Dempsey/Del Piero Bound For Le Mans
LOS ANGELES – Dempsey/Del Piero Racing confirmed today that the international sports car racing team, newly formed and announced last week by Italian soccer star Alessandro Del Piero and Patrick Dempsey, has been notified that its entry submitted to the Selection Committee of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) has been accepted, placing the Dempsey/Del Piero team on the entry list for the 2013 24 Hours Le Mans.
The team will enter a Michelin-shod GTE-Am class Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at Le Mans. The Dempsey/Del Piero Racing entry will be fielded in partnership with the experienced and proven Proton Competition racing team.
Dempsey/Del Piero Racing has also confirmed that the team will join with famed endurance racing marque Porsche and field a two car GTC-class effort in the 2013 American Le Mans Series.
The 2013 Dempsey/Del Piero GTC-class entries will be driven by 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Champion Andrew Davis, who will pair with experienced Porsche GTC-class competitor Michael Avenatti and multi-year GT3 Cup Champion Bob Faieta in the No. 10 Porsche 911 GT3.
As international football fans are well aware, Del Piero has a long and storied history with the No. 10. Dempsey will share his No. 27 Porsche 911 GT3 with three-time Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series champion and four-time Rolex 24 At Daytona winner Andy Lally, as well as long-time racing partner Joe Foster.
“What great news today here in Paris,” said Dempsey, who was in attendance at the ACO announcement in France. “Our entire team is excited to work with Porsche, Michelin and the Proton Competition team to bring our 24 Hours of Le Mans goal to fruition. This news, combined with the opportunity I have to run with Andy Lally in the ALMS, gives our new program with Alessandro Del Piero added excitement for sure. It should be an exciting 2013 for all of us.”
Dempsey and Foster have raced together as co-drivers for the last six years but this season, with Del Piero, Avenatti and pro drivers Lally and Davis, will be their first time racing with Porsche.
“With Dempsey/Del Piero Racing joining our strong group of customer teams, both in the American Le Mans Series and at the Le Mans 24 race, Porsche Motorsport continues to count the sport’s most hard-working squads as Porsche racers,” said Jens Walther, president of Porsche Motorsport North America, Inc. “Dempsey/Del Piero Racing has followed the recommended path for a successful sports car team, gaining experience at multiple tracks with multiple cars to reach this point, and the addition of top-flight drivers make them serious competitors, both in ALMS and at Le Mans. From my personal negotiations with Patrick, Michael and Joe, I am convinced that this new affiliation will be terrific for everyone involved,”
Avenatti, as a key partner in the new Dempsey/Del Piero Racing collaboration, is looking forward to the full GTC season, as well as his first Le Mans start.
“A great deal of off-season work and planning has gone into these recent announcements and I am heading into the 2013 racing season with more optimism and anticipation than ever before,” Avenatti said. “The high-profile nature of the team will keep us in the spotlight but, more importantly, with great drivers like Andrew and Bobby, we have a realistic chance to win every time we race.”
Davis drove a Porsche 911 GT3 to his 2011 Grand-Am Rolex Series title. He also co-drove in GTC with Avenatti at last year’s season-ending Petit Le Mans.
“I am extremely excited to be joining Dempsey/Del Piero Racing for the 2013 American Le Mans Series,” Davis said. “Michael Avenatti gave me an amazing opportunity to drive with him at last year’s Petit Le Mans, and I was instantly impressed with both his on-track performance and his passion for motorsports. Michael, Bobby and I are expecting great results driving together in the highly competitive GTC category.”
Dempsey and Lally have been on-track competitors for years but will co-drive together for the first time in 2013.
“I think this will be a great fit,” said Lally, who co-drove on the highest placing Porsche team at this past weekend’s Rolex 24 At Daytona. “I know Patrick wants to win, he is very focused and driven. I always push my teammates and having raced against him in recent years, watching his progress, and seeing how fast he has become I am excited to get to Sebring and get this season started.”
Foster has also been Dempsey’s motorsports business partner for nearly a decade.
“We’ve got some opportunities this season to grow the team and we needed to shake things up a bit as regards who drives with whom,” Foster said. “I’m super excited to have Andy and Andrew here to support Michael and Patrick. They are both proven winners and experts in the Porsche which will help our learning curve. I’ll have plenty of time on-track this season once we are able to announce the rest of our program.”