Johnny O'Connell

Johnny O'Connell

24/7/1962

One of North America's most talented and versatile racing drivers, Johnny O'Connell has, after driving for a variety of teams, found a home with Corvette Racing, producing the team's first overall victory at the 24 Hours of Daytona and its first Le Mans class victory in 2001.

Johnny O'Connell's racing career began in single seaters. Competing professionally for the first time in the Formula Atlantic series in 1987, he won five races en route to the championship and was awarded the Rookie of the Year title. Success followed in the road racing arena, where O'Connell scored a class victory in the 12 Hours of Sebring in 1993, an overall win in 1994 and another class victory in 1995. He also won his class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994 in his first outing in the prestigious endurance race.

O'Connell subsequently ran a season of Indy Cars and then returned to sports car racing with Panoz in the late '90s. He joined the factory Corvette effort in 2001, scoring an overall victory in the 24 Hours of Daytona in his first race behind the wheel of the Corvette C5-R, followed by Corvette Racing's first class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Since then he has helped GM's factory team capture five straight manufacturers' titles and shared the drivers championship for the GTS class with teammate Ron Fellows in 2003-04. O'Connell scored the Corvette's C6.R's historic first victory at Road Atlanta in April 2005 after winning his first ALMS pole.

At the conclusion of the 2005 season, O'Connell held numerous ALMS records, including the most wins (24, tied with Fellows and Beretta); most top-10 finishes (61); and most career starts (63). O'Connell conducts an annual charity auction at Road Atlanta to benefit senior citizens and research on Alzheimer's disease. A black belt in karate, O'Connell practices martial arts in his fitness training regimen.

Leave a comment

Comments