2005 Corvette Racing Season
The 2005 season was the inaugural season for the Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1. General Motors had developed the new sixth generation Corvette with input from Pratt & Miller to ensure an easier transition into a race car.
When Pratt & Miller constructed the C5-R in 1999, they ran into challenges due to the design of the production C5 Corvette. The pop up headlights of the C5 forced Pratt & Miller to construct their own frog eyed exposed headlights. The front fascia of the production car also posed a challenge due to featuring only a pair of small grilles. Pratt & Miller had to work around the cooling by creating multiple intakes throughout the front fascia of the C5-R. The end result was the C5-Rs headlights and intakes generated a high amount of drag, which restricted the top speed.
When General Motors approached Pratt & Miller about the design of the sixth generation Corvette, Pratt & Miller requested exposed headlights and a large central grille, along with a better aerodynamic design. This led to the end of the pop up headlights found on a Corvette since 1963. GM made the wheelbase of the C6 Corvette longer and the overall length shorter, which greatly increased the stability and handling. Finally a single, large, central grille made its way on the simple aerodynamic front fascia of the C6.
The C6.R was officially unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on January 10th 2005 alongside the new Chevrolet Corvette C6 Z06. General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz introduced the C6.R with Corvette Racing driver Ron Fellows pulling it onto stage. After a full year of rigorous testing and development the new race car would become the most technically advanced sports car ever built by General Motors in association with Pratt & Miller thanks to the design and use of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic).
Corvette Racing retired the C5-R with an undefeated final season in 2004. This left big shoes to fill for the new C6.R in its debut season, however it would not disappoint. The new C6.R handed Corvette Racing their fifth straight ALMS Manufacturers Championship and driver pairing of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Berretta the 2005 GT1 Drivers Championship. The C6.R would collect 10 class victories in 11 races, with nine 1-2 class podiums making for the most successful debut of a Corvette race car to date.
A rivalry that started in 2004 between Pratt & Miller and Prodrive would carry into the 2005 season with two brand new cars. Prodrive would debut their all new Aston Martin DBR9, which replaced the Ferrari 550 Maranello. Prodrive competed in the same four endurance races Corvette Racing would feature at, which included; Sebring, Le Mans, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca. Despite the impressive pace of the DBR9, Corvette Racing with the C6.R would win three out of four of these races.
2005 Corvette Racing Schedule & Results
|Race||Race Date||Race Distance (time)||Track||Car Number||Class Position||Overall Position||Start Position||Drivers||Laps Completed||Fastest Lap||Series||Class|
|53rd Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring||March 19 2005||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||3||2||5||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||337||1:56.900||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|53rd Annual Mobil 1 12 Hours of Sebring||March 19 2005||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||4||3||6||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||323||1:56.812||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Sportbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta||April 17 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center||3||1||5||1||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||108||1:17.895||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Sportbook.com Grand Prix of Atlanta||April 17 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center||4||2||6||2||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||107||1:17.974||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio||May 22 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||3||1||5||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||112||1:18.176||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio||May 22 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||4||2||6||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||112||1:18.810||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|24 Heures du Mans||June 18 -19 2005||24 Hours||Circuit del la Sarthe||64||1||5||3||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||349||3:53.930||ACO||GT1|
|24 Heures du Mans||June 18 -19 2005||24 Hours||Circuit del la Sarthe||63||2||6||5||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||347||3:54.996||ACO||GT1|
