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Tag: Peter Dempsey

Peter DempseyWhen one door closes, another opens, and that is certainly the case for Firestone Indy Lights driver Peter Dempsey. Following the news that Belardi Auto Racing would not yield sufficient funding to run him at the final two races, Team Moore Racing opened the door for Dempsey to compete at the Grand Prix of Houston this weekend.

Dempsey will pilot the No. 2 TMR / Global Tubing / ALS Association car alongside longtime competitor and friend, Conor Daly. This weekend’s street course will be the first time the Irishman and his Irish-American colleague will debut as teammates.

“I could not be happier to be joining Team Moore Racing for the Houston race,” said Dempsey. “TMR, Mark Moore, and Tom Wood are proven multiple race winners in the Firestone Indy Lights series, and I am heading to Houston with great confidence that I am surrounded by the right people. I’m also really looking forward to having Conor Daly as my teammate for the weekend. We are friends off the track and competitors on the track, so I think we will work really well together and hopefully be in the position to reward TMR with the results they deserve.

“Team Moore Racing is giving me the opportunity to keep my title fight alive, and for that, I will always be thankful. I’d really like to thank all of my team sponsors along with my personal sponsors for making this all come together.”

Team Moore Racing will welcome three new sponsors for this weekend’s event, Global Tubing, RUS Industrial, and the ALS Association.

“We are really looking forward to the Houston race,” stated Co-Owner Mark Moore. “We have wanted to put Peter [Dempsey] in one of cars for a long time now. This is going to be a very exciting race with Peter and Conor [Daly] as teammates. It just doesn’t get any better than that!”

“Mark [Moore] and I are really happy we were able to get Peter into the No. 2 TMR / Global Tubing / ALS Association car for Houston,” added Co-owner Tom Wood. “Peter has proven how fast he is throughout the season. We’re looking forward to a great show.”

Dempsey currently lies fifth in the championship and is one of five drivers vying for the championship title and coveted $1 million scholarship towards an IndyCar drive in 2014. His new partnership with TMR, who concluded last season with one pole position, two wins, four podiums, and third in the championship, could very well be a winning combination to boost his chances at the title.

This will be IndyCar’s first return to the 1.7-mile street circuit of Houston since 2007. The 10-turn course incorporates Houston landmarks Reliant Stadium, the Reliant Astrodome, and Reliant Arena. The first practice of the weekend will take place at 10:25am EST on Friday, October 4 followed by a second practice session at 3:00pm EST. Qualifying will commence at 9:35am EST on Saturday, October 5 with the race to follow at 1:30pm EST. Coverage of the race will be shown at 4:00pm EST on Sunday, October 6 on NBC Sports Network.

Peter DempseyPeter Dempsey’s run with Belardi Auto Racing will come to a premature close following the news that the team will lack sufficient sponsorship to field the Freedom 100 winner’s campaign at the last two races.

Dempsey and Belardi Auto Racing proudly claimed their first victories together in an unforgettable win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, and Dempsey’s intent to complete his first full season with the team in the Firestone Indy Lights series looked promising.

With just two races to go, the Irish racer lies fifth in the championship and is mathematically still in contention for the title. Despite the possibility, the team felt the odds of becoming the 2013 champions were slim, and the shortage of proper funding weighed in heavier in the decision of whether or not to finish out the season.

“It’s been a pleasure to have Peter with us this season,” said Team Owner Brian Belardi. “He has been a great asset to our team this year on and off the track. I saw a lot of potential in him last year in the races that he ran with us, and I knew with his determination he would find success on the podium with our team, just as he did at the Freedom 100 this year. That incredible finish marked history at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and I couldn’t be happier to say he and Belardi Auto Racing both got their first Indy Lights victories there. I enjoyed having him with us this year and I wish him all the best of luck in the rest of his career.”

“It’s very disappointing to not be in a position to finish out the championship with Belardi Auto Racing,” said Dempsey. “However, I do fully understand the unfortunate reasons for their decision. Motorsport is an expensive sport and things like this happen all the time. I’ve really enjoyed the last year with the team. Brian [Belardi] gave me the biggest opportunity anyone has ever given me, and that’s something I will never forget.

