DETROIT, MI: Indianapolis-based Younessi Racing’s showed a great deal of winning potential as they debuted a two car effort at this weekend’s Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix. After continuous improvement throughout the weekend and a strong qualifying effort, the team was in a position to enjoy its first podium finish, but a crash on lap 13 of the Firestone Indy Lights™ race prematurely ended the runs of Ireland native Peter Dempsey and team owner / driver, Florida native Rodin Younessi. While battling for second place, Dempsey collided with Victor Carbone sending him hard into the wall of turn 8 on the 14-turn, 2.07 mile Belle Isle circuit. The horrific crash severely damaged the #15 Younessi Racing car and caused Rodin Younessi to immediately stop to ascertain the condition of his teammate. The final race results showed Dempsey in 11th place and Younessi in 12th place.
“Physically, I’m feeling good and everything is fine. I’m more upset for the team. My safety is good, but it’s the damage to the car that hurts us,” said Dempsey. “I was just coming down the back straight, (Victor) Carbone went to the left side, I went to the right, and Carbone just decided to cross to the right and I was already there. Got my front wheel and up I went.”
“The Detroit Grand Prix was bittersweet for my team,” said Younessi. “We managed, in a very short period of time in mid-season, to assemble a very talented and dedicated group of professionals to enter the series and race against the veteran larger teams. We managed great starting positions in the grid and our car number #15 rapidly moved up from 5th place to 3rd place early in the race ahead of some of the very well-known veteran teams, while closing in for the first position. We certainly had a very competitive car and there is no doubt in my mind that if my driver and teammate, Peter Dempsey, had not been involved in the horrific accident, we would have not only had a podium finish, we would have very likely finished in first place. I saw the horrible accident with my own eyes about 200 feet in front of the car I was driving, car #16. I immediately stopped to ascertain the condition of my driver and teammate, fearing the worst but hoping for the best, which then ended my race day short as well. I am proud of what we accomplished and it is with a sense of pride and optimism that I know now, we can do this despite all the skepticism by others at the outset. We have already started working on repairs to the crashed vehicle and applying what we learned yesterday to improving our strategy, philosophy and techniques. I remain enthusiastic about Younessi Racing’s future in the Firestone Indy Lights series and look forward to continuing being a part of it all.”