Between a late switch to the GT ranks, the buildup around the 24 Hours of Le Mans and its recent fallout with a team partner, it’s been a trying season for Dempsey Racing in the American Le Mans Series.
While the Atlanta area-based squad was forced to scale back to a single-car effort in the GTC category earlier this year, team co-principal Joe Foster confirmed to Sportscar365 that plans are in place to return to a two-car operation for the season-ending Petit Le Mans next month.
The Patrick Dempsey co-owned squad recently took possession of two 2013-spec Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars, as Foster said their previous cars were owned by former partner Michael Avenatti, who parted ways with the team late last month, following a lawsuit lodged by the Hollywood actor/racer.
Both cars, however, will effectively become obsolete in 2014, as the 997-based Cup car will not eligible to compete in the GT Daytona category next year. While a logical option would be to go with Porsche’s new 911 GT3 America, Foster admitted they are in a waiting game to decide their future plans.
“We’re working on several different things for next year but we don’t know what it looks like as we’re all waiting on rules and the schedule,” Foster said. “I know the rules-makers are doing the best they can to answer a lot of questions but there’s still there’s still a lot of very difficult integration topics they’re working on.
“There’s no point in getting frustrated about it. They have very smart people doing it. All you can do is wait. We’ll wait for the white smoke or the black smoke out of the smokestack, then adapt.”
With options in both America and Europe, Dempsey is hoping to mount a return to Le Mans, where they finished a respectable fourth in class aboard a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR prepared by Proton Competition. Foster has been talking with a number of manufacturers about possible partnerships that would include the twice-around-the-clock endurance classic.
“We’d like to do Le Mans again,” Foster said. “The rules there are stable and the whole situation there is stable. We’ve found a good niche in the rules with the driver grading and that’s why we were competitive this year. [Patrick] definitely wants to go back to Le Mans if we can find a way to do it.”
Dempsey currently sits 5th in the GTC drivers championship heading into next weekend’s round at the Circuit of The Americas, where he’ll again team with co-driver Andy Lally, who is fresh off a class victory in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.