1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti will conduct demonstrations laps at the Circuit of the Americas track this weekend in the countdown to the inaugural United States Grand Prix at Austin, Texas.
The American legend, who is also an ambassador for the track, will be joined by actor Patrick Dempsey and Lotus F1 Team third driver Jerome d'Ambrosio will all scheduled to drive the Lotus F1 team's 2010 F1 challenger – the R30 – during the circuit's official opening ceremony this Sunday (October 21).
Andretti will 'formally cut the ribbon to open the track' by driving the opening laps of the circuit, in what will be his first time behind the wheel of a contemporary F1 car since he last competed in the sport in 1982.
Dempsey – known internationally for playing the character Dr. Derek Shepherd in TV drama Grey's Anatomy – meanwhile will drive an F1 car for the first time. Dempsey – who is an ambassador for Lotus F1 Team official partner Trina Solar – is a keen motor sport enthusiast who has contested a number of races in different categories, including racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
The event takes place four weeks ahead of the US GP, which marks the return of F1 to America after a five year absence.