|New England Grand Prix||July 4 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||4||1||3||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||159||51.534||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|New England Grand Prix||July 4 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||3||2||4||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||157||51.718||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|2 Hours and 45 Minutes of Sonoma||July 17 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Infineon Raceway||3||1||7||1||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||104||1:29.689||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|2 Hours and 45 Minutes of Sonoma||July 17 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Infineon Raceway||4||2||8||2||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||104||1:28.934||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans Portland Grand Prix||July 30 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Portland International Raceway||4||1||5||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||131||1:08.595||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans Portland Grand Prix||July 30 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Portland International Raceway||3||2||6||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||131||1:08.702||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans Generac 500||August 21 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Road America||4||1||4||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||71||2:01.446||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans Generac 500||August 21 2005||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Road America||3||2||5||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||71||2:01.705||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport||September 4 2005||2 Hours 30 Minutes||Mosport International Raceway||4||1||6||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||119||1:14.103||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport||September 4 2005||2 Hours 30 Minutes||Mosport International Raceway||3||2||7||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||119||1:14..283||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Chevy Presents Petit Le Mans||October 1 2005||1000 Miles or 10 Hours||Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center||4||1||3||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||379||1:18.260||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Chevy Presents Petit Le Mans||1000 Miles or 10 Hours||Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center||3||6||12||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||357||1:18.413||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Monterey Sports Car Championship Laguna Seca||October 16 2005||4 Hours||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||4||1||7||3||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||158||1:21.108||American Le Man Series||GT1|
|Monterey Sports Car Championship Laguna Seca||October 16 2005||4 Hours||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||3||2||8||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||157||1:21.344||American Le Man Series||GT1|
#3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Drivers 2005 (#63 used for Le Mans)
The 2005 season would mark Ron Fellows’ seventh full season with Corvette Racing. He was the only remaining driver from the original 1999 driver lineup in the inaugural season of Corvette Racing.
Fellows was a fundamental part to the development and success of Corvette Racing. He was one of the original test drivers along with Andy Pilgrim during the two year testing and development period for the Corvette C5-R. Fellows would bring Corvette Racing’s first victory in September 2000 at Texas Motor Speedway and later in 2001 would help give Corvette Racing their first victories at Rolex 24 at Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hours.
Fellows drove for Corvette Racing for nine years winning the drivers championship three times and helping Corvette Racing win eight championships. In 2007 Chevrolet introduced a limited edition Corvette Z06 “Ron Fellows Championship Edition” to celebrate Fellows success with Corvette Racing.
He retired from Corvette Racing after the 2008 season and started the Ron Fellows racing school located in Nevada. In 2011 with partners Carlo Fidani and Allan Boughton, Fellows formed Canadian Motorsport Ventures Ltd., which purchased Mosport International Raceway and renamed it Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
- Birthdate: September 28th, 1959
- Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
- Residence: Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
- Family: Wife Lynda, children Lindsay, Sam, Patrick
- Corvette Racing: 1999-2008
Notable Career Highlights
- Three time ALMS Drivers Champion – 2002, 2003, 2004
- Two time Le Mans 24 Hours Class Winner – 2001, 2002
- Overall winner in Rolex 24 at Daytona – 2001
- Four-time ALMS Most Popular Driver award – 2004-2007
- 19 SCCA Trans Am wins
- Five NASCAR wins
Johnny O’Connell would make his fifth year start with Corvette Racing for the 2005 season. He was coming off a four year consecutive ALMS Drivers Championship streak with teammate Ron Fellows. The run would come to an end in 2005, with the sister car taking the 2005 honors.
O’Connell is recognized as one of North America’s most talented race drivers. He began his racing career in single-seaters competing professionally in the Formula Atlantic series in 1987 where he won five races, the championship and Rookie of the Year. O’Connell moved to sports car racing where he would scored a class victory in the 1993 12 Hours of Sebring, an overall win in 1994 and another class victory in 1995 all driving a Nissan 300ZX Turbo for Clayton Cunningham Racing. At his first outing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1994 he achieved a class victory.
O’Connell joined the Indycar series in 1996 where he competed in 4 races including the Indianapolis 500. In 1997 O’Connell made a return to sports car racing driving a Panoz GTR-1 in the IMSA GT race at Pikes Peak where he finished third. O’Connell competed in five races in a Hawk C-8 Chevrolet in the IMSA championship for the Mandeville Auto Tech team the same year before returning to full time sports car racing with Panoz Motorsports in 1998.
