The newly formed Dempsey/Del Piero Racing squad will embark on a full season with two cars in the GTC class of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) it has been announced, though the team will also compete in the LMGTE Am class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
For the famous endurance race (June 22-23) Patrick Dempsey – team owner with Italian football star Alessandro Del Piero – will drive with Joe Foster and Michael Avenatti. The team’s entry, in a Porsche 997 run in conjunction with the experienced Proton Competition squad was confirmed by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) at the Paris press conference announcing the entry list for both the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the FIA World Endurance Championship.
“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. “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.”
While Dempsey and Foster will both be making their second Le Mans starts, having raced in GT2 in 2009, Avenatti, an experienced man in the ALMS will be racing on the Circuit de la Sarthe for the first time.
“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.”
In the ALMS Avenatti will drive with multiple Porsche GT3 Cup Champion Bob Faieta and Andrew Davis, a Porsche regular in the Grand-Am Rolex Series, winning the GT class in that series in 2011. Completing the team’s two car entry in the series, which start with the 12 Hours of Sebring Dempsey will drive with Foster and Andy Lally.
“What great news today in Paris,” said Dempsey. “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.”