With one installment left in his four-part “Patrick Dempsey Racing Le Mans” documentary, the actor/racer has his heart set on making more racing-themed documentaries, and if his plans come to fruition, the life of one of America’s living treasures could be next on the list.
“I hope [the “Patrick Dempsey Racing Le Mans”] documentary is well-received because I want to do other things,” Dempsey told RACER. “I want to do another documentary on Dan Gurney. I think Dan Gurney needs to be shown in the light that he deserves — not that he hasn’t been, but that’s a journey I’d like to go on as a documentarian and bring his story to the people.”
At 82, the legendary driver, designer, constructor and team owner continues to inspire those who watched him race or recall the machines that came from his All American Racers outfit in Southern California, but so far, a proper account of his life and achievements in the form of a documentary has yet to be captured.
“Dan is a hero of mine,” said Dempsey, who, like Gurney, has also ticked the boxes as an owner/driver. “You look at him as a father, what a wonderful son he has in Alex [Gurney], and a great competitor there as well, along with the rest of his family. And that speaks volumes. I love the racing community. I think people like Dan are such amazing figures in the community and hopefully we get that across as well.”
Gurney, who has watched the “Patrick Dempsey Racing Le Mans” documentaries, told RACER he’s a big fan of what he’s seen so far and could be interested in talking with Dempsey once he and his wife finish his long-awaited autobiography.
“The documentary comes across as real, not something fake or produced, and that makes it special,” Gurney said in a call from his AAR office. “It also gives people a clue of how many things can go wrong, which is typical of racing.
“I like the idea that Patrick is interested. The realistic part of it is Evi and I are planning to have our book finished by the end of 2014, so we couldn’t do anything like that until it comes out. I’m anxious to see how the documentary finishes and think he should be extremely proud of himself. I rate what he’s done very highly. I think he’s moved the bar up quite a ways.”
The conclusion to “Patrick Dempsey Racing Le Mans” airs next Wednesday at 10 p.m Eastern on the Velocity network.
The September issue of RACER magazine, on sale now, focuses on racing in the movies, past and present, including a behind-scenes looks at the making of “Rush,” “Grand Prix,” “Le Mans” and more. To subscribe now, click here, or to learn where to buy RACER in your area, click here. You can also purchase single copies directly at RacerMerch.com.