success.

Le Mans
Aug 18, 2021