Actor Patrick Dempsey has revealed it was his wife who urged him to take up his lifelong passion of racecar driving professionally.

The Grey's Anatomy star has been an avid racing fan since he was a child and admits his wife Jill Fink was the one who pushed him to learn how to do it professionally.

He says, ''I've loved it since I was a kid and always loved it. My father was very much into it. The Indianapolis 500 was a big event in our house and that's how it started.

"I watched a lot of television and my wife got tired of me sitting around, so she said, 'Get off the couch and go learn how to'."

Dempsey has been racing professionally for over eight years and competed in his second 24 Hours of Le Mans in France this year (13), placing fourth in his class.