“During our time together, we had a lot of success, winning the Freedom 100 and achieving multiple podiums. I worked as hard as I could for the team and brought them the best season they’ve had in the series, and I’m very proud to be a part of that. I now feel that I am more prepared than ever for IndyCar, and I would never have gotten to this point without Belardi Auto Racing. I wish Brian and the team all the best, and I hope they can have more success in the near future.”

Dempsey remains focused on advancing to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2014 and is working hard to raise the necessary sponsorship to earn his seat.

Yesterday’s Firestone Indy Lights race at Pocono Raceway was a long and difficult one for Freedom 100 winner Peter Dempsey. A new event this season, the “Tricky Triangle” proved to be a challenging course for Dempsey and the Belardi Auto Racing team.

The Irishman tested well on Friday, despite a minor brush with the wall that caused him to miss most of the second session, but was unable to achieve a speedy qualifying run on Saturday, putting him at the back of the pack for the start of the 40-lap event. Dempsey fought hard to make up positions in the race but could not catch the leaders, and he ultimately brought home a seventh place finish on the tri-oval.

“It was a very difficult weekend for us,” stated Dempsey. “Unfortunately, we just didn’t have it right this weekend, and it made for a long two days. It was difficult to come to Pocono Raceway and compete with Andretti and Schmidt-Peterson especially since they both have IndyCar teams who have had a lot of track time here. Now we have to move on, regroup this week, and get ready to head to Toronto where we are aiming to turn things around. The street course of Toronto is a track I like, and we will all be pushing hard next weekend.”

Dempsey was able to maintain his fourth place spot in the championship points at the conclusion of this weekend. Yesterday’s race also marked the end of the “oval season” for the Firestone Indy Lights series, meaning it’s back to street and road courses until the season finale at Auto Club Speedway in October.

Peter DempseyAfter a mixed start to the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season that included a podium, sixth place finish, and DNF, Peter Dempsey is set for the challenge of the Firestone Freedom 100 this weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The famous 2.5-mile oval will be the first of several consecutive races that take place on elliptical tracks, marking the start of the “oval season” for the Firestone Indy Lights Series.

“I’m really looking forward to entering the Freedom 100,” said Dempsey. “After the last couple of races, I’m really aiming to try to bounce back and get a solid finish. We had a great test a few weeks ago, and I’m feeling confident that we have a very competitive package heading into the weekend. Everybody at Belardi Auto Racing has been working extremely hard on the No. 5 car, and I’m so excited to be running in the Freedom 100 with them. Belardi Auto Racing has run very well at Indianapolis Motor Speedway the last few years, so I’m hoping to keep that momentum going. It’s going to be a long race, and a lot of things can happen. It will be important to be patient, stay out of trouble, and try to be in the right position heading into the last three or four laps of the race.”

This will be the Irishman’s third career race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; he brought home a solid sixth place finish at his debut in 2011 and suffered contact early on in the event in 2012. Dempsey currently lays fifth overall in the championship with 90 points.

Weekend activity kicks off tomorrow, May 23, with an official practice session at 9:00 am EST followed by single car qualifying at 1:15 pm EST. The Firestone Freedom 100 will be aired live at 12:30 pm EST as part of NBC Sports Network’s 11 am – 4 pm EST coverage of Coors Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 24. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.

Peter DempseyFirestone Indy Lights racer Peter Dempsey started the 2013 season on form with a second place finish on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida this past weekend. After making several appearances at the top in second practice, the Belardi Auto Racing driver qualified third for the 45-lap event, just two tenths of a second away from the pole position. He then turned his focus on staying out of trouble and gathering as many championship points as possible in the race. The runner-up result matched Dempsey’s personal best in the series and gave the Belardi Auto Racing team its best ever finish.

Uncharacteristically (yet smartly), Dempsey carefully selected his moves throughout the race to work his way onto the podium. The Irishman took the lead for a brief moment on the opening lap then settled into second position behind 2012 Star Mazda Champion Jack Hawksworth. As the race went on, Dempsey eventually fell back a few spots to fourth which ended up in his favor; he avoided contact with the leaders and took advantage at the right moment to move the No. 5 Belardi Auto Racing / Liberty Engineering car back into second. The patient strategy paid off with a satisfying result and strong start to the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Championship.