O’Connell joined Corvette Racing in 2001, scoring an overall victory at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in his first race for the team. In the same year he was part of the #63 crew helping Corvette Racing achieve their first class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Whilst part of Corvette Racing he helped the team capture eight straight manufacturers titles and shared the drivers championship for the GTS class with teammate Ron Fellows in 2002, 2003 and 2004. In 2008, O’Connell and teammate Jan Magnussen dominated the GT1 class in the C6.R, scoring eight wins and the class championship. O’Connell is the all-time leader in Sebring victories with his eight career wins in 2009.
- Birthdate: July 24th, 1962
- Birthplace: Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
- Residence: Flowery Branch, Ga.
- Family: Son Canaan, daughter Kelly
- Corvette Racing: 2001 -2010
Notable Career Highlights
- Formula West Champion and Rookie of the Year 1987
- 12 Hours of Sebring GTS class winner 1993, 1994 and 1995
- Rolex 24 at Daytona Overall winner 2001
- ALMS GTS Drivers Champion 2002, 2003 and 2004
- ALMS GT1 Drivers Champion 2008
- Won class in 12 Hours of Sebring for record eighth time in 2009
- Four class victories at the 24 Hours of Le Mans – 1994 (IMSA GTS), 2001, 2002 (GTS), 2009 (GT1)
Max Papis (Sebring, Le Mans, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca)
Max Papis continued as the third driver for the #3 Corvette Racing crew for the second straight year in 2005. He would join Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell for the four endurance races Corvette Racing competed in during the 2005 season.
After a successful start of his racing career in Italy, Papis started to race in the International Formula 3000 and began testing Formula 1 cars for Lotus and Honda. The Arrows Formula 1 team signed Papis for seven grands prix in 1995, where he recorded his best finish of seventh at his home circuit of Monza.
The following year Papis made his debut in sports cars and selected CART events. Papis finished as a runner-up in the IMSA World Sports Car championship, where he accomplished three victories. He generated more success in the CART series whilst he developed his skills in sports car events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona, where he achieved an overall win in 2002.
In addition to driving for Corvette Racing in the endurance events, Papis competed in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2008, he drove a Pontiac GXP.R ran by Autohaus in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona. He went on to drive the same year a Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS for Rusty Wallace Racing in the three NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events.
When not racing professionally, Papis operates a sports marketing company, manages a kart racing team, and keeps active with an intense physical fitness program.
Birthdate: October 3rd, 1969
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Residence: Miami, FL
Family: Wife Tatiana, sons Marco and Matteo
Corvette Racing: 2004-2008
Notable Career Highlights
- Second in the German Formula 3 championship 1993
- Formula 1 driver for Arrows in 1995
- Three wins in the 1996 IMSA World Sports Car Series
- Overall winner of the Rolex 24 at Daytona – 2000, 2002
- 12 Hours of Sebring class winner – 2004 (GTS), 2005, 2007 (GT1)
- Petit Le Mans class winner – 2007 (GT1)
#4 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Drivers 2005 (#64 used for Le Mans)
After impressing the team for his first full time season with Corvette Racing in 2004. Oliver Gavin would continue with the team as a s full time driver for a second year in a row.
Paired with Olivier Berretta, the duo would take seven GT1 class victories in 11 races throughout the 2005 season. This included the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans. A tight battle with the #3 Corvette Racing crew for the GT1 drivers title would commence, but thanks to winning five final races of the season, Oliver Gavin and Olivier Berretta would collect their first ALMS Drivers Championship.
Oliver Gavin would become the most successful and longest-serving driver in Corvette Racing history. With 51 victories and five championships as part of the program, Gavin would rank as one of the most accomplished drivers in IMSA history. His Corvette Racing record included wins at Le Mans, Sebring