PROCESSING AND WINNING
on setup and learning the track. The time
on the simulator paid off and I was able to
get down to decent times relatively quickly.
The competition in the GTE-Am class is very
tough, but I have a few guys I’m used to
running with and felt good I was on pace.
It soon became apparent that the race
was going to start in the wet. Normally,
our engineer Jacques has the entire race
mapped out, but due to the weather, we
threw out the normal plan. The new plan
was...we had no plan, except to manage the
race based on whatever weather conditions
came. Since I like racing in the rain and
my pace had been strong in the wet that
weekend, Jacques decided that I would
start. I felt good about this and it felt like it
took the pressure off me. I could focus on
the task at hand, and let the results come.
My first stint was good. The race started
under yellow, so we followed the pace car
for a while, but once it went green I was
happy with my speed. Pat Long was on the
radio, helping with spotting, since visibility
was a challenge. Due to the conditions, my
the lead, pulled away, and never looked
back. At one point he’d lapped the entire
GTE-Am field – and lapped most cars
twice. It was one of the most impressive
performances I’ve ever seen.
When Pat Long got in the car, the
whole team realized we had a good
chance to win. The race had a positive
flow and rhythm to it. I reminded myself
to stay in the present – don’t focus on the
result, but focus on the process. And, yes,
that’s easier to say than it is to do, but it
still gave me something to think about,
rather than worry about something going
wrong. I focused on breathing, staying
present in the moment, and also enjoying
the process of trying to win a WEC race!
The last hour of the race was incredibly
challenging. I knew I needed to get back in
the car to get my minimum drive time.
I knew the pressure of the team was going
to be on me. I kept telling myself to savor
every minute, but I wouldn’t be normal if
the fear of a Texas repeat wasn’t there, too.
I can’t fully describe what it felt like to
take the checkered flag for the victory. So
much hard work, sacrifice, joy, pain, tough
choices and teamwork went into this win. At
the same time, I knew it came from a focus
on the process and not the result, so there
was a little “of course we won” feeling. And,
I admit, there was a feeling of relief, too.
My first professional race victory came
at Fuji. So many people helped me get
there. And it felt damn good...
“I’ve heard it said that a wise
person will climb Mt. Fuji once
in their lifetime, but only a
fool would climb it twice”
(MAIN) Typically fickle Fuji weather brought
rain for race day. Patrick Dempsey’s
practice pace and his affinity for driving in
the wet meant he’d take the opening stint in
the Dempsey-Proton Racing squad’s
Porsche 911 RSR. (BELOW LEFT) Six hours
later, Dempsey and his teammates were
celebrating an LMGTE-Am class victory.
first stint was a long one, almost 1.5 hours.
I did my job, kept it clean, and turned the
car over to my co-drivers.
Marco was absolutely amazing during
his drive. He completely dominated the
race during the middle section. He took