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Dempsey Racing's First Victory PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Sunday, 15 August 2010 18:16

Dempsey Racing earned its first Rolex Series GT class victory in the Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, with drivers James Gue (left) and Leh Keen.

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Rolex - 1st place Watkins Glen PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Sunday, 08 August 2010 19:47
James Gué and Leh Keen Give Dempsey Racing its First Win in
No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving Mazda RX-8 GT at The Glen

Charles Espenlaub and Joe Foster “bumped” to seventh in No. 40 Florida Live Mazda RX-8 GT

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (August 7, 2010) – James Gué and Leh Keen co-drove to victory in Saturday’s Crown Royal 200 at The Glen to score the first career GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT wins for Gué, Dempsey Racing and the first-year No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving/Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT team.

“It’s coming near to the end of the season, so we were running out of time to do it, but I just always knew we were going to get a win this season,” said Keen, who passed the No. 70 Castrol Syntec Mazda RX-8 GT of Jonathan Bomarito with just four laps remaining. “It just feels so great, and almost like we finally got the monkey off our backs, because we could have got a win before now. It just goes to show how good of a team this is. This was a tough race and we got the job done today and had a great car.”

Gué started the race from fourth place on the starting grid and battled and stayed in the top five throughout his opening stint. He pitted just before the mandatory 45-minute rule to hand the Mazda over to Keen, and the No. 41 crew performed another top pit stop.

“The team has been improving, and every race we get better and better, especially these last couple of races,” Gué said. “The guys in the pits did just a phenomenal job and we had great pit work all day. We had no problems at all and that was certainly a huge factor in getting us on the top step of the podium today.”

The crew got Keen out of the pits in third and he moved past the No. 57 Stevenson Motorsports Camaro of Robin Liddell for second with just under 45 minutes to go.

“We came into this race battling the No. 57 for third in the championship and we knew we had to finish in front of them,” Keen said. “It couldn’t have been a better weekend for us because we got our win that we wanted and that the team really deserves. We also put a gap on the No. 57 in points.”

While the No. 41’s victory was the first for Dempsey Racing since the team entered GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT competition at Miller Motorsports Park in September of 2007, Saturday’s race for a time looked like both Dempsey Mazdas were going to have career days. Joe Foster and Charles Espenlaub had the No. 40 Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT in the top five for most of the race, and Foster was well positioned in fourth with just over seven minutes to go.

“We are obviously super happy for the No. 41 car, John and Jeri Graham, and to see them have the success they deserve, for me and Patrick (Dempsey) as team owners, is fantastic,” Foster said. “We also had a reasonably good result going in the No. 40 Florida Live car as well and ran fourth most of the day, but on the last lap the No. 68 Mazda came across the grass and took us out.”

Foster nursed his damaged Mazda across the finish line and he and co-driver Charles Espenlaub ended up seventh in the GT class.

Next up for Dempsey Racing and the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series is the Montreal 200 at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, August 27 – 28. The two-hour race can be seen live on SPEED, Saturday, August 28, at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

NOTEWORTHY

- While reigning Rolex Series GT Champion Keen took his seventh career GRAND-AM victory, Gué scored his first Rolex Series GT win to go along with victories in ALMS and the GRAND-AM Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge. “It’s awesome to finally get a win in the Rolex Series, it is pretty cool,” Gué said. “It is also great to have John and Jeri Graham here from Global Diving and have to them share in the victory because they are reason all of this is happening. And it feels even better to know that we are doing this to support Seattle Children’s Hospital as well. When we win they win.”

- The No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving Mazda RX-8 GT is third in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT Team Championship standings with 264 points. The No. 70 Mazda is second with 286 points, just four behind their championship leading No. 69 FXDD/SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GT teammates, who are on top with 290 points. Keen and Gué also have 264 points in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series GT Driver Championship standings, which ranks them sixth overall.

 
Grand-Am - Keen, Gue Building More Than Just Momentum PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Sunday, 01 August 2010 14:42

Keen and Gue Building More Than Just Momentum

July 29, 2010

By Michael Harker

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Drivers of the No. 41 Global Diving & Salvage Mazda RX-8 in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series GT class, Leh Keen and James Gue know what it is like to have built successful careers and relationships, especially during the past few seasons in GRAND-AM Road Racing competition.

Keen is coming off a 2009 season that saw him co-win four races and take the Rolex Series GT title along with co-driver Dirk Werner. Meanwhile, Gue finished second in the 2008 and 2009 Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Grand Sport (GS) points standings with Bret Seafuse, driving for JBS Motorsports. So it comes as no surprise that the pair is currently fourth in the GT championship, fighting for podium finishes weekly and at times even a victory. They have three podiums and eight top 10s - all consecutively - in nine races this season.

"James and I are two pretty laidback guys," Keen said. "I would say we are pretty different from each other but we get along great. He knows the importance of keeping the car in great shape and makes sure he does that each race."

Added Gue: "Driving with Leh has been good this year and I think we complement each other well. We get along off the track, and we push each other on the track. The biggest difficulty we have is fitting us both comfortably in the car as there is about eight inches difference in height between us."

