Hollywood idol Patrick Dempsey has teamed up with Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero to form Dempsey/Del Piero Racing with sights set on a full American Le Mans Series season and an entry at the Le Mans 24.
Dempsey, most famous for his work in movies (most recently the bank-robbery comedy drama- Flypaper, with Ashley Judd) and his role as Dr. Derek Shepherd in the series “Grey’s Anatomy,” is better known among sports car fans for Dempsey Racing’s successful forays into the Rolex Sports car series with GT-class Mazda RX8s, and in the LMPC and P2 classes of the American Le Mans Series.
His new partner, 2006 World Cup Champion as player and captain for Juventus Football Club S.p.A Alessandro Del Piero, currently plays for Sydney FC, is new to racing but he knows how to motivate and organize a team to victory.
“We are excited to join forces with Alessandro and compete at the highest levels of racing,” Dempsey said on Del Piero’s website. “Alessandro’s passion for winning and leadership skills will be invaluable and he will play an important role in the development and direction of the team.”
“I have had a passion for motorsport since I was a young boy growing up in Italy” Del Piero added. “I am thrilled at the opportunity to team with Patrick. We expect to compete at a very high level and our central focus will be on winning world championships.”
The pair plans for at least a two-car entry in ALMS. Dempsey owns an LMPC Oreca and has leased a P2 Lola; possibly these will be the two cars, though there are rumors of a GT entry.
The team has already submitted its request for an invitation to the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans. The submission listed as drivers Dempsey, Joe Foster and Michael Avenatti. Avenatti and Foster are described as “principals” of the team, which could mean they provide funding, or are on the paperwork as partners.
“We are thrilled to have submitted an entry to the 24 Hours of Le Mans and anxiously await news from the ACO Selection Committee,” said Foster. “We would be honored to have the privilege to race at Le Mans. 2013 promises to be a very promising year for the team and our partners.”
Joe Foster drove Dempsey Racing’s P2 Lola Judd for its five races in the 2012 ALMS season, and full seasons in the Rolex Sports Car Series in Dempsey Racing’s RX-8 since 2009. Foster, 47, has been active in the ALMS, ELMS. Rolex, Continental Tire and SCCA World Challenge series since 1999, with three Sebring 12-Hour starts. In 2009 Foster teamed up with Dempsey and Don Kitch, Jr. in the Advanced Engineering Ferrari at Le Mans, finishing ninth in GT.
Michael Avenatti, 41, has been racing Porsches for three years in IMSA GT3 Cup, ALMS GTC, and Rolex GT. In 2012 he competed in both the Sebring 12 Hours and Rolex 24 at Daytona.
The 61st Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring takes place Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Sebring international Raceway, in Sebring, Florida. Tickets are available through Sebring Raceway’s website, and hotel reservations can also be made online. Check ICHotelsgroup.com or ALMS.com for details.
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