Lally and co-driver Patrick Dempsey to start from outside of second row in Saturday’s Northeast Grand Prix
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (July 5, 2013) – Andy Lally qualified fourth fastest in a competitive American Le Mans Series GTC field Friday at Lime Rock Park where he and co-driver Patrick Dempsey will be looking for their first race win as teammates in the No. 27 Dempsey Del Piero Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup in tomorrow’s Northeast Grand Prix.
Lally battled for the pole throughout qualifying and set his fastest time of 55.500 (95.611 mph) on his 11th and final lap of the session.
“You are never really happy with fourth place but I just didn’t get it done in qualifying,” Lally said. “We will try and pull it together for the race here and I think we have got a good car. Our long-run times were better than anybody else’s. Most notably, Patrick has to do an hour to start this thing by the rules, and he is the quickest gentleman driver out there by a chunk.”
Last year at Lime Rock, Dempsey and co-driver Joe Foster scored their first ALMS podium and the first for Dempsey Racing with a third-place P2-class showing in a Lola-Judd. The team has switched to Porsche and GTC this season, and Dempsey and Lally are closing in on their first ALMS win after a close second-place finish one race ago at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Lally, a multi-champion and race-winning sports car driver, was once again impressed with Dempsey’s driving in Friday’s opening practice session.
“We sent Patrick out on some good tires at the beginning of practice and some really old tires at the end of the session,” Lally said. “By the time Lime Rock clicked in his head he was on the old tires but he still ripped off his fastest lap. I was real proud of him and looking forward to what we can do tomorrow.”
The Northeast Grand Prix weekend has been run so far in sweltering heat with high humidity and temperatures locked in the low 90-degree range. The strenuous conditions are expected to continue straight into race-day Saturday.
“The heat is going to be a big factor for everything,” Dempsey said. “That is going to be the real big challenge for everybody and the preparation needed to handle it actually begins tonight with lots of fluids.”
Dempsey returns to Lime Rock just two weeks after a solid fourth-place finish in the 90th Anniversary 24 Hours of Le Mans, June 22 – 23, with co-drivers Foster and Patrick Long. Dempsey and Long each led the race twice and Foster raced consistently in the top three as the team challenged for the GTE-AM class victory throughout the Le Mans classic.
“Coming back here after Le Mans gives us a lot of confidence,” Dempsey said. “We are a little disappointed we didn’t get on the podium but we did show well and we know we can be competitive. If we just stick to hitting our marks, pounding out laps and doing the right thing in traffic like we did at Le Mans, we could end up with another good result tomorrow. You never know what the race is going to bring you but it is great to be back racing, back here at Lime Rock, Porsche is great to be with, and we will see what the race brings.”
Dempsey’s return to Le Mans will be featured in a four-part miniseries premiering Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on the Velocity network. “Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans” has been over two years in the making, is affiliated with Discovery, and will be distributed internationally. The documentary focuses on Dempsey taking his place alongside other iconic Hollywood race car drivers like Steve McQueen, Paul Newman and James Garner as well as the team’s tireless efforts on and off the track in preparing for the return to Le Mans. Footage from last year’s podium showing at Lime Rock Park is expected to be included in one of the early episodes.
Race-day Saturday at Lime Rock begins with a 25 minute warm-up at 9:55 a.m. EDT before that afternoon’s featured American Le Mans Northeast Grand Prix at 3 p.m. EDT.
Dempsey Del Piero Racing