Dempsey Racing Drivers Met with Fans Saturday
Dempsey Racing teammates Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey met with fans at Homestead-Miami Speedway before the Grand Prix of Miami (photo courtesy: Geoff Burke, Getty Images Sport)
FANS JOINED PATRICK DEMPSEY AND CREW FOR PRE-RACE EVENT
Before the Grand Prix started, fans were invited to join an exclusive group meet-and-greet with Dempsey Racing drivers at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The package benefits the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing, and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The event took place in the drivers’ meeting room prior to the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series “Grand Prix of Miami.”
The $40 package—was a salute to the Dempsey Racing No. 40 and No. 41 Mazda RX-8 GT entries. The package included:
● Ticket to the Saturday, March 6 “Grand Prix of Miami” at Homestead-Miami Speedway
● Exclusive group meet-and-greet on race day with competing Dempsey Racing drivers (12 p.m.)
● $20 donation to Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing and Seattle Children’s Hospital
● Paddock Pass providing exclusive access to driver garages
● Dempsey Racing-autographed team hero card
Dempsey Racing entered Saturday’s “Grand Prix of Miami” on the heels of a sixth-place finish in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. The Dempsey Racing team, anchored by Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster, sits just 10 points back of first place in GRAND-AM’s GT Championship standings. The No. 40 Dempsey Racing Mazda climbed to fifth in the Championship points standings after the Grand Prix of Miami Saturday.
The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer, Hope & Healing aims to provide the highest quality of education, support and wellness services to enhance the quality of life of individuals, families and communities touched by cancer. Dempsey’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997 and successfully treated, but the disease returned twice. She underwent a second and third treatment, and today enjoys a healthy life.
GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI PREVIEW
Daytona Prototypes and GT-class machines will fight for track position as the two classes compete simultaneously on Saturday for Victory Lane. The two-and-half- hour battle of man and machine played out on the highly demanding and technical road course at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series—which in October at Homestead-Miami delivered one of the closest Championship finishes in series history—attracts a diverse driver lineup from all racing disciplines around the world.
$20 TIX, $10 PADDOCK PASSES
Race fans were invited to enjoy unparalleled access at Saturday’s Grand Prix of Miami, including entry into the GRAND-AM driver/garage area and the opportunity to enjoy two Pre-Race Pit Walks on one of the most technologically advanced racing facilities in America. In addition, GRAND-AM drivers signed autographs FREE of any charges in the grandstand pavilion Saturday morning (10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.).
“This is a very unique opportunity to get up close with the best sports car drivers in the world—both at the autograph session and on Pit Road,” said Homestead-Miami Speedway President Matt Becherer. “No other major sport in America provides fans this kind of access to the athletes. Paired alongside our kids-free policy and FREE parking, the Pre-Race Pit Walk and autograph session make Homestead-Miami Speedway an ultimate destination for families come Saturday.”
GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI QUALIFYING
Darren Law - with some help from Brumos Racing official Hurley Haywood - ran a lap of 1:11.806 (115.311 mph) to capture the pole for Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami, Round 2 of the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series.
Law led a nine-driver assault on Jon Fogarty's five-month-old Homestead-Miami Speedway Daytona Prototype track record in preparation for the two-hour, 45-minute race took the green flag at 5 p.m. ET Saturday (SPEED, live).
"Prior to going out, Hurley told me to get in the car and visualize the track," said Law, who won his only prior pole position at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2005. "I kind of blew it off, but I did get in the car early and tried to visualize it. Then we went out and won the pole, and Hurley's taking all the credit for it."
Haywood won last October's Grand Prix – at Homestead-Miami Speedway - as a late substitute in the No. 59 Brumos Racing Porsche Riley, co-driving with Joao Barbosa. One of America's most successful endurance racers, Haywood retired from active competition following the season-opening Rolex 24 At Daytona - a race he won a record five times. He remains active in the sport as an official with Brumos Racing.
