Peter Dempsey Makes Firestone Indy Lights Debut At St. Petersburg This Weekend
St. Petersburg, March 24, 2011: Junior formula car standout Peter Dempsey will make his Firestone Indy Lights debut this weekend as he pilots the #36 Pulse O2 Racing Technology car at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg season-opener. To prepare for the much anticipated event, the 24-year-old fan favorite completed two successful tests with the former Genoa Indy Lights team over the past week and half at Barber Motorsports Park and Homestead Miami where he was right on pace with the top teams in the series.
The Ashbourne, Ireland native boldly moved his racing career to the U.S.A. in 2008 with the dream of climbing the open-wheel motorsports development ladder. His two-season campaign in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear saw him winning nine races, 13 podiums and third and second in the driver’s championships, giving him the record for the most races won in the history of the Star Mazda Championship.
Dempsey suffered somewhat of a dry spell in 2010 when a lack of sponsorship held him back from taking the next step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, the Firestone Indy Lights Series. The young talent did not let the minor setback hold him back, however; he spent 2010 coaching and test driving for former Star Mazda Championship team, Juncos Racing, trying his hand at sports car racing by entering into the world famous Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta, and heading back to Europe to become a third-time winner of the prestigious Walter Hayes Trophy (one of only two drivers to ever do so).
“I’m very excited to have been given the opportunity to make my Firestone Indy Lights racing debut this weekend,” said Dempsey. “I’d like to thank Mark Olsen and everybody at O2 Racing Technology for giving me this chance. It’s been difficult having to sit out most of this past year, but I always knew if I was patient that I’d be given the chance to compete at the next level.
“The pre-season testing has gone extremely well considering I’ve had very little seat time. There is definitely some great buzz around the team heading into the weekend. It will be important to make sure we finish the race, but our aim will be to finish in the top-five positions. It’s really exciting to have three Irish drivers in each of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder series. I think that shows what a great program Mazda and the Road to Indy have put together.
“I’d like to thank all of my sponsors and supporters—Microbiology International, Motorsport Ireland, The Irish Sports Council, and Juncos Racing for their continued support of my career. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited about heading into a race weekend!”