When I was asked if I’d like to attend the first ever WTCC event in the United states with My Life at Speed as a guest of Maserati, what else was I going to say but yes? I would have quit my regular job had they not let me off work to attend. That’s how bad I wanted to go. In the same breath as the invitation, I was told that until it was released to the public I couldn’t say a word to anyone about the fact that we would be attached to one of the teams for the weekend, or who would be driving the car. That was going to be difficult. Particularly since the driving team consisted of one of my favorite racers of all time, Greg Trachy, and one of my wife’s favorite actors of all time, Patrick Dempsey. In truth, it may have been harder for Jen to hold her tongue for that three weeks leading up to the race than me. I was really very entertained watching her squirm a bit.
Greg Tracy has had a very successful and widely respected career on two wheels, that includes multiple records and victories at Pikes Peak. Now, as he transitions to what is rumored to be a more concentrated focus on four-wheeled endeavors, it will be interesting to see if he can have the same success. Having followed Greg’s career, and seeing his drive and commitment first-hand every year for the past nine years at Pikes Peak, I’m guessing his move to cars will be a future filled with trophies and accolades. He just has that “thing” most of us spend an entire career searching for. Call it a ‘knack’, or a gift, or some such. Whatever you call it, he’s got it.
The other half of the driving dynamic duo is none other than Hollywood heart-throb, Patrick Dempsey. That’s right, kids…”McDreamy”. You can say anything you want about this guy, but what you cannot say is that he’s not a legitimate racing driver. He’s an absolute pro, through and through. And while you might think it was an easy trick for Patrick to just buy his way into a fast car and go out and dominate through dollars, he didn’t. Does his day job help pay for his driving? Sure it does. Just like it does for a lot of us. He started his driving career much like the rest of us. A life-long passion for automobiles, a few driving schools here and there; and then, as his driving progressed he moved through the ranks to where he sits now. Behind the wheel of a Mazda RX8 GT in the GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. Also this year he debuted the Lola-Judd P2 car in the ALMS series and delivered two podiums in his rookie season in the series. So, is Patrick Dempsey an actor playing race car driver, or a race car driver playing an actor? Does it matter? Nope. What you have here is a genuinely nice person doing what he loves, and doing it very well.
My wife and I had a great time at Sonoma for those three days. And we are extremely grateful to our friends at My Life at Speed, Maserati and Race Sonoma for giving us memories that will not son be forgotten. Thanks everyone!
Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend. Hope you enjoy them.
Seeing the ML@S logo on the Maserati did my heart good. Knowing that Journi Johnson likes it…all the better.
Patrick Dempsey arrive and is immediately forced to sign waivers of liability. Always fun reading lawyer speak.
Patrick and Greg share a laugh while learning about the new ride.
Going over the different track features with FD legend and SCCA grip driver Tyler McQuarrie.
How bout’ one for the program, Mr. Trachy?
Patrick on his way to pit lane Friday.
Greg and Patrick chat during the driver change in Friday practice.
This poor guy always looks good. Wish I had that affliction.
Patrick ready for his Race on Saturday Morning.
Patrick Dempsey on track during Saturdays race. He would finish 6th. Pretty darn good!
Patrick reviewing a photo with ML@S photographer Eric Gearhart.
Patrick and Mike. Mike is the Maserati mechanic who was keeping the car in top shape all weekend.
Greg strapped in and ready for morning practice.
Greg with his dad during pre-race ceremonies.
Greg is focused and ready for the main event Sunday.
The cars are on the grid. Ready to race.
The sun begins to set on an incredible weekend.
Well, there it is, kids. I hope you enjoyed the photos. There are more in the gallery below, and there will be more coming both here, as well as on the My Life at SPEED Facebook page.