Hollywood star, racing driver, Indycar team owner, and overall way-too-attractive human being Patrick Dempsey managed to wiggle his way into driving a Porsche 911 GT3 RSR at this year’s 24 Hour of Le Mans this past June along with teammates Joe Foster and Patrick Long.
It’s not all about just showing up, of course:
“We started working on coming back before we even left Le Mans in 2009. It is just very difficult, so many factors, so many moving parts, it almost takes more than a year’s worth of planning to race at Le Mans in any given year. We worked constantly to get back and enough came together to make it back this year. In some ways it felt like we were gone for so long but in other ways, with the constant work by Joe and everyone, it seems like we made it back when were ready, and on schedule. Just getting to Le Mans is an amazing feat alone, before you even run the race.”
Preparation leading up to the 24 Hours of Le Mans – one of the most difficult endurance races in the world – must be grueling and tiresome.
Porsche Motorsport put together a video showing two of the teammates – the two Patricks – prepping for the race in the days leading up to the event.
Set in a chateau in Who-Knows-Where, France, it gives a funny perspective on how close the teammates need to be and how much practice is involved in prepping.
Needless to say, when in an endurance race, every second counts, and lots of practice has to be done to make sure the drivers transition smoothly during driver changes.
“I think, for me, the Le Mans challenge mentally is the biggest. Staying focused, not worrying about what was going on around me but to just focus on the job at hand. Once you got in the car, quite honestly, that was the easiest thing to deal with. I was more relaxed in the car than I was out of it. I do get sleep but it is not the same as when you are not at the track. Everything is so much more intense at a 24-hour race, and that includes even your sleep, but I am able to do it.”
The team ended up coming in a respectable fourth place in their #77 911 GT3 RSR in the GT-Am class.
If you’re interested in keeping up on this, the Velocity Network began airing a four-part mini-series called Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans that airs on Wednesdays at 9pm CST on Discovery, or check it out on their website.
Check out more photos of the Dempsey Porsche team below: