Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series GT class fixture Dempsey Racing announced today it is expanding to a two-car effort for the 2010 season. In addition to the familiar No. 40 Mazda RX-8 driven by team principal Patrick Dempsey and 2008 Grand-Am KONI Challenge Champion Joe Foster, the team will add a No. 41 entry that will hit the track at the “Roar Before the 24” test set for Jan. 8-10. Behind the wheel of the No. 41 Mazda will be reigning Grand-Am Rolex Series GT class champion Leh Keen and KONI Challenge Series GS standout James Gué.
“What an opportunity we have to expand our team during such tough economic times and do it in a way that benefits both the Seattle Children's Hospital and the Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing in Maine,” said team owner Dempsey. “On top of that to be able to bring Leh to our team as the current GT-class champion and team him up with James, who has clearly shown his stuff in KONI Challenge, means that we have two Mazda RX-8s that will be capable of running up front. We are very excited to get going with this new program and get to Daytona.”
After a successful promotional partnership in 2009, Dempsey Racing will partner with Team Seattle and the Seattle Children's Hospital on the “traditional” Team Seattle Rolex 24 at Daytona effort but this time continue the branding and charitable promotion throughout the entire season. Season-long support for the No. 41 Mazda also comes from new Dempsey Racing partner JG Sport LLC, John and Jeri Graham and Global Diving & Salvage of Seattle, Washington. Previous Rolex 24 Hour winner and Team Seattle founder Don Kitch will partner Keen and Gué for the Rolex 24 with an additional driver to be named shortly.
“Team Seattle has a 13-year history of generating awareness and funding for the Seattle Children's Hospital and a ton of effort has been put into this new year-long program with Dempsey Racing to raise our effort to a new level,” Kitch said.
The two-car Dempsey Racing effort will continue under the engineering guidance of Kirt Wightman and with the strong support the team receives from Mazda RX-8 GT constructor and competitor SpeedSource, Inc.
“As usual the SpeedSource guys are pulling out all the stops to get us what we need, and our new No. 41 car should be ready for Leh and James to shakedown at the test days,” said Dempsey co-driver Foster.
Originally formed as Team Hyper Sport in 2002, Dempsey Racing, based in Atlanta, has competed at the top levels of American endurance sports car racing since then. The team won the 2008 KONI Challenge Championship with drivers Joe Foster and Scott Maxwell while advancing to Rolex Series competition full time with its Mazda RX-8 GT.