Dempsey Racing qualifies for first Petit Le Mans start

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Dempsey, Foster and Cameron Grid 12th Overall in Competitive Prototype Field for Dempsey Racing’s First Petit Le Mans Start

BRASELTON, Ga. (October 19, 2012) – Ready for its fifth and final race start of the year in its partial debut season of American Le Mans Series Presented by Tequila Patrón P2 competition, Dempsey Racing qualified 12th overall and in the eighth and final grid spot in a competitive P2 class Friday for tomorrow’s Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in the No. 27 Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing Lola-Judd.

#27 Dempsey Racing Lola B12/87 Judd: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Dane Cameron
#27 Dempsey Racing Lola B12/87 Judd: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Dane Cameron

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Qualifying driver Dane Cameron clocked in a with a top time of 1:13.214 (124.894 mph), the fastest lap so far this week for the No. 27, and will co-drive the Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing P2 with team owner/driver Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster. Dempsey and Cameron will be making Petit Le Mans debuts while Foster will be competing in the season-ending ALMS classic for the first time since 2004.

“With the limited schedule, and the limited amount of running time we have had this week and even this year, I think we can be pretty satisfied with that qualifying effort,” Cameron said. “Everybody is learning together as far as the car, and what the car is capable of, and the pace was very fast. Based on a couple of the other qualifying sessions leading up to ours, it was a bit quicker than we thought it was going to be from a session standpoint. Realistically, it is kind of where we have been this week with the gap to the front, it is not like we are too far out of first place, and the car drives real nice.”

The Dempsey Racing crew overcame some Thursday electrical issues and a brake system problem Friday for a relatively trouble free qualifying session.

“Dane did a super job in qualifying considering the tribulations of yesterday when we had some electrical issues,” Foster said. “We also had a brake part failure this morning which added some excitement as well to the morning session, we lost even more time, but we are still getting faster and faster. The (one minute and) 13.2 lap is the best time Dane has done all weekend, we know exactly where Dane is, he is just an awesome driver, did a fantastic job, so we will continue to work on the package.”

Dempsey has been determined to compete in a Petit Le Man race since beginning his competition career at Road Atlanta nearly 10 years ago in the Panoz Racing School.

“We have been struggling with just some little gremlins with the 27 car and hopefully they are out of the way for the race,” Dempsey said. “I will have plenty of seat time in the race to improve my times. The big thing this weekend is going to be traffic, just how well you can navigate that and stay out of trouble, just like any endurance race. It is not going to be won on the first lap or by getting on the pole. We will start with Dane, Joe and then myself, rotate back through once, and then probably have Dane finish the race. He is a quick young kid; we are going to keep him in there!”

Cameron is just happy to be making his first Petit Le Mans start after coming up short the last two years. In 2012 he tested with a PC team that didn’t have an open seat for the race and last year Cameron actually won the PC pole in a back-up entry that never had a grid position up for the race.

“For a minute there I was having flashbacks when we had a couple of issues there yesterday,” Cameron said. “I thought ‘oh no, not again, I am never going to be able to start this freakin’ race,” so I am excited to take my first green flag at a Petit Le Mans and my second in a P2 car. We actually have a couple of extra guys out here to race against so we are going to have quite a bit of fun.”

Foster welcomes the expanded P2 field.

“It will be a sprint-race pace for sure but our goal is to do Le Mans,” Foster said. “These are the teams we will be racing against so it is good for us to learn where the bar is. I am excited, I did the first Petit Le Mans and several after that, then moved to GRAND-AM from ALMS, and now we are kind of back home so I am looking forward to it.”

Cameron’s first P2 start was with Dempsey and Foster at this past July’s race at Mid-Ohio in the Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing machine.

“Overall, we have a car that we can certainly race,” Cameron said. “It’s a long, long, long race, so there is a lot that can happen, a lot that can go wrong and a lot that can go right. We will keep chipping away at it and see where we end up tomorrow night.”

Source: Dempsey Racing

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Series ALMS
Article type Qualifying reports
Tags cameron, dempsey, foster, judd, lola, petit le mans, road atlanta