Dempsey Del Piero Racing among class leaders at the halfway mark

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Patrick Dempsey and Patrick Long each lead twice in the No. 77 Dempsey Del Piero Racing Porsche 911 GT3 as #TeamAmerica keeps a podium-pace in the 90th Anniversary Edition of the 24-Hour Classic

Le MANS, FRANCE (June 23, 2013) – Dempsey Del Piero Racing, its No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, and the All-American driving team of Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster and Patrick Long, have raced at the front of the GTE-AM pack – including leading the race four different times – from the drop of the green flag at the 90th Anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans that hit the halfway point at 3 a.m. local time early Sunday morning.

#77 Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 911 GT3-RSR: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Patrick Long
#77 Dempsey Racing - Proton Porsche 911 GT3-RSR: Patrick Dempsey, Joe Foster, Patrick Long

Photo by: James M. Holland

Race-starting driver, Long worked his way to the front in each of his race-opening driving shifts, pitting from the lead on both occasions to hand the No. 77 to Dempsey who in turn led twice in his second stint behind the wheel. It marked the first time that Dempsey, who has one previous Le Mans start in 2009, has led the classic 24-hour race.

“For starters, all of us at Dempsey Del Piero Racing want to send our thoughts and prayers to Allan Simonsen and his family,” Dempsey said. “It’s a terrible loss. Allan was the GTE-Am pole-sitter and led our class to the start of the 90th Anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans on Saturday. Now we join our fellow competitors in racing to the finish in his honor on Sunday.”

After leading earlier in his second driving shift, Dempsey dodged a major bullet when he was hit and spun out by a faster prototype competitor near the end of the run.

“I just wanted to be consistent with my pace, which I was doing, staying within what I thought was comfortable,” Dempsey said. “We came in the pits, I refueled, went back out and was cruising along, having a good time, when I got hit by an LMP2 car going into Turn 1. We kept going, didn’t lose much time, the car is strong and we have a good motor.”

After racing to the lead in both of his race-opening shifts, Long’s biggest challenge of the event might have been helping clear the pits of enthusiastic media during his second driver change with Dempsey.

“I got out and the media just swarmed the car and Patrick as he was getting in,” Long said. “The tire changers didn’t have any room to work so I just started clearing out people. I felt like a blocking back out there.”

Foster was at the wheel for the second time and running in fourth place in the No. 77 at the exact halfway point of the race.

Dempsey Del Piero Racing

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Series LEMANS
Article type Breaking news
Tags dempsey, dempsey del piero, endurance, foster, la sarthe, le mans, long, porsche