Johnny O'Connell (USA)
Residence: Flowery Branch, Georgia
Fast, funny and fearless, Johnny O'Connell is recognized as one of
North America's most talented and versatile racing drivers. After
driving for a variety of teams, O'Connell has found a home with
Corvette Racing. He produced the team's first overall victory at the
24 Hours of Daytona and its first Le Mans class victory in 2001.
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