Indy Lights - Dempsey Progresses To Long Beach With Two Consecutive Podiums And Second Place In The Championship
Chicago, April 13, 2011: Peter Dempsey, driver of the No. 36 Pulse/Microbiology International/Motorsport Ireland/Irish Sports Council car, will progress to Long Beach, California this weekend for the third race of the Firestone Indy Lights season fresh off his second consecutive podium finish at Barber Motorsports Park this past weekend. The Irishman is thus far the only driver in the series to finish on the podium in both opening rounds and now impressively lies second in the driver’s championship.
“I felt like we were in a better position heading into the race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park than we were in St. Petersburg since we had the opportunity to test at Barber before the race,” commented Dempsey. “However, the track had changed a lot from the test to the race weekend which made trying to get the car perfect very difficult. We ended up quickest in practice on Friday, but we still knew we had a lot of work to do to make sure we had a good car for qualifying. Unfortunately, I was feeling ill over the weekend and didn’t feel like I performed to my usual standard in qualifying. As a result, I ended up in a lonely eighth place starting position.
“I knew going into the hour-long race that there were going to be a lot of wild drivers in the field, so for me, it was going to be about bringing the car home undamaged. I got a reasonable start, but it was difficult being on the outside of the entry going into turn one; there was a collision there on the first lap, and I had to avoid a car and run across the grass in the exit which caused me to drop back a couple of places. At that point, I thought it was going to be difficult to challenge for the front being so far back in field, so all I had in mind was to look after the car and the tires and see where we ended up; thankfully, that was a podium finish! O2 Racing Technology was great all weekend, so I owe them a big thank you.”
Dempsey was fastest in Friday practice at Barber Motorsports Park and ended up qualifying eighth for the race after feeling ill all weekend, but he kept his nose clean and his driving smooth throughout the 40-lap race, despite several collisions among the field, to bring home a third place finish for the O2 Racing Technology team. The accomplished formula driver was able to collect 35 more valuable championship points for his achievement and will head into round three this weekend just 10 points behind the current leader, Josef Newgarden.
“I’m really looking forward to going to Long Beach this weekend,” continued Dempsey. “It’s going to be my first time there, but I really enjoy racing on street courses. O2 Racing Technology had a good car there in the past, too; they qualified on pole and finished second in the race in 2009, so that is going to give us a good base setup. I feel like we are going to have another strong weekend for both the No. 36 Pulse car and the No. 63 Cell Safety car, and hopefully I can go two steps higher on the podium!”
Happening next for Dempsey and the O2 Racing Technology team is the third race of the season on the Streets of Long Beach this weekend, April15-17. The California street race is considered to be one of the best in America as well as a place where Dempsey is excited and determined to contest for his maiden victory in the series. To follow Peter’s progress, go to www.peterdempsey.com and www.indycar.com/fil.