Dempsey Racing, in the midst of its biggest year of operation and competition in company history in 2012, was part of the formal announcement of the biggest and most significant development in North American Sports Car racing in this century earlier today at Daytona International Speedway.
GRAND-AM Road Racing's merger with the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) was officially confirmed in a Daytona press conference this morning, and Dempsey Racing's No. 27 Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing Lola-Judd P2 was one of four representative sports cars on display at the historic announcement.
Dempsey Racing is the only team that runs fulltime programs in both the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series. The effort includes three fulltime sports cars in total, with a pair of VISIT FLORIDA Mazda RX-8 GTs in the Rolex Series and the Silicon Tech/Dempsey Racing PC team in ALMS. The No. 27 P2 Lola-Judd that was on display at Daytona on Wednesday is also running a partial development season of racing in ALMS this year.
Additionally, Dempsey Racing fields a full-season Mustang program in a partnership with Roger Miller and Miller Racing in the GRAND-AM Continental Sports Car Challenge.
"We are incredibly proud, and at times a little terrified actually, of the incredible multi-team and multi-series effort we are fielding this year," said Dempsey Racing owner and driver Patrick Dempsey, the popular television and film actor. "I am sure Jim France and Don Panoz may be feeling the same way after today's announcement! It is and will be an amazing feat, it certainly presents another exciting option for us and our partners, and we were honored to be part of the big day with our Trina Solar/Drink GNC/Motegi Racing Lola-Judd on display."
The No. 27's presence at the press conference could very well have been the first time a currently competing international and ALMS specification P2 race car has ever rolled on to the hallowed ground of Daytona International Speedway. Based on the plans outlined today, P2 will very likely be among the classes competing in the inaugural race for the unified new series when it debuts at the 2014 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
"We understand the place was packed and that the media turnout was excellent, so it was good to get some new and influential eyeballs on our Dempsey Racing P2 car," said Joe Foster, Dempsey's co-driver and motorsports business partner. "This was definitely a big and somewhat surprising announcement and we will absolutely stay in tune with what will no doubt be some exciting and interesting developments over the next year. At the end of the day, racing still comes down to cubic dollars and we will add this option to the discussion with our partners."