“I’m very happy to come away from St. Petersburg with a strong result,” said Dempsey. “I think finishing second in the first race of the year is a solid start and something that we needed for Belardi Auto Racing. It was a tough race, and it was important to keep out of trouble. We had great pace in the middle of the race, but I wasn’t in a position to make a move to pass Jack [Hawksworth]. Towards the end of the race, I backed my pace down and focused on bringing home the Belardi Auto Racing / Liberty Engineering car.

“I really want to thank my team for doing a great job all weekend and accomplishing what we needed to. I also have to thank my sponsor, Liberty Engineering, and send a huge thanks to Bell Helmets for supplying me with a helmet this weekend. I’m really looking forward to going to Barber next weekend. It’s been two years since I’ve been there, and I have more experience with the Firestone Indy Lights cars now, so I’m aiming to go there and put the No. 5 car back at the front.”

Up next for Peter and the Firestone Indy Lights series is the Barber Motorsports Park road course in Birmingham, Alabama April 5-6. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.

Peter DempseyFirestone Indy Lights driver Peter Dempsey has never been more revved up and ready for the start of a race season. After securing his 2013 seat with Belardi Auto Racing in October, Dempsey has spent the weeks leading up to this weekend’s season opener in St. Petersburg, Florida training, testing, and preparing with the team. Though regarded as a series veteran, this year will be Dempsey’s first full season in Firestone Indy Lights, making him a first time contender for the coveted championship title, a prize that comes with a one million dollar scholarship towards a ride in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

The sole Irish driver in the IZOD IndyCar Series ladder, Dempsey has done his country proud thus far with four podiums, a best finish of second at the Honda Indy Toronto in 2011, and a well-earned reputation as “one to watch” in the series. It was in St. Petersburg where Dempsey made his series debut, leading the first 11 laps of the 2011 race and finishing a strong third place among a highly competitive field. Two years later, Dempsey is looking to rekindle that same form as a pilot of the No. 5 Liberty Engineering / Belardi Auto Racing car.

“It’s been a pretty long off-season,” said Dempsey. “The team has worked extremely hard both during testing and at the shop, and I feel that everyone has given absolutely 100 percent leading up to this weekend’s race in St. Petersburg. I feel very confident that the Belardi Auto Racing team is going to have a strong package this weekend. I feel like I’ve been training harder than ever, and my mindset is in a completely new place because I know I am fighting for a championship title and not just running race by race. The field is going to be very competitive this year, so it will be important for us to make sure we bring everything we have to every race weekend. I’m really pumped up to get the season started.”

As every professional racecar driver needs professional racing gear, Dempsey is proud to be supported by several of the industry’s leading gear suppliers for the 2013 season. OMP Racing, HMS Motorsport, Schroth Racing, Stilo Helmets, and JamAir Paint will all be found in Dempsey’s equipment repertoire this year.

“I’m very happy to be working with such great brands. I feel that OMP race wear is the safest and most attractive in the business, and with my Stilo helmet painted by JamAir Paint, I know I will be in a safe position in the car. It’s also great to have the continued backing of HMS Motorsport and Schroth Racing seatbelts because they really reinforce my confidence in the car that we have built.”

This weekend’s festivities at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg kick off with the first official Firestone Indy Lights practice session at 10:10am EST on Friday, March 22. Qualifying will take place at 9:25am EST on Saturday, March 23, followed by the first race of the 2013 season at 3:40pm EST. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.

Peter DempseyBelardi Auto Racing is very pleased to announce their first driver signing for the upcoming 2013 Firestone Indy Lights season.

Veteran of the series and touted as one-to-watch by many, 26-year-old Peter Dempsey from Ashbourne, Ireland returns to the Brownsburg, IN-based team for a full-season ride in 2013. The winningest driver of the Star Mazda series, as well as a three-time winner of the coveted Walter Hayes Trophy, Dempsey longed to find a permanent seat in the third step of the Mazda Road to Indy for three seasons and has now found one in Belardi Auto Racing.

