Road Atlanta: Peter Dempsey preview
Peter Dempsey to Compete in World Famous Petit Le Mans Event at Road Atlanta Chicago, Ill. (September 23, 2010) - Irish racecar driver Peter Dempsey has announced his plans to compete in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila ...
Peter Dempsey to Compete in World Famous Petit Le Mans Event at Road Atlanta
Chicago, Ill. (September 23, 2010) - Irish racecar driver Peter Dempsey has announced his plans to compete in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patron in an LMP2 sports car at the 13th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA2 event next weekend at Road Atlanta. A standout formula car driver, Dempsey will take his one-of-a-kind talent to a brand new level of racing with his entry into the 1,000-mile/10-hour event. Dempsey will make his sports car debut in a Radical SR9 powered by a Nissan-based production engine program with first-year prototype team Libra Racing alongside American teammate Andrew Prendeville and Finnish teammate Harri Toivonen.
"I'm really excited about making this next step in my career," said Dempsey. "I'm very fortunate that Libra Racing has given me the opportunity to race at such a high profile event. Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks in the U.S.A., and I really can't wait to experience driving on it in the Radical SR9. It's going to be a steep learning curve for me, and it's going to be very important to learn as much as possible from Harri (Toivonen) and Andrew (Prendeville) since they have more experience than I do in this type of racing.
"I got a chance to test the car for the first time this week which went really well. It was nice to get up to speed with the level of grip and also to get to know the guys on team. It's a great team, and I really hope we can have a strong weekend at Petit Le Mans."
The 24-year-old got behind the wheel of the Radical IES Nissan for the first time this week at a private two-day test in North Carolina where he immediately impressed Libra Racing Team Principal, Ian Dawson.
"We had a very, very good test this week," said Dawson. "Peter (Dempsey) has already adapted to the car extremely well. Now it's just a matter of him adjusting to driving the car with two other people. We are very confident in his abilities, and we know he's going to be a huge asset to the team at the Petit Le Mans event next week."
The two-time Motorsport Ireland Young Driver of the Year winner hopes to help bring a top-three in-class finish to Libra Racing in the Petit Le Mans race on October 2, a finish that would award the brand new team with a highly coveted entry into the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race in 2011.
Dempsey won the race at Road Atlanta last season as a competitor in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, emerging from the event with the championship lead and only one race to go. "The Irish Steamroller", as he had been nicknamed after plowing over the competition for most of the season, narrowly missed the championship title after a devastating DNF in the final event at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca leaving him with a well-deserved second place overall.
After two seasons, nine wins, eight poles and 13 podiums in the Star Mazda Championship, the young talent from Ashbourne, Ireland returned to the series once again in 2010, but this time as a driver coach for his former team, Juncos Racing. The powerhouse Star Mazda Championship team will also be racing at Road Atlanta next week having already clinched the 2010 championship title with driver Conor Daly.
The action-packed excitement of driver changes, pit stops and high-class racing during the 1,000-mile/10-hour 13th annual Petit Le Mans powered by MAZDA2 will be broadcast live on SPEEDTV beginning at 11:00 a.m. EST on October 2.
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