SILVER SPRING, Md., June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The list of legendary actors-turned-racers is as short as it is iconic: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and James Garner. This summer, Velocity follows Patrick Dempsey as he joins this elite group when he tackles the world's oldest – and most grueling – automotive endurance race, France's 24 Hours of Le Mans. The world-premiere television event PATRICK DEMPSEY: RACING LE MANS follows Dempsey as he and his team, co-owned with Italian soccer superstar Alessandro Del Piero, prepare for the vehicular equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest. From sponsor recruitment, to time trials, to juggling his family and Hollywood career, the four-part miniseries offers unlimited access to Dempsey and his Porsche 911 GT3 RSR team as they prepare to risk everything on Europe's most historic track. PATRICK DEMPSEY: RACING LE MANS premieres on Velocity on Wednesday, August 28 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT).
Link to the trailer available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n6yf9tqoa7Q
"Racing is my true passion, and taking on Le Mans will be the biggest challenge of my life so far. Le Mans pushes both driver and machine to the absolute brink, testing stamina, skill and endurance unlike any other event in the world," said Dempsey. "Just getting to Le Mans is almost as challenging as the race itself. This project reflects a 360-degree-view of the entire race process – including all the ups and downs along the way."
Dempsey will take his turn at the wheel, alongside Porsche racing partners Patrick Long and Joe Foster at the 24 Hours of Le Mans on June 22 and 23. Since its inception in 1923, the race has tested the strength and stamina of both drivers and their vehicles. When the flag drops, racers compete against each other for a full day, as they must manage their vehicle's maintenance and resources as they work through their own hunger and exhaustion.
"Patrick Dempsey embodies the all core values of Velocity programming: authenticity, expertise and most importantly, passion," said Robert Scanlon, General Manager of Velocity. "Le Mans is a pinnacle of motorsports and the ultimate melding of man and machine. Velocity viewers will be on the edge of their seats as they watch Patrick's attempt to join McQueen, Newman and Garner on the Mount Rushmore of actors/racers."
FULL EPISODE DESCRIPTIONS BELOW
PATRICK DEMPSEY: RACING LE MANS
Premieres Wednesday August 28 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Hollywood leading man Patrick Dempsey has set himself an enormous goal – to compete at the most prestigious race in motorsports – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following in the footsteps of legendary idols Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and James Garner, Dempsey's passion and commitment to racing has earned him respect within the racing community. But the road to Le Mans isn't without sacrifice, as Patrick must strike a balance between his day job on set and his desire to secure time in the driver's seat. Alongside demanding sponsorship commitments and a challenged car manufacturer, Patrick and partner Joe Foster navigate the minefield that lies before them as they struggle to keep their team on the road to Le Mans.
Premieres Wednesday September 4 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
Not only is actor Patrick Dempsey a race car driver, he's a race team owner – and with that title comes the stress of raising money to keep his car on the track. Like Paul Newman and James Garner before him, Patrick is balancing his time behind the wheel with the demands of finding financing. With delinquent sponsors consistently coming up short, Patrick and partner Joe Foster are scrambling to keep their team solvent. As the 2012 season comes to an end, the team is in dire financial straits, forcing layoffs and an end to its 6-year relationship with Mazda. After a failed attempt at the Petit Le Mans, the team's hope of making it to France are derailing.
Premieres Wednesday September 11 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
An 11th hour deal with Porsche allows actor Patrick Dempsey to keep his race team alive, but organizational restructuring brings in a wave of new players. Constant tweaking of the driver line-up causes some unrest among the team, and after a much-anticipated invitation to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, it becomes imperative to field the most competitive team possible. Strong showings at Sebring and Laguna Seca, coupled with the addition of veteran racer Patrick Long to the Le Mans driver line-up, give the team the jolt of energy it's been seeking for months. A first place finish for Patrick Dempsey in the Mint 400 add to the actor's confidence, and for the first time in over a year the team is riding high as it prepares to take on the daunting challenge of Le Mans.
Premieres Wednesday September 18 at 10:00 PM (ET/PT)
For leading man Patrick Dempsey, this is the moment of truth. After nursing his team through two tumultuous seasons with partner Joe Foster, they arrive in France to tackle the near-impossible goal they set for themselves a year ago – to compete in motorsport's most grueling event – the 24 Hours of Le Mans. With veteran driver Patrick Long as their teammate, a podium finish in their class is within reach. But like Paul Newman and Steve McQueen before him, Patrick Dempsey must navigate the media circus that surrounds Le Mans, and stay focused on the task at hand. When the checkered flag drops, he has 24 hours to realize his dream.
PATRICK DEMPSEY: RACING LE MANS is produced for Velocity by Planet Grande in Malibu California. Patrick Dempsey and Jim Hancock are executive producers. For Velocity, Bob Scanlon is General Manager and Dave Lee is Director of Production.
Velocity, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is the first cable network targeting the upscale male audience. Velocity engages viewers with a variety of high-octane, intelligent programming that is always action-packed and captures the best of the human experience. In addition to series and specials exemplifying the finest of the automotive, sports and leisure, adventure and travel genres, the network broadcasts hundreds of hours of live events coverage every year. Velocity is available in approximately 52 million U.S. homes. For more information on Velocity, please visit Velocity.com.
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