“First off I want to thank Brian [Belardi], team manager John Brunner and everyone at Belardi Auto Racing who has made this possible,” said Dempsey. “They gave me a great opportunity to drive for the team at the end of the 2012 season, and that was a very enjoyable end to my year.

When I came to the team, I really felt at home and wanted; that is a great feeling for me. After our last race at Fontana, Belardi was the team I wanted to remain with and grow with, and I am very excited that we are in the position to announce this signing so early. This really gives us the chance to properly prepare for the first race next season. For me, this is the first time in my American motorsport career where I have had a secure ride, and I could not be happier to have that with Belardi Auto Racing.”

Making his debut with B.A.R. in Toronto earlier this year, Dempsey made five starts with team and finished in the Top Five three times; Dempsey was forced to retire the other two events. The Irishman also gave the young team its highest finish of 2012 in his debut race on the streets of downtown Toronto when he finished in fourth.

“I cannot express how happy I am to have Peter back with our team in 2013,” team owner Brian Belardi said. “He is one of the most talented drivers in the Firestone Indy Lights series, and we will give him all the tools necessary to help him be successful. The entire team is looking forward to working with Peter again.”

The team will embark on their third season in Firestone Indy Lights in 2013, but until then you can follow their off-season progress by following them on Twitter and ‘liking’ them on Facebook. Belardi Auto Racing plan to continue testing throughout the off-season following their participation in the Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy Test at Indianapolis Motor Speedway where Dempsey topped the charts Wednesday until the final lap of the second session, and today where the Irishman dominated the morning session and came away third in the afternoon.

To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.

Peter DempseyPeter Dempsey, driver of the No. 9 TruFuel / Belardi Auto Racing / Motorsport Ireland car, faced yet another weekend of highs and lows at the Firestone Indy Lights season finale at California’s Auto Club Speedway. Dempsey started the weekend with an engine change following the first practice session which presented a calculated risk for him and the Belardi Auto Racing team; he missed Friday’s noon qualifying which by default placed him last on the starting grid, but he then topped the final practice session later that afternoon. The exciting twist of events introduced a great shot for Dempsey to achieve a high finish in the race the next day.

The new boost of confidence (pun intended) sent the Irishman from 14th to fifth position by lap 15 of Saturday’s 100-mile race on the two-mile oval. Following the event’s second caution, Dempsey was issued a penalty for crossing the white line and jumping the restart. That same lap, Dempsey unluckily found himself caught in the middle of a three-way battle going into turn one, and unfortunately, he was involved in contact that left him with a burst oil cooler, flat tire and another early retirement in a race he was a contender for.

“Unfortunately, the race weekend didn’t turn out as we had hoped,” stated Dempsey. “We had some issues in the first practice session, but the TruFuel/Belardi Auto Racing guys were able to change the engine and get the car back on pace in time for the second practice. Being fastest in the final practice session gave us a great bit of confidence heading into the race. I knew it was going to be a tough task to make my way from the back to the front, but I was certainly up for the challenge.

“The race started off well, and I had a couple of great restarts, but then I got involved in contact in turn one after about fifteen laps. It was a racing incident, but unfortunately, it put us out of race.

“Overall, it was a solid weekend, and we were very competitive. The Belardi Auto Racing team did a great job. I want to thank them for giving me the chance to drive the No. 9 TruFuel/Belardi Auto Racing car this season. It’s been a great opportunity for me, and they really have a great group of people on their team. I’d also like to thank my personal sponsors, Motorsport Ireland for their continued support and HMS Motorsport for their support this season. Now, we are heading into the off-season, so I’m going to be training hard and working hard on getting 2013 sorted out. Hopefully I can make a return to the No. 9 Belardi Auto Racing car sooner rather than later!”

Dempsey has already turned his focus to the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights Championship where he hopes to run a full season and be a fierce competitor for both the championship title and the Mazda Road to scholarship to advance to the Indy IZOD IndyCar Series in 2014. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.

Peter DempseyPeter Dempsey is set to take on the challenge of a new course at this weekend’s final event of the season on the two-mile oval of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Dempsey missed the opportunity to test on the oval when the majority of the Firestone Indy Lights teams did after the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in April, so this will be his first experience on the superspeedway. This will also be only the second oval track he has ventured onto in 2012 (with the other being, of course, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and the only all left-turns course he will face this year as a pilot of the No. 9 TruFuel / Belardi Auto Racing / Motorsport Ireland car.

