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Dempsey to Make Racing Return in Porsche Endurance Challenge

Dempsey, Long in Wright-run Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport in Porsche series…

Photo: Porsche

Patrick Dempsey will make his racing return in this weekend’s newly launched Porsche Endurance Challenge North America series, driving a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport alongside former Porsche factory driver Patrick Long.

Announced on Monday, the effort, run under the Dempsey-Wright Motorsports banner, will feature sponsorship from Mobil 1, with a livery paying homage to the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning GT1-98 car, for the 60-minute opening round of the season at Circuit of The Americas.

“Racing is like an addiction,” said Dempsey. “Once you start, it’s hard to stop. During pre-production on the recent Ferrari film, I got a lot of seat time and fell off the wagon, of sorts.

“Having an opportunity to get back with John Wright and his team, I realized how much I was missing the culture and really wanted to get back in. I really enjoy the camaraderie.”

Both Dempsey and Long have each stepped back from professional racing in recent years to expansive roles as Porsche Motorsport ambassadors.

The Hollywood actor/racer last competed professionally in the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship with Dempsey-Proton Racing, the same year he celebrated a GTE-Am class win at the 6 Hours of Fuji, alongside Long and Marco Seefried.

Dempsey also has previous history with Ohio-based Wright Motorsports in IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship competition.

Dempsey will also race in the Porsche Sprint Challenge USA by Yokohama events that are scheduled on the same weekends, also behind the wheel of a GT4-spec Porsche. The shorter Sprint Challenge events are 40-minutes plus one-lap long races featuring five different classes.

In addition to Dempsey and Long, a number of other high-profile drivers are entered this weekend’s inaugural race, including Jan Magnussen, Tristan Vautier, Ryan Dalziel, as well as 2023 Porsche Carrera Cup North America Pro class champion Riley Dickinson and 2024 points leader Loek Hartog.

The initial pre-event entry list includes more than 40 entries, with more expected before the weekend gets under way.

The large field operates on the Porsche Motorsport Pyramid North America, will include two classes, one for Porsche 911 GT3 Cup (Type-992 and 991.2) race cars and a second for the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport.

“When we began planning the Porsche Endurance Challenge North America, we anticipated interest from the teams and drivers already competing in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama,” said Porsche Motorsport North America President and CEO Volker Holzmeyer.

“And that has proven true. But the interest from teams and drivers outside our one-make platform has been a satisfying surprise.

“This is a perfect opportunity for drivers to get more racing time in Porsche equipment they already own; to gain endurance racing experience without most of the cost, and stresses, associated with other series.

“Here, the driver is the focus and that allows the greatest opportunity to learn the skills needed to race at Daytona or Sebring.

“This is true for upcoming drivers as well as drivers who are starting their careers later in life. We see this in many of the lineups we have including Patrick Dempsey returning to racing in the Cayman class with Patrick Long as his driving coach.

“We are very pleased with this first entry list. It is an excellent balance of drivers, teams, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars and Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport race cars.”

Dempsey is slated to contest the full Endurance Challenge season, which will make trips to Road America in August and Sonoma Raceway in September before returning to COTA in November for a six-hour enduro.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for and SPEED Channel and has contributed to numerous other motorsports publications worldwide. Contact John

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