Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans Documentary To Air on Velocity | Edmunds

Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans Documentary To Air on Velocity

Just the Facts:
  • Grey's Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey will be featured in a four-part documentary miniseries on the Velocity network.
  • The miniseries follows the actor and his team as they prepare for this year's 24 Hours of Le Mans.
  • Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans debuts on Wednesday, August 28.

SILVER SPRINGS, Maryland — Patrick Dempsey, race driver and star of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, will be featured in a four-part documentary miniseries that traces his path to the 2013 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, one of the oldest and most revered auto races in the world.

Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans, which debuts on Wednesday, August 28 at 10 p.m. ET on the Velocity network, follows the actor and his team as they spend 15 months preparing themselves and their car for one of auto racing's most grueling endurance events.

The 90th running of the legendary race, on June 22-23, 2013, was Dempsey's second appearance at Le Mans. He first competed there in 2009, sharing driving duty with his business partner, Joe Foster, and Don Kitch, Jr. The trio finished 9th in their class that year in an AF Corse Ferrari F430 GT2.

This year, competing in the No. 77 Porsche 911 GT3 RSR, prepared by German firm Proton Competition, the team of Dempsey, Foster, and Patrick Long improved to a 4th-place finish in the GTE-AM class. They were only 90 seconds behind the 3rd-place car, so a punctured right-rear tire in the race's first hour may have been the only thing that kept them off the podium.

"We were competitive the entire race," said the actor on his Dempsey Racing Web site. "It was just a great race, we came up just a little short on the podium, but we will reach that goal soon enough. We had a great time."

With his racing career, Dempsey has joined the ranks of Hollywood celebrities who were also highly competitive racers. The list includes such luminaries as Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Paul Newman, all of whom earned the respect of their fellow drivers, shed the dilettante label and achieved legitimate success on the track.

Dempsey's love of speed goes back to his ski-racing days, when he won the slalom championship in the state of Maine, with the hope of competing in the Olympics. But he was sidetracked by acting, at which he attained success in both film and television.

But his real passion turned out to be auto racing. His first exposure to competitive driving was the three-day Skip Barber Racing School, a gift from his wife. He went on to compete in the Baja 1000 in a dune buggy and in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at Long Beach in 2005.

Since those early racing experiences, Dempsey's racing has intensified. He is now the owner and lead driver of Dempsey Racing. In addition to his Le Mans appearances, he finished 6th at the 2010 Rolex 24 at Daytona and returned the next year to achieve a career-best 3rd-place in his Mazda RX-8 GT.

Edmunds says: Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans sounds like must-see TV.

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