Patrick Dempsey came in second place in the Le Mans GTE Amateur race on Sunday, according to ESPN News. This is a dream come true for the former star of Grey’s Anatomy. Dempsey’s departure from the ABC drama shocked fans in April. Fans saw the death of Derek Shepherd after he heroically saved two teens from a car wreck. As he drove away from the scene, he stopped in the middle of the road to grab his phone, and an incoming semi hit his car.
Inept doctors at a small hospital made several errors, and it is those errors that cost Derek Shepherd his life. Fans were shocked and outraged by Dempsey’s exit from the series, but the actor knew it was time for him to leave the world of Grey’s Anatomy and focus on another love of his life – racing.
After he wrapped production on the Grey’s Anatomy Season 11 finale, he hopped on a plane to attend the opening day of the 2015 FIA World Endurance Championship season. He decided to leave the world of acting behind, and he announced at that race that his focus would be on racing for the rest of the year, according to the Daily Telegraph.
“Grey’s Anatomy has been an amazing ride and I’ll be forever grateful; it has a real magic to it. There are so many elements that work well; the cast, the music, the editing. But after three straight months filming, the rest of this year is 100 per cent focused on driving. At this level you have to be completely committed and I want to see just how good I can get.”
This statement was released before the episode featuring the death of his character aired on television, and it started the rumor mill. After this interview was released, one report claimed that Dempsey was fired because of diva behavior on set. Shonda Rhimes is not a fan of divas, and she has fired people from the series before when the actors become a problem. Those rumors were denied by his representative immediately.
In the last hour before the airing of the Grey’s Anatomy episode on April 21, fans learned that Derek Shepherd was indeed set for death. After 11 seasons as one half of the Meredith and Derek, a super couple on the series, his time was ending. A scan of his exit interview from Entertainment Weekly leaked online just 30 minutes before the episode aired.
Dempsey appeared in only one scene in the Season 11 finale, and new rumors popped up about his departure. This time, his departure from the series was connected his marital issues. He and his wife filed for divorce in January, and the rumors claimed that he had an on-set affair with a member of the Grey’s Anatomy crew. His representative also denied those rumors.
After the filming of the Season 11 finale, Dempsey turned his focus completely to his racing career. For the last decade, he has owned his own Dempsey Proton Racing team, and he is now allowing someone else to run the team while he focuses completely on driving.
In only his fourth race, he has made it up to the podium with a second place finish. For the race, he was behind the wheel of a Porsche 2015 911 RSR, according to Bold Ride. The news outlet revealed that his car has “470 horsepower, a quick-shifting six-speed sequential gearbox, massive brakes, and a track-taming suspension.”
During this race at the Circuit de la Sarthe for the 24 Hours of Le Mans, he was joined by Patrick Long and Marco Seefried. Dempsey spoke on French television after the race, and he was clearly emotion about the finish.
“I think it’s hard to put into words how much it means to be on the podium in Le Mans. Phenomenal effort and support from Porsche. It’s an amazing accomplishment — you always dream about moments like this. I’ve worked really hard over the last three years to make this happen, and I’m here. Vive la France!”
Dempsey worked hard to get to that finish line. He loves acting, but he knew if he wanted to succeed on the race track he would have to give up something. He chose to leave Grey’s Anatomy behind. He shared more about the decision to leave the television series with Fox Sports.
“In the past I’ve had too many things go on. You end up making sacrifices. At this level, you have to be in the car, you have to train properly, you have to eat properly. It’s takes complete commitment. I want to do well and be competitive. It takes a lot more work to do that. We have the team and the resources to have the results.”
It is clear that Dempsey has achieved results he was looking for, and he will look for even more success in the time to come. He may return to television, according to one Inquisitr report. However, his focus is on the race track.
[Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images]