Dempsey Racing Second in GTC at Road Atlanta, Petit Le Mans


Dempsey, Lally and Foster Match Career-Best Finish at Petit Le Mans With GTC Second Place in No. 27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup

Lally Races to Second Less Than 10 Minutes from Finish: No. 10 PRS Guitars Porsche 911 GT3 Cup of Putman, Espenlaub and Law Retires Late

ATLANTA (October 19, 2013) – Andy Lally passed Jan Heylen less than 10 minutes from the end of Saturday’s 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans and joined teammates Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster in equaling Dempsey Racing’s best career finish of second Saturday at Road Atlanta in the GTC-class No. 27 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

All three drivers spent the majority of Saturday’s nearly 10-hour race climbing back from a two-lap deficit before Lally and the Dempsey Racing team moved the No. 27 back into contention in the race’s final 90 minutes. Lally turned in what could have very well been the top GTC drive of the race in the charge to the checkered flag.

“We just rolled the dice,” Lally said. “Leading up to that pass, we were fast enough to be on the lead lap, but we just couldn’t get the yellows to fall our way. So, two cautions from the end we just took fuel only, went back out on old tires, and got in front of the leader. Then, on the last caution we were able to get back on the lead lap, took a gamble on tires, and Jan’s tires were wasted. He got boggled up in traffic and I made a move on the outside of Turn 1 and was able to make it stick.”

The No. 27 went a lap down early when the team elected to start the race, which ran all day in an ever-changing mix of wet and dry conditions, on rain tires. Starting driver Dempsey instead found a drying track and dashed into the pits on lap four for slicks.

“We went out on rain tires and that caught us out, we went a lap down right away, which was challenging, but drove fine after that,” Dempsey said. “We just battled all day long. We didn’t know where we were going to end-up, but Andy drove his heart out the last part of that race and really made it possible.”

Foster, stepping in as the team’s third driver as he did for the season-opening race at Sebring, was among the quickest GTC drivers in the race in wet conditions. He also filled in for Lally as Dempsey’s co-driver at Long Beach, and was part of this past June’s successful campaign at Le Mans where he, Dempsey and Patrick Long finished fourth in the GTE-AM class in a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR.

“It’s a great result, Andy just did a fantastic drive for the last couple of hours, and had a great pass on Jan Heylen in the No. 11 car on a restart,” Foster said. “It was a crazy race, just like Le Mans it was wet/dry, wet/dry and lots of treacherous conditions. We tried to lose it at the beginning when we started on the wrong tires, but we fought back and Andy definitely went for the kill at the end, it was a great day.”

While the No. 27 went backwards at the start on rain tires, a decision to take the green on slicks quickly saw Dempsey Racing’s No. 10 PRS Guitars Porsche 911 GT3 Cup sister entry move into the lead pack in third place. The No. 10, returning to action in the Dempsey Racing camp for the first time since the May race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, was being driven by Charlie Putman, Charles Espenlaub and Darren Law.

“We had a better car than we qualified, the guys worked hard and gave us a good race car, and we made a good tire choice going out on the slicks,” said starting driver Espenlaub. “It was looking pretty bright there for a while, we later ran into some problems through the race, but the guys kept working hard and we did what we could. Congratulations to the 27 guys as that was a heck of a battle there at the end.”

All three No. 10 drivers cycled through several stints during the race. The team lost a couple of laps when full-course caution wave-arounds caught them out but still was in a position to break into the top five when Putman went off course early Saturday evening entering the front straight.

“We had a little bit of damage on the left front and shock,” said Putman, who was uninjured in the incident. “A Corvette got a penalty for coming together with us earlier, and we were getting some bad tire wear on that side. I was trying to compensate but my guess is that I asked too much out of it going into Turn 12, I couldn’t get the car to turn in and got out in the marbles. I just kind of slid into the wall and kissed it, but it was enough to bring the program to an end.”