Rolex 24 preview with actor, philanthropist and sportsman Patrick Dempsey
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - There are 67 cars across four classes scheduled to take the green flag for the twice-around-the-clock endurance race that is the Rolex 24. While everyone is eager to see the unified series in action, even the most seasoned teams and drivers aren't sure what to expect.
Almost half of the 67-car field is the GT class, which features the Aston Martins, Audis, Ferraris and Porsches. The class includes defending race winner Alex Job Racing, which will be in a Porsche after winning in an Audi last year, Dempsey Racing, which features actor Patrick Dempsey and was fourth at the 24 Hours of Le Mans to just miss a podium finish.
Dempsey announced earlier this month he'll compete in the full United SportsCar season.
"I think I'm getting much more competitive, much more consistent lap times, a better understanding of traffic and a better understanding of how to talk to the engineers and express what I'm getting from the car," Dempsey said. "I'm improving the more seat time I get, with the more experience I get. So when I show up at the track, I know that I have a shot at winning if everything goes right."
Dempsey isn't just racing for sport. He also races for a good cause. He is an advocate of Racing4Research. Developed by the Children's Tumor Foundation, the Racing4Research (R4R) program utilizes competitive, professional auto racing as a vehicle to increase awareness of neurofibromatosis and raise funds for research through corporate sponsorship, personal donations, and individual fundraising.