American actor Patrick Dempsey, perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Shepherd in the television series 'Grey's Anatomy,' has announced plans to race in the Le Mans 24 Hour race in 2013 in France.
In March, Patrick Dempsey, revealed that he planned to take his Dempsey Racing team to compete in the 2013 Le Mans 24 Hour race, the 24 Heures du Mans, which is raced over Circuit de la Sarthe in Pays de la Loire, France.
As well has numerous film roles, Dempsey has long held endurance racing close to his heart. When filming commitments have allowed, endurance racing has been his passion. His racing stable, Dempsey Racing was formed in 2002 and has since regularly participated in endurance racing. Dempsey himself took part in the 2009 Le Mans 24 Hours finishing ninth in the GT2 class on board a Ferrari F430.
Dempsey made the Le Mans announcement whilst participating in the first round of this year's World Endurance Championship at Sebring in Florida in March. It is likely that Patrick Dempsey will race in the LMP2 class at Le Mans in 2013 in a closed car since his actor's insurance would not permit him to race in an open-topped racer.
Preparations for Dempsey Racing’s participation in the 2013 Le mans 24 Hours will also be the subject of a new documentary series, reports the Bradenton Herald. The star of Greys Anatomy will be producing “Road to Le Mans” a four part documentary, expected to air on the Velocity channel, covering Dempsey Racing’s preparation for the event, sponsors, time trials and of course Dempsey’s appearance at the big one at Le Mans itself.
Patrick Dempsey is by no means the first movie star to combine acting with a love of the racetrack. Perhaps the best known was Steve McQueen’s portrayal of a racing driver in the movie “Le Mans” but both Paul Newman in “Winning” and James Garner in “Grand Prix” saw their real life pastimes translate to roles on the big screen.