Patrick Long has secured a drive with the Dempsey/Del Piero Racing team for next month's Le Mans 24 Hours after being named as team-mate to Patrick Dempsey and Joe Foster for the French classis.

The Porsche factory driver will replace Michael Avenatti at the wheel of the teams Porsche 911 GT3 RSR in the GTE-AM class after Avenatti was forced to stand down due to a series of business commitments.

Avenatti will however continue to run alongside Andrew Davis as part of the team's two-car assault on the GTC class of the American Le Mans Series for the remainder of the year.

"It was a tough decision to postpone my Le Mans debut for a year but I need to concentrate on a few critical business matters," Avenatti said. "Amazingly, Patrick Long was still available, I asked him if he could fill the seat with Porsche's blessing, and he agreed.

"I am very excited for the team and our chances at Le Mans next month and I expect to be back for many years to come."

Long himself was delighted to have the chance to secure his place on the grid for the 90th running of the famous race.

"I always look forward to Le Mans but going there this time with Patrick Dempsey and Dempsey Del Piero Racing is very exciting," the American said. "I have watched this team quickly emerge as contenders in just its first season in ALMS GTC and I have no doubt we will have a fully competitive car for Le Mans.

"Of course, I wouldn't even be in the car if Michael Avenatti wouldn't have had to step out of the ride and we are going to do everything we can to bring home a victory for him and everybody at Dempsey Del Piero Racing."

The Dempsey Del Piero Racing Le Mans entry is being fielded in a partnership with the Proton Competition racing team.

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