Patrick Dempsey leads 11 laps in No. 27 Tully’s Coffee Porsche 911 GT3 Cup before a wheel issue forces Andy Lally to charge back
BOWMANVILLE, Ontario, Canada (July 21, 2013) – A fourth-place finish for Patrick Dempsey, Andy Lally and the No. 27 Dempsey Del Piero Racing Tully’s Coffee Porsche 911 GT3 Cup team was far from free of frustrations Sunday at the Mobil 1 Sports Car Grand Prix at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park where a returning rear-wheel issue kept the team from challenging for the victory.
Dempsey started the race in the No. 27 after Lally’s fourth-place qualifying effort on Friday. He momentarily fell to sixth place in the frenzy of the opening laps but soon moved back into top-five contention. Dempsey repeatedly set his personal best laps of the weekend and combined that with some fuel-stretching strategy to lead 11 laps at the end of his race-opening stint.
“This was, hands down, Patrick’s best drive that I have seen him do yet,” Lally said. “He had some really good runs at Le Mans, but this was a full fuel stint to start the race, flat out and no yellows. He kept very good pace and set very good lap times, his best of the weekend by half a second. The progress he is making every single week is astounding.”
“I am just tired of coming in fourth when we had a real shot at winning this thing,” Dempsey said. “We had another problem with the wheel, that’s the third time, so we have to really, really look hard at that, address it, and make sure that doesn’t happen again. You can’t make a mistake in this series and win.”
The Dempsey Del Piero crew eventually worked loose the stuck left rear wheel that spun itself on to the rear axle, a problem that first hit the team in April at Long Beach. This time the issue cost the team two laps to the leaders and quite possibly a shot at victory. Lally returned and raced on pace with the race-winning No. 22 Alex Job Racing Porsche of Jeronen Bleekemolen, the No. 45 Flying Lizard Porsche of Spencer Pumpelly and the No. 30 NGT Porsche of Sean Edwards but only had time to get back one of the team’s two lost laps.
“We were fast,” Lally said. “I got the fight that I wanted there at the end of the race but unfortunately we were just a lap-down car in the mix. We were able to bring it to them, even pull away from them, we rubber-banded back and forth with the leading 22 car, just trying to get a lap back, but unfortunately things just didn’t go our way in a couple of different ways today.”
Dempsey had high praise for Lally despite his overall frustrations with Sunday’s race.
“Andy drove really, really hard and got a lap back,” Dempsey said. “After being pretty far down to come back and finish fourth is in itself good for the championship. The 30 car later had some problems, and the 22 car is going to be tough to beat, but we have a lot of races left too.”
Dempsey Del Piero Racing