The Dempsey Racing team had reason to celebrate on Sunday, June 29, even though it did not take home a trophy at the end of a long race. The #27 Dempsey Racing Porsche 911 GT America finished a season-best fourth place in the GT Daytona (GTD) class of the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen at Watkins Glen International.
Drivers Andrew Davis and Joe Foster joined owner and driver Patrick Dempsey in completing the full six-hour contest around the historic road course in upstate New York and, by race's end, were in contention of jumping on the podium in third place.
The team advanced through every stage of the race with Davis serving as qualifying and opening driver starting on the sixth row, Dempsey taking over at about an hour in, then Foster driving most of the middle, and Davis returning to finish things out.
"No major mistakes," Patrick Dempsey said, in thinking about how the team was able to improve their position. According to Dempsey Racing, Dempsey said, "It was a great run today, good to show how competitive the team truly is. We had a car that was able to run with the front runners all race and it’s great to finally have a top-five to show for it. We’ve definitely turned a corner in the performance of the car and the consistency of the drivers. Everybody drove really well. Andrew drove his heart out. So did Joe."
A series of late-race pit stops put No. 27 in fourth place, seven seconds behind the third-place car. Davis chased after it, but a late race yellow left him with only a one-lap quick chance to keep the fourth place finish.
Davis said, "We turned a bit of a corner here with our best result of the year. Fourth place in a six-hour race is something we should be proud of. The guys did a great job in the pits, and we’re working forward, everything is in the right direction."
"Everyone made great pit stops, everyone drove the wheels off it, and it’s a great team effort to finish ahead of where our pace was," said Foster. The Georgia Tech-trained engineer also added, "I think the big thing for us is nothing incredibly stupid happened."
The Dempsey Racing team competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans just two weeks before the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen. In the French race, the team took fifth driving its No. 77 Dempsey Racing-Proton Porsche 911 RSR in the GTE-AM division.
At Watkins Glen, Dempsey said in a news conference two days before the race, "I hope we finish. That's the first thing we need to do." The team not only completed the challenging six-hour endurance race, but they improved their position throughout and finished better than where it started.
"We’ll build on this, and I think we’ll be in very good shape for Mosport," said Davis.