with New Lola-Judd at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Jonny Cocker All Turn Laps in the No. 27 Trina Solar/GNC Beverages/Motegi Racing/Dempsey Racing Lola-Judd in Practice for Saturday’s American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patrón
Dempsey Racing and team drivers Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Jonny Cocker all put in solid stints at the wheel of the team’s new No. 27 Trina Solar/GNC Beverages/Motegi Racing/Dempsey Racing Judd-powered Lola B12-80 Coupe that is making its ALMS P2 debut this weekend in the American Le Mans Monterey Presented by Patrón at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
The team clocked in third fastest in the P2 class with a top lap time of 1:19.698 (101.092 mph) that ranked fifth overall among the 35-car entry. Saturday’s six-hour race, Round 3 of the 2012 American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón, is the debut ALMS race for Dempsey and Dempsey Racing and Foster’s first start in the series in a P2 machine.
“It is great to be here, the energy and all of the technology and everything in the series is very, very exciting, but it is a steep learning curve,” Dempsey said. “I am trying to keep everything in perspective on what I need to achieve. Joe drove very well and Jonny is very quick and has been very supportive. I am really struggling to get used to the braking and patience with the cornering which is certainly pressure filled. It’s counter-intuitive to everything I have been doing with the GT car so I am basically starting all over again. It’s good, but once again it gets back to having more seat time, getting comfortable, trusting the aerodynamics on the car and the downforce, and things will come. It’s just going to take time.”
Dempsey Racing’s move into P2 follows its entry this year in the ALMS PC category in a partnership with Henri Richard, Duncan Ende and Silicon Tech Racing (STR). The Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing No. 25 Future Electronics/HP/STANDD/Pounce Consulting/Racer’s Roast Oreca FLM09 is also racing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with Ryan Lewis joining the driver lineup for Saturday’s six-hour.
“Today went very well for the whole West coast version of Dempsey Racing,” Foster said. “Henri Richard, Duncan Ende and the STR PC car ran good and Ryan Lewis had it up the time charts. The shakedown continues with the new Lola, the car ran good, Patrick and I are learning the car and Jonny ran very well. We were P3 in the test session. We didn’t have much time, there were a few red flags, but the data looks good and the car is running good.”
Cocker has two seasons of experience racing Lola prototype coupes and has been just as valuable out of the car as he is behind the wheel.
“Today was a good step,” Cocker said. “We all got time in the car and basically made no major changes during the session, but had a really good debrief, and we are pretty confident about how we are going to make a reasonable size step for tomorrow. We have a direction for the car and where we need to be for the weekend really. Everything is making sense and Patrick and Joe had some good runs in the car too.”
The Mazda Raceway debut is the first event in a long-term ALMS and international sports car racing program for Dempsey Racing that includes a partial schedule of races this year, fulltime competition in future seasons and a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans as soon as 2013.
The American Le Mans Monterey presented by Patrón is set for 1:30 p.m. PDT on Saturday, May 12, from the 2.238-mile Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. ESPN2 airs the race at 5 p.m. EDT on Sunday, May 13. Live coverage is available Saturday starting at 4:15 p.m. EDT on ESPN3.
About Dempsey RacingA fulltime and year-round enterprise, Dempsey Racing (dempseyracing.net) is a professional sports car auto racing team based in the greater Atlanta area in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Owned by actor/driver Patrick Dempsey, the team races in support of the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing (www.dempseycenter.org) in Dempsey’s hometown of Lewiston, Maine, and the Team Seattle Guild (.teamseattle.com) to benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital Heart Center (www.seattlechildrens.org).
About Trina SolarTrina Solar is a leading manufacturer of high-quality solar photovoltaic (PV) modules that deliver reliable, environmentally-friendly power to homes and businesses and value to customers through a variety of end-user applications worldwide. For the North American market, Trina Solar has established its regional headquarters in San Jose, California. Learn more at trinasolar.com.
About GNC BeveragesGNC Beverages are built upon the 75 years of nutrition innovation from the leader in sports nutrition. GNC Beverages represent three beverage categories: sports nutrition, nutritional waters and protein nutrition. Learn more at drinkGNC.com.
About Motegi RacingThrough technical partnerships with leading professional racing teams, Motegi Racing Competition and High Performance Tuning wheels are designed and engineered for performance. Motegi Racing is owned by Wheel Pros, one of the largest suppliers of branded custom wheels, performance tires and related accessories for cars, SUVs and light trucks. Learn more at www.motegiracing.com.
Additional Dempsey Racing PartnersDempsey Racing is an official Mazda (mazdausa.com) racing team and has competed exclusively in Mazda RX-8 GTs since 2007. Team partners include VISIT FLORIDA (VISITFLORIDA.com), the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, its ShareaLittleSunshine.org and FishingCapital.com promotional programs, and the television show Bass 2 Billfish with Peter Miller. Dempsey Racing is also supported by Specialized Bicycle Components (specialized.com), a manufacturer and worldwide supplier of technically advanced bicycles and related components. A new partner for 2012 is Silicon Tech Racing (silicontechracing.com) which provides high-tech corporations an opportunity to leverage exciting road racing events with a dedicated marketing platform focused on technology executives interested in informal and intimate insight into the sport.