Corvette Racing Driver Profile: Olivier Beretta

Olivier Beretta Birthdate: Nov. 23, 1969

Birthplace: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco

Family: Son Riccardo

Notable: Five-time ALMS GTS/GT1 champion, five class wins in 24 Hours of Le Mans, holds ALMS records for most career wins (41) and most career poles (23), two FIA championships, overall victory in 2000 Rolex 24 at Daytona

 

American Le Mans Series Career Record

Year

Starts

Wins

Fast Qualifier

Notes

1999

6

5

4

GTS champion (Dodge Viper)

2000

12

9

6

GTS champion (Dodge Viper)

2003

9

0

0

LMP900 with JML Team Panoz

2004

9

4

4

First season with Corvette Racing

2005

10

6

3

ALMS GT1 co-champion (with Gavin)

2006

10

4

1

ALMS GT1 co-champion (with Gavin)

2007

12

9

2

ALMS GT1 co-champion (with Gavin)

2008

11

3

2

Second in GT1 drivers championship

2009

7

1

1

Ran GT1 two events, GT2 five events

2010

9

0

0

 

Total

95

41*

23*

*ALMS records for victories and poles

 

24 Hours of Le Mans Record

Year

Finish

Class

Car

Co-drivers

1996

12th

GT1

Viper

Helary, Gache

1997

Rtd.

GTS

Viper

Gache, Dupuy

1998

2nd

GT2

Viper

Lamy, Archer

1999

1st

GTS

Viper

Wendlinger, Dupuy

2000

1st

GTS

Viper

Wendlinger, Dupuy

2001

3rd

LMP900

Chrysler Oreca

Wendlinger, Lamy

2002

5th

LMP900

Dallara-Judd

Lamy, Comas

2003

3rd

LMP900

Panoz LMP1

Jeannette, Papis

2004

1st

GTS

Corvette C5-R

Gavin, Magnussen

2005

1st

GT1

Corvette C6.R

Gavin, Magnussen

2006

1st

GT1

Corvette C6.R

Gavin, Magnussen

2007

14th

GT1

Corvette C6.R

Gavin, Papis

2008

3rd

GT1

Corvette C6.R

Gavin, Papis

2009

4th

GT1

Corvette C6.R

Gavin, Fassler

2010

10th
(Ret.)

GT2

Corvette C6.R

Gavin, Collard

 

Career Highlights

  • 1989-90: Competed in French Formula 3 championship

  • 1992: Competed in International Formula 3000

  • 1992: Lotus Formula 1 test driver

  • 1994: Competed in International Formula 3000, drove for Larrousse Formula 1 team

  • 1997: Four wins in FIA GT Championship (Viper)

  • 1998: FIA GT2 Champion, eight wins (Viper)

  • 1999: FIA GT2 Champion, six wins; ALMS GTS champion, five wins; GTS winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans (Viper)

  • 2000: ALMS GTS champion, nine wins; GTS winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans; overall winner Daytona 24-hour (Viper); test driver for Michelin Formula 1 tire development

  • 2001: Finished fourth in 24 Hours of Le Mans with Chrysler factory team in LMP900; test driver for Michelin Formula 1 tire development

  • 2002: Finished fifth in 24 Hours of Le Mans with Playstation LMP900; test driver for Michelin and Williams Formula 1 team

  • 2003: American Le Mans Series (Panoz), finished fifth in 24 Hours of Le Mans, test driver for Michelin and Williams Formula 1 team

  • 2004: Four GTS wins in ALMS, GTS winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans (Corvette); test driver for Michelin and Williams Formula 1 team

  • 2005: ALMS GT1 co-champion, six wins; GT1 winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans (Corvette); test driver for Michelin and Williams Formula 1 team

  • 2006: ALMS GT1 co-champion, four wins; GT1 winner, 24 Hours of Le Mans (Corvette); test driver for Michelin

  • 2007: ALMS GT1 co-champion, nine wins (tied ALMS record); GT1 winner at Sebring 12-hour and Petit Le Mans (Corvette C6.R). Three poles and one fastest race lap

  • 2008: Second in ALMS GT1 drivers championship with three victories; runner-up in GT1 class at 24 Hours of Le Mans; two poles and three fastest race laps

  • 2009: Won final race for Corvette C6.R in ALMS GT1 at Long Beach, Calif.; was leading GT1 class at 24 Hours of Le Mans at 22-hour mark before mechanical problem caused retirement; finished fourth in Corvette Racing's GT2 debut at Mid-Ohio and third at Mosport.

  • 2010: Moved to No 3 Corvette C6.R with Johnny O'Connell in midseason driver realignment at Mosport. Podium finishes at Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, and Road America highlighted 2010 season.

