Following tradition of celebrity racers like Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, American movie and TV actor Patrick Dempsey became successful star racer with impressive career. Dempsey was born in 1966 and achieved stardom in eighties with a string of roles in big movie and TV productions. However, during the nineties, his popularity faded but he managed to revived it with highly acclaimed role in TV show “Grey's Anatomy“ among other appearances.
Passion for acting and racing
Dempsey was always a motorsport enthusiast but his first racing outing was in 2004 when he drove two races for Panoz Racing Team in GT class. After that came 2006 Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race where he was second among other celebrities which raced in this non-championship event.
From 2007 until now, Dempsey was involved with various series, racing as much as he can and often saying that he would race full time if he could. During 2007-2009 he competed in the Rolex Sports Car Series but in 2009 he formed his own team Dempsey Racing and raced for the first time at 24 Hours of Le Mans in GT2 class.
Podium at 2015 Le Mans 24 Hours
In his first Le Mans attempt, Dempsey was driving a Ferrari F430 GT2, sharing a car with Joe Foster and Don Kitch Jr. They finished 9th in GT2 class. Dempsey returned to Le Mans in 2013, together with Joe Foster and Patrick Long in a Porsche 997 997 GT3 RSR, finishing fourth in GTE Am class. The same crew finished fifth in class a year later.
And then, in 2015, Dempsey finally reached podium at Circuit de la Sarthe. Sharing the #77 Porsche 911 RSR with Patrick Long and Marco Seefried, he finished second in GTE Am class.
Strong contender in various championships
Besides Le Mans 24h, Dempsey's biggest success was the third place overall in LMP2 class of the 2012 American Le Mans Series when he was driving Lola B12/87 for his own team. Prior to that, he participated from 2007 to 2012 in the Rolex Sports Car Series with Mazda RX-8 GT but did not have much success.
He switched to Porsches in 2013, participating in GTC class of the American Le Mans Series and then entering the 2014 IMSA United SportsCar Championship after a merger of ALMS and Rolex Series. He also participated in Porsche Supercup as a celebrity guest driver. In 2015, Dempsey spent a year in the FIA World Endurance Championship and it was his last competitive season so far.
It is safe to say that Patrick Dempsey will be active racer in years to come but his busy work schedule is, unfortunately, so restrictive so he can’t race for a full season but he uses every free day to race or maintain his vast collection of classic and race cars. However, his skill and ambition crowns him as modern equivalent of legendary celebrity racers and perspective driver who earned success and respect from his colleagues on track.