So it's safe to say they continue to build the Dempsey Racing program - which last season consisted of one Mazda RX-8, the No. 40 for team co-owners Joe Foster and Patrick Dempsey. In the process of building their friendship, Keen and Gue are in the process of building even more outside the racing community.

The pair's efforts have been supported by Team Seattle, which raises funds for and awareness of the Seattle (Wash.) Children's Hospital. Team Seattle has, in the past, regularly raised money with a car competing in the Rolex 24 At Daytona. This season, Team Seattle stepped up its efforts for an entire season. While that gives Keen and Gue a chance at winning a championship, it also raises more money for Team Seattle; in fact, all the team's prize money is donated to the Seattle Children's Hospital. Through their efforts on the track, the race team is also helping to build a hybrid operating room, which will improve the way cardiac operations will function.

"I was fortunate enough to visit the hospital earlier in the year and see first-hand the impact the racing program has on the hospital," Gue said. "We have had a tremendous amount of support from everyone at Team Seattle."

Two of the team's biggest supporters have been Seattle natives John and Jeri Graham, owners of Global Diving and longtime supporters of the Seattle Children's Hospital. That led them to the Team Seattle program, and after attending their first race just last year, they backed a full season for the No. 41 for the entire 2010 campaign.

So far, the relationship has proven worthwhile in several ways. Gue and the Grahams visited the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, prior to the race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, where Gue signed autographs and visited with children. Several team members also expect to visit The Montreal Children's Hospital in August during the penultimate round of the 12-race season at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve.

Seattle Children's Hospital, Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Montreal Children's Hospital are all participating hospitals in The Children's Circle of Care, which advances philanthropy that supports patient care, teaching, research and advocacy through educating and recognizing leading benefactors.

"We've always supported the children's hospital on a smaller scale, and now we're gradually advancing that," John Graham said. "We think we have something to contribute that will be beneficial to the hospital. I think we've got an extremely good group of folks here that we weren't responsible for putting together, but the chemistry is good and we've got good drivers.

"We think that our investment is probably going to get a three- or four-time return on money for the hospital. We're not in it for us. We're in it for the hospital. That's why we're here."

In addition to the Grahams, other members of Team Seattle have worked with the Dempsey Racing stable in 2010. Some even shuttled drivers and team members between pit lane and campers during the Rolex 24.

Heading into the final quarter of the season, all involved with the No. 41 camp, including Gue and Keen, expect to meet one final goal - winning a race. They finished a season-best second at Lime Rock Park, and gave Dempsey Racing it's first-ever podium at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

"We were on fire at the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen (third place)," Keen said, "and the short course is one I really enjoy. We had a great setup for that race and I know we will be fast right out of the box for the sprint race."

Added Gue: "The Dempsey Racing/Team Seattle crew has given us a great car at every race this year. We hope to finish out the season on a high note."

http://www.grand-am.com/news/index.cfm?series=r&cid=38868

 
Rolex - 4th place New Jersey PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Tuesday, 20 July 2010 10:11

Gué, Keen, No. 41 Back in Title Contention.

MILLVILLE, N.J. (July 18, 2010) – The No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT team, and drivers James Gué and Leh Keen, had the kind of race they needed while the No. 40 Florida Live/Dempsey Racing Mazda RX-8 GT, and drivers Joe Foster and Charles Espenlaub, had another kind of race they could do without Sunday in the New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) 250 presented by Crown Royal on NJMP’s Thunderbolt Raceway.

Gué and Keen finished a strong fourth behind a top-three victory lane podium filled with factory-supported SpeedSource Mazda RX-8 GTs, the Team Seattle/Global Diving squad’s best result in the last three races. The NJMP result, which came after three outstanding pit stops from the No. 41 Dempsey crew, was also the new team’s fifth top-five finish in the 2010 season’s nine races run to date.

“I am really happy with the result,” said Gué, who drove the opening stint of the race in the No. 41. “I think the whole team did an excellent job, from strategy and pit stops and down to everything. Leh did a great job there at the end dealing with the old tires after we elected not to take tires in the last pit stop. I wouldn’t have changed anything about today and it was a good rebound after a disappointing qualifying run. It was a good day for the points and hopefully we are making some gains and getting the Team Seattle car in the top three in the team championship standings.”

Only three races remain in the 2010 GRAND-AM Rolex Series schedule. The next round takes place early next month at Watkins Glen International, where the No. 41 team finished third and the No. 40 seventh during June’s Sahlen’s Six Hours of The Glen.

“I am pretty excited to go back to Watkins Glen,” Gué said. “If we can go back with even half as good a car as we had when we finished third there in June we will be in good shape.”

The Crown Royal 200 at The Glen, August 6 – 7, will be run on the NASCAR short course at Watkins Glen. The two-hour timed race can be seen live on SPEED Saturday, August 7th at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT.

 
Rolex - 7th in Daytona PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Gué   
Sunday, 04 July 2010 10:55

 

No. 41 Team Seattle/Global Diving Mazda RX-8 GT Finishes

Seventh In Challenging Day for Dempsey Racing At Daytona

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