“I am really looking forward to racing at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana,” said Dempsey. “It is unbelievable how fast this season has gone by, especially for me as I was a late starter. I missed the test in Fontana back in April, but fortunately, the No. 9 TruFuel / Belardi Auto Racing team didn’t, so we will have a good base car.

“My oval experience is pretty limited, but I am ready for the challenge of this weekend. I have done some research and watched some past Firestone Indy Lights races from Fontana, so I have a good idea of what I need to do for the race. I am looking forward to working with my teammates Jorge (Goncalvez) and Mike (Larrison) this weekend, too. I think it is very important to have a good relationship with your teammates, especially on ovals because you need to partner up sometimes.

“I am going to be racing for my team and sponsors this weekend, TruFuel, Belardi Auto Racing, Liberty Engineering, Motorsport Ireland and MoeryLAI, as without them, this year would never have come together for me.”

Pending a solid result in Fontana, Dempsey has the chance to finish 11th in the driver’s championship out of 28 competitors that have participated in the series throughout the year, despite only engaging in a partial season.

The Irishman’s best finish of the 2012 season thus far was fourth at the Honda Indy Toronto with his standout moment being his charge from fifth to first on the opening lap of the Grand Prix Trois-Rivieres.

The weekend action begins with a 45-minute practice session on Friday, September 14 at 9:45 a.m. PST followed by qualifying at 1:00 p.m. PST and a final practice session at 4:45 p.m. PST. The race will take place at 3:00 p.m. PST on Saturday, September 15. Live Timing and Scoring will be available on racecontrol.indycar.com and the race will be broadcast on NBC Sports on Thursday, September 20 at 4:00 p.m. EST. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.

Peter DempseyPeter Dempsey wrapped up the weekend at the second annual Baltimore Grand Prix with a fifth-place finish in Sunday’s race. The Firestone Indy Lights driver qualified 12th after facing multiple setbacks in the preceding practice and qualifying sessions but come race day, he refocused on achieving a solid finish in the 35-lap race. Dempsey improved seven positions—the most of the field—and ultimately secured a top-five finish for the No. 9 TruFuel / MoeryLAI / Belardi Auto Racing team.

Due to a shortened practice session on Friday, the Irishman was only able to complete three laps on the street course before a chicane was added on the front straight for Saturday’s sessions. Dempsey was one of many drivers to struggle with the course change; he tapped the wall in qualifying while attempting to find his racing limits, causing him to drop out of the session after just three laps and leaving him with a 12th place starting position.

“Heading into qualifying, we were feeling pretty comfortable that we had a solid package,” said Dempsey. “With the lack of track time, everyone was at a disadvantage. I felt like that could work in our favor, but unfortunately, I got caught out after three laps with the new chicane the series put in. We had done too much damage to the car to get it fixed in time to get back out for the end of the session. It was a driver error, and all I could do was learn from my mistake and refocus for the race.”

In the race, Dempsey showed both determination while chasing down cars and patience in choosing his battles to come from the back of the grid to within one second of the fourth place finisher by the end of the event.

“Going into the race, we were lacking track time in comparison to everyone else, and starting at the back on a street course with hardly any track time made it really difficult for me to fire my way up to the front,” continued Dempsey. “I went in with the mind set to bring the car home for the team and see where we ended up. It was important for me to get a decent finish for the team and sponsors. Fifth isn’t what we are aiming for, we will always aim to win, but I was glad to get a solid finish on the board and more data going into 2013.

“I want to thank my team for sticking with me all weekend and my sponsors, TruFuel, MoeryLAI, Dempsey’s Brew Pub & Restaurant, for all their support. Now, it’s about refocusing on turning left and heading out to Fontana. Hopefully we can regroup and finish the season with a good result out in California.”

Dempsey and the Belardi Auto Racing team will head to the final race of the season at the Auto Club Speedway’s two-mile oval in Fontana, California on September 15. To follow Peter’s progress, please go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com.