24 Hours of Le Mans – Happy Birthday to Olivier Beretta!

24 Hours of Le Mans – Happy Birthday to Olivier Beretta!

Born on October 23, 1969, Olivier Beretta has made his mark these last 15 years in various GT classes of the 24 Hours of Le Mans by winning with two American legends: the Viper and the Corvette.

It was with the Chrysler Viper that Olivier Beretta competed in his first 24 Hours in 1996, which he finished in 21st place. The French driver accompanied the rise of the American GT, entered expertly by the French team, Oreca. With the French driver Dominique Dupuy and the Austrian Karl Wendlinger, he rounded out a formidable trio that won two consecutive class victories in Le Mans in 1999 and 2000 (with 10th then seventh place, overall). After having accompanied Chrysler and Oreca in prototypes in 2001 and 2002, then having rolled in a Panoz in 2003 (with a top five finish each time), Beretta was instrumental in Corvette's big return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

From 2004 to 2006, at the wheel of this iconic American sportscar, he won three new victories in a row along with the Brit Oliver Gavin and Danish driver Jan Magnussen, with in 2006 fourth place overall, his best result in La Sarthe. In 2011, he ended his story with Corvette nicely with a sixth class win (LM GTE Pro), before joining another legend: Ferrari. In the colours of AF Corse, official Ferrari representative in LM GTE Pro, he finished fifth in the class in 2013 with the 458 Italia before being forced to retire in 2014.

With six class victories over the last 15 years, Beretta at the 24 Hours of Le Mans is a lasting adventure. To be successful in Le Mans, one has to know how to go the distance, both with one's regular teammates and with long-term constructor programs. A journey that brings to mind Tom Kristensen, and which has made the French driver one of the most victorious and respected drivers in the recent history of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.