Former Grey's star drops racing to focus on family and acting career
After making waves in Hollywood by leaving his long-term post as a lead actor in television show Grey's Anatomy in 2015 to pursue a career as a professional race driver, American Patrick Dempsey has elected to step back from his race-driver role to focus on acting and family — having recently reconciled with his wife Jillian Fink.
“My motorsports journey has been a rewarding one and allowed me to meet so many interesting people. [...] At this point in my life, after an amazing season thanks to my friends at Porsche and TAG Heuer, I need to take a step back and focus on both my family and my acting career,” said Dempsey in a statement.
“While the focus so often is the performance of the car, in reality it is all the various personalities, from team mates to competitors to officials to fans that I remember the most. I have loved being part of part of different teams and sharing the experience with so many great friends. I want to thank everyone who made this possible and helped me along the way. I also wanted to especially thank the fans for their support and friendship. None of this would happen without you buying the tickets and attending the races, so I am grateful for that investment in my passion. It makes me especially happy to see how many people have become race fans during my racing career.”
Dempsey's own racing team, Dempsey-Proton Racing will continue to compete in the World Endurance Championship — “I hope my schedule permits me to enjoy some race weekends at least as a team owner,” he said.
The driver has enjoyed a career spanning 68 races, which included a second-place finish at the 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans, and a World Endurance Championship win at Fuji in Japan last year. Dempsey had been slated to compete at New Zealand's 2016 Leadfoot Festival in early February, but was forced to pull out due to a scheduling conflict.
“I need to especially thank Porsche for their unbelievable support for me and my family as I made the tough decision to take a step back. I will never forget it. Life has taught me that it is impossible to predict the future.
“I am excited to see what kind of journey I can make and enjoy.”