Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey will be fielding his own Lola-Judd B12/80 LMP2 prototype at the upcoming ALMS round, at Laguna Seca May 10-12.
Dempsey can say thank you to his wife.
She's the one who offered him a three-day driving course at Skip Barber School. Without that experience, may be he would have never gotten into racing. Ever since that first taste, he's been around racing in one way or another.
He was the grand marshal at the 2006 12 Hours of Sebring. There, he told Scott Atherton, the series' president "Some day, I'm going to be out there, driving."
And right he was.
So far, he's already done the most famous twice around the clock race, 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 2009 aboard a Ferrari in the GT category. Then, more recently, he drove the 1991 edition winning car, the Mazda 787B around an exhibition lap, commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Japanese brand's win.
This year, he's entering the ALMS with Joe Foster, his Panoz Racing School instructor, and Henri Richard a seasoned veteran. Over the weekend, the three took delivery of their new Lola coupe, that same one they hope to debut at Laguna Seca in two weeks time.
"[Being a TV star] certainly opens some doors but, if you make a mistake, it’s magnified," Dempsey said. "We want to get this new car in a race environment at Mazda Raceway and see where we are if all the steps work out. We want to do it right, with measured steps."
And then, the dream – or the plan – is to go back to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in 2013, with the Dempsey Racing team.
Source: ALMS.com/Mike Harris