Patrick Dempsey's Le Mans journey headed for TV

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patrick dempsey Patrick Dempsey's Le Mans journey headed for TV

Patrick Dempsey
(Image: AP)

(AP) – Patrick Dempsey is bringing his passion for auto racing to television with a new documentary series. The “Grey’s Anatomy” star will produce “Road to Le Mans,” a four-part series about his competition in the venerable French race, the Velocity channel said Thursday.

Dempsey, who has a professional auto racing team based in Georgia, will be both owner and driver at the 24-hour endurance race in June. “Road to Le Mans,” set to air by mid-2013, will include his team’s preparation for the event, including sponsor acquisition, training and time trials, and the race itself.

Dempsey, a documentary buff, said combining the series and the art of racing is a “perfect fit.”

For the fledgling, 6-month-old Velocity, “Road to Le Mans” represents its biggest financial commitment yet to a series or a special, said Bob Scanlon, the channel’s general manager and senior vice president.

Velocity is part of Discovery Communications, which announced its channels’ upcoming programming Thursday in New York for advertisers. Formerly HD Theater, Velocity reaches about 40 million homes and focuses on topics including cars, sports, adventure and travel.

Dempsey has driven at Le Mans before, and with his Mazda racing team are gaining increasing credibility. Dempsey’s posted top 10 finishes, including a career-best third last year with his teammates at the Rolex 24 in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Is he ready to call it quits as Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, on the ABC medical drama? “Nothing has been resolved, either to end or to continue,” he said, adding diplomatically that “one has to be grateful” for work opportunities in today’s economic climate.

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