Mondello Park, Kildare, Ireland – Tuesday 16th August 2016: Corofin’s Patrick Dempsey has been having a baptism of fire so far in 2016, having stepped up from the Irish Karting Championship to join Ginetta Junior Ireland. Forced to miss the opening round of the season as he only turned 14 (the youngest age you can compete in the class) just days after the championship’s first official event, Dempsey’s first two weekends in the series have already included a visit to the podium in what is very much his rookie year in cars.
Patrick travelled to Mondello Park last weekend to make his debut at Ireland’s only International Circuit. Setting himself some realistic goals of learning the notoriously tricky circuit and making the most of every lap, Dempsey was looking forward to getting his teeth into the Kildare venue.
Some solid running in the pre-event testing counted for very little when light rain appeared just as the cars were about to leave the pitlane for Sunday morning’s qualifying. Having next to no experience in the Ginetta G20 in wet conditions, Dempsey seemed remarkably unphased by the challenge, securing the fifth fastest time of the session, a mere six tenths of a second off pole position.
Still honing the art of a standing start, something that is still quite new to Patrick as Karting is always based on a rolling start, a slightly hesitant launch as the lights went out left him in the clutches of Hollie Byrne into the first corner. Last of the late brakers, Dempsey appeared to have it all under control as he exited the corner still ahead, remaining in fifth at the end of the opening lap.
Now off on a charge to reel in Morgan Quinn for fourth, Dempsey was lighting up the timing screens, improving his personal best lap time with every tour. At the chequered flag, it was a solid fifth place finish from his first race at Mondello Park.
Starting the second and final race of the weekend from fifth, Dempsey got a better start on this occasion to hold his position into the first corner. However with fellow rookie Michael Woods on his outside, that outside line would become the inside line for the off-camber turn two, demoting Dempsey to sixth. Not for long however, a superb run out of the last corner allowed Dempsey to shoot back into fifth on the brakes into turn one. This time with his bases covered, Patrick charged into the distance in hot pursuit of the battle for third between Morgan Quinn and teammate Daragh Denning.
Despite lapping just three tenths off the fastest lap of the race on almost every tour, Patrick got the gap down to just 1.7 seconds at the line to secure his second clean finish of the weekend in fifth.
Patrick Dempsey – #23 Team MCP Ginetta G20:
“I’m very happy with this weekend. I came here with an open mind hoping to just get around and learn the track. Today was only my second proper day here and straight away I was on the pace. I’m very happy with two fifths today, I had two bad starts but I managed to keep up with the lads in front and catch them slowly. The car felt great all weekend around here, thanks to Morgan, Jordan and Dean for their great work and support. Next up it’s the International track, I’ve seen a few of Jordan’s videos from last year and I’ve done a few laps on the simulator so I’m really looking forward to it. Again it’s another new track so I’ll come with an open mind and hopefully I can do well. A big thanks to my Dad – Mark, my Mom – Bernie, my Sister – Eilis and a few of my cousins who have been here supporting me this weekend and also to my sponsors Computex and BD Recruitment.”