Patrick "McDreamy" Dempsey and X Games stunt driver Greg Tracy to compete in Maserati's first race in America in decades.
The name Maserati may be more closely associated with European racing. The Italian automaker has, after all, most recently competed in the Superstars touring car series in Italy with the Quattroporte and in the FIA GT1 series with the MC12. But Maserati also has a proven track record racing in America, having won the Indy 500 way back in 1939 and 1940, and won at Pikes Peak in '46 and '47. It's to that particular heritage that the Trident marque is keen to tap this weekend when the Maserati Trofeo MC World Series heads to Sonoma raceway.
The Trofeo is a spec racing series for pro-am drivers that pits racing versions of the GranTurismo coupe against each other on racing circuits around the world. This year the series tested at Vallelunga near Rome and competed at Jarama in Spain, Portimao in Portugal, Imola in Italy and Paul Ricard in France, with a parallel series in the Middle East. Now it's heading to the circuit formerly known as Infineon and Sears Point in California before the final round in Shanghai for the conclusion of a series that was recently promoted from European in scope to a truly worldwide championship.
The foray into the United States, celebrated by the star-spangled Trofeo racer seen here, isn't the only significant element in this weekend's race, though. The Sonoma round - held in conjunction with the US stage of the World Touring Car Championship - will also feature the participation of Patrick Dempsey and Greg Tracy. Dempsey is perhaps best known for his role as Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on "Grey's Anatomy", but is also an accomplished racing driver and team owner. He's competed at Le Mans, Daytona and Baja, to name just a few, and is part owner of the Vision Racing team in the IndyCar Series.
Tracy, meanwhile, recently made headlines when he set a world record with his double-loop stunt with the Hot Wheels team at the X Games. Between the American tie-in, the star-studded grid and the return to an endurance racing format, this weekend's Maserati Trofeo race ought to prove a memorable one.