The end all/be all of racing
Patrick Dempsey hits the stage to speak on the Racing LeMans panel discussion during the Velocity portion of the 2013 Summer Television Critics Association Tour
By Valerie Milano
Beverly Hills, CA (Hollywood Today
) 8/28/13 – Hollywood history has produced three leading men who have been skilled race car drivers. These men weren’t simply just hobbyists they each commanded the raceway as professionally as any other high level competing drivers. This elite group includes Paul Newman, James Garner, Steve McQueen, and now, Patrick Dempsey. Their fame fueled their passion. Tonight Velocity presents a new 4-part docu-series, Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans
, which follows 15 months in the racing life of Patrick Dempsey.
Dempsey has climbed the ladder from novice to expert and graduated to compete in the world’s most legendary and challenging endurance race, the 24 hours of Le Mans, where, as we learned this year, the cost to compete can be a driver’s life.
In the first episode, Dempsey told Hollywood Today at the TCA Summer 2013 press tour, “I really sort of fell in love with racing…as a driver. You’re going into a place where you have to be completely aware. You’re so focused, you’re alive. You have the feeling that you are absolutely alive. I found something that I was finally passionate about.”
Interviewed for the docu-series, Sam Posey, Racing Analyst said, “The Race culture is one of desire and ambition. And the desire to prove yourself. These are all mixed up together.” Posey goes on to say, “The attitude, of course, that you want to prove something is particularly acute in the case of the actor, because the actor’s already a famous person and so he’s under a spotlight; a magnifying glass. He’s got to prove that he’s as macho in real life as he is on the screen or else there’s a shortfall in there and it’s going to be embarrassing to him.“
When asked what he got out of racing as opposed to acting Dempsey stated, “ I just I just love it. I’ve loved it since I was a kid. There is something that is…you’re really testing yourself. You’re going into your own fears and anxieties and you have to test yourself physically and mentally. And I think that’s what I like about it. And certainly the sense of fellowship and camaraderie is really what I love most.
We asked Mr. Dempsey if Le Mans was his Mecca, the end all/be all of racing and here’s what he had to say, “it’s a remarkable event. I don’t know if anybody is familiar with it or not, but just the whole week, the event, the amount of attention that is there, and the greatest drivers in the world go there. It’s probably the most important event for an endurance driver. But at that level, with that intensity, it’s transformative in the sense of preparing for it, what it does to you. When you have a goal and you achieve it although we didn’t win, we came very, very close and, I think, it surprised people how competitive we were…it changes you, mentally, physically, and emotionally. You’re not the same as when you enter that event. When you leave, you’re different.” We wanted to know what his next plan was, now that he’s raced the 24-hour Le Mans race, “Going back and winning, hopefully. Get sponsorship. So if anybody wants to give me some money to go racing. I’d be greatly appreciative.”
The world premiere first episode of Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans
will air on Velocity tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern and Pacific. And Episode 1 will also feature a special simulcast presentation on the Discovery Channel.