Fogarty qualified second in the No. 99 GAINSCO/Bob Stallings Racing Chevrolet, 1:11.839 (114.311 mph), followed by Brian Frisselle in the No. 6 The Pit Stop on Norris Lake Ford Riley, 1:12.079 (114.874 mph); Memo Rojas in the No. 01 TELMEX BMW Riley, 1:12.166 (114.735 mph); and Ricky Taylor in the No. 10 SunTrust Ford Dallara, 1:12.282 (114.551 mph).
Fogarty had a personal streak of winning the pole in his last five qualifying attempts, while he ended 2009 by winning the pole in six of the last seven races, including the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Paul Edwards won the GT pole in the No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette with a lap of 1:18.123 (106.322 mph). Eight drivers were under Nick Ham's 2009 Homestead-Miami track mark in the 15-minute session.
Edwards and Banner Racing won the GT class in three of its last four Homestead-Miami Speedway races in a Pontiac. Edwards will be joined on Saturday by Scott Russell in the No. 07 Mobil 1 Corvette.
SpeedSource claimed the next three positions and Mazda the next four. Jonathan Bomarito made his qualifying debut as regular co-driver in the Rolex 24 class-winning SpeedSource No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 by winning the outside pole with a lap of 1:18.132 (105.975 mph).
Final practice for the Grand Prix of Miami was held 9:10 a.m. Saturday. The day's activities also included the Homestead 200.
HOMESTEAD 200 QUALIFYING
The last two times Joe Foster started from the pole position in a GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport (GS) race, he and Scott Maxwell went on to win.
The pair will look toward another such accomplishment Saturday when Foster leads the 37-car GS starting field to the green flag at 1:05 p.m. at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Homestead 200. Foster was awarded the pole position following post-qualifying technical inspection, his fifth career pole and first since 2008.
Original fast qualifier Jack Roush Jr., seeking his first pole position, had his time disallowed after officials found an unapproved part on the car. Ian Baas, who qualified third in the No. 01 APR/BBS Audi S4, also had his time disallowed for ride height.
"It was exciting at the beginning," said Foster, who is looking for his fourth career series victory. "It's was great to have so many cars out there. It's a great thing for the series and sponsor, Continental Tire. The Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge has a great grid in ST and GS."
Moving to second was James Gue. Gue, who will pull double duty with Saturday's Grand Prix of Miami for the Rolex Sports Car Series presented by Crown Royal Cask No. 16, in the No. 37 Trumansburg ShurSave Ford Mustang Boss 302R, turned in a time of 1:26.781 (95.413 mph).
In the Street Tuner (ST) class, Sarah Cattaneo led an abbreviated session and will lead 33 cars to the green flag for that race.
Cattaneo drove the No. 197 Cruise America/Four Winds RV Mini Cooper S to a time of 1:31.810 (90.186 mph). Her time came midway through the session, which ended prematurely when Gunter Schmidt - driving the No. 22 Sick Kids Foundation/C&P Cross Border Chevrolet Cobalt SS - hit the wall in Turn 1, causing severe front end damage to the car. Schmidt was not seriously injured in the incident.
Cattaneo, who is in her first full season with RSR Motorsports, becomes the first female driver since Valerie Limoges to win a pole position in the series since 2007. Limoges also accomplished her feat at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"RSR Motorsports put together a great car for me," Cattaneo said. "I got a great tow off of one of the Jettas. He took me all the way through three and four. That's basically how I got my fast lap."
Joining Cattaneo on the front row is Zach Lutz at 1:32.314 (89.694 mph), who made his series debut in the Fresh From Florida 200 in January, in the No. 75 Skunk2/HPD Honda Civic Si. Compass360 Racing, Lutz's team, won the race last season, and Lutz - teaming with co-driver Ryan Eversley - was expecting another strong performance after he and Eversley finished fifth in the Fresh From Florida 200.
A final 30-minute practice session for the series is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. The two-and-a-half hour Homestead 200 is scheduled to start at 1:05 p.m. Saturday.
Homestead-Miami Speedway’s $40 Dempsey Racing package is available while supplies last by calling (866) 409-RACE or by visiting THEChampionshipTrack.com. For Grand Prix of Miami ticket information, call toll free (866) 409-RACE. The Grand Prix of Miami took place at Homestead-Miami Speedway Mar. 6, 2010.