Patrick Dempsey invested the fee from his first big cinema film “Can’t Buy Me Love” in his first Porsche – a 1963 Porsche 356 cabriolet: “The best car I ever had. I'll never part with it.” The actor has been fascinated by cars ever since childhood. “My dad always used to bring me Matchbox cars and we often watched car races on TV or listened to them on the radio”, Dempsey says.
2005 was a life-changing year for the 49-year old actor. The hospital series “Grey’s Anatomy” – Dempsey has a leading role playing doctor Dr Derek Shepherd – was broadcast for the first time. And in June Dempsey attended the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the first time. His acting career peaked with the series, but that wasn't enough for the car enthusiast. His trip to Le Mans made such an impression on him that he decided to participate himself.
In 2009 he fulfilled this dream and took part in the 24-hour race for the first time. “I will never forget the night. It was a physical and a transcendental experience in many respects. I'd been looking forward to it for so long and suddenly I was in the midst of it.” In 2013 he established a team together with Italian football star Alessandro Del Piero; since 2014 he has been driving a car in his own team Dempsey Proton Racing.
In the new racing season, Dempsey is exchanging the white doctor's overall for a white Porsche racing suit even more frequently. Together with the experienced Porsche works driver Patrick Long, who also lives in California, he takes part in all eight WEC races of the 2015 season in a Porsche 911 RSR.
Dempsey is really looking forward to it: “It's the big challenge of pushing yourself to your limits. The combination of emotion and discipline required in motor racing is quite addictive”, the actor says. At the moment he finds his role as a racing driver much more fulfilling than acting: “Not much changes in my TV work, but everything changes constantly in motor racing – every lap, every bend and every moment.”
Perhaps this is why Dempsey is continuing to dream a further big dream; the dream of a film about motorsport, “which generates enthusiasm for motor racing among people who haven't been interested in it at all yet.” However, the racing drivers themselves would also have to be able to relate to such a project. “That's very difficult, but it would be great”, Dempsey says. Perhaps the 2015 WEC season will provide the decisive ignition spark. There's no doubt about it: this leading role would be perfectly tailored to Patrick Dempsey.