 

Olivier Beretta is the most successful driver in ALMS history, with 41 career victories and 23 career poles through the 2010 season. A resident of Monaco, Beretta brings international flair and impressive speed to Corvette Racing. Beretta has won the ALMS championship in the top GT class five times - including three with Oliver Gavin and the Corvette C6.R in 2005-07. He's a five-time class winner in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and has tested Formula 1 cars for teams and manufacturers.

Beretta began racing karts before moving to the French Formula 3 series in 1989. He was third in the championship in 1990 and took third place at the Monaco Grand Prix support race that year. In 1992, Beretta mixed a season of International Formula 3000 with Formula 1 testing duties for Lotus.

In 1994, he finished sixth in the F3000 championship for Forti while testing for the Larrousse Grand Prix team. He competed in 10 grands prix for the team, finishing in the top 10 on three occasions, with a career-best seventh in the German Grand Prix.

Beretta's first taste of Le Mans was in 1995 with the Chevrolet-powered Courage team. He became involved in the development of the Chrysler Viper in 1996 and finished third in the FIA GT drivers championship in 1997, with four wins and eight pole positions. In 1998, Beretta won the FIA GT drivers championship, sharing the honors with Pedro Lamy, winning eight out of 10 races, and finished second at Le Mans.

In 1999, Beretta won the FIA GT Championship, the American Le Mans Series GTS class championship and the GTS class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring 13 of his team's 16 race wins. The following season he scored an overall victory at the Daytona 24-hour race, a class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, another Le Mans class title and the ALMS championship.

Beretta switched to a prototype in 2001, driving a Dallara to fourth overall at Le Mans and to fifth overall in 2002. In 2003, he joined Panoz for the ALMS and Le Mans, where he finished fifth overall.

In 2004, GM Racing tapped Beretta to join Oliver Gavin for a full season in the factory No. 4 Corvette C5-R in the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The pair scored five victories, including class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans with co-driver Jan Magnussen in the endurance events.

2005 saw Beretta win his third ALMS championship as he and Gavin teamed up to score six victories in the series. Again teamed with Magnussen in endurance events, the trio won the GT1 class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans for the second straight year and repeated as winners in the Petit Le Mans.

Beretta and Gavin reprised their GT1 championship in 2006, and scored class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Sebring 12-hour race with Magnussen as third driver.

In 2007, Gavin and Beretta reeled off nine wins in 12 races to capture their third consecutive GT1 drivers championship, tying the record for single-season victories. The pair won the GT1 class in the season-opening 12-hour Sebring endurance race for the second straight year and notched their third victory in the 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans, with Max Papis joining the roster for endurance races. The team's biggest disappointment came at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where a broken driveshaft sidelined their Corvette C6.R at the two-hour mark and ended their bid for a fourth consecutive class victory in the world's most famous sports car race. Beretta also drove a Corvette C6.R in selected FIA GT races with the French Luc Alphand Aventures team.

Beretta's GT1 title streak ended in 2008 as his Corvette Racing teammates Johnny O'Connell and Jan Magnussen claimed the class championship in their sister Corvette C6.R. Beretta and Gavin made motorsports history by scoring the first win with E85R cellulosic ethanol in St. Petersburg, Fla. They also won on the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix circuit and finished the season with a victory at Laguna Seca.

The 2009 season marked a transition for Beretta and Corvette Racing. The team began the season in the GT1 category, with Beretta and Gavin scoring the final ALMS GT1 victory for the Corvette C6.R in Long Beach, Calif. After the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Corvette Racing introduced the all-new GT2 version of the Corvette C6.R at Mid-Ohio. Beretta and Gavin finished fourth in the new car's debut, and finished on the podium at Mosport with a third-place finish.

2010 was Corvette Racing's first full season in the GT2 class. Beretta and teammates Gavin and Collard were leading the GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans until Collard was forced off track by a prototype. A midseason driver realignment at Mosport saw Beretta move to the No. 3 Corvette with Johnny O'Connell. Podium finishes at Laguna Seca, Mid-Ohio, and Road America highlighted Beretta's season.

At the conclusion of the 2010 season, Beretta held the ALMS records for most career victories (41), the most career poles (23), the most single-season wins in the GT1 class (nine in 2000, tied with Karl Wendlinger, and nine in 2007 with Gavin), the most consecutive wins (eight, with Gavin, 2005 Portland-2006 Mid-Ohio), the most podium finishes in a season (12 in 2007, tied with six drivers) and the most top-10 finishes in a season (12 in 2000 and 2007, tied with eight drivers). With five GT1/GTS championships, he is tied with Porsche driver Joerg Bergmeister for the most ALMS titles.

In addition to driving for Corvette Racing, Beretta has worked with Michelin in developing tires for Formula One in 2000-06, and was a test driver for the BMW-Williams F1 team in 2002-04.