Normally, nothing clears my living room like the sound of Formula 1 engines from the Sky Sports F1 channel. Yet I watched Sky’s F1 show tonight with wife and oldest daughter in attendance. Why? Because Patrick Dempsey Porsche Supercup.
This weekend is the German Grand Prix, and Dempsey has a seat in Porsche Supercup. I know many groan at the celebrity circus of McDreamy in racing but, away from the hype, his racing is serious.
“I am so grateful to Porsche and delighted to be here in Supercup,” Dempsey started off with David Croft, Grand Dame of Sky’s F1 coverage. “Never mind all that, what is happening in Series 11?” demanded Crofty, apparently a fan of Gray’s Anatomy. Dempsey warmed to the kickoff and was most entertaining.
“I get the feeling that you’re not going to be in this next series a lot, because you’re now a proper racing driver, and that’s why you’re here in Hockenheim?” asked Croft.
“I’m having a lot of fun here this weekend,’ said McDreamy. “Porsche Supercup has some of the world’s finest GT drivers, so to be here racing on an F1 weekend is a lot of fun. Although it’s very, very warm this weekend, so lack of grip through the twisty last sector is giving us quite a lot of understeer.”
“Struggling overall? Do you think your lap times will be good enough to give you a decent race on Sunday?”
“I don’t know: we’ll see how we qualify. You know it’s gonna be great [whatever happens]. It’s my first standing start, so I’m looking forward to that. I hope I have a good run; I hope I have someone out there to run with.”
Patrick Dempsey Porsche Supercup
That this is Dempsey’s first grid start is quite a revelation and shows how few competition miles he has clocked up in racing, at least here in Europe. As he’s such a huge part of Porsche’s Le Mans coverage, I forget how new Patrick is to racing, but it’s easy see how Le Mans drives him on.
“Le Mans is it for me really, that’s my dream,” smiled Dempsey. “We’ve come close now the last few times and I really want to win that race in class. It is so competitive – especially this year – that I just need to be training more, which is one reason why I’m over here. I enjoy being around all the drivers who are in the Supercup and have been incredibly supportive, and all my sponsors have been helping out, so I just need to be in the car. I need seat time and I need to be driving with the best drivers in the world to really improve my speed.”
Eurosport did a great documentary series following three drivers through Le Mans this year. Dempsey was one of them, and I really switched on to his focus. Supercup is a brutal barometer – packed as it is with incredible professional talent, all driving very similar cars – so I hope it treats him kindly. I don’t doubt Dempsey can finish up the field a bit, as long as he can navigate the Hockenheim GP circuit. It’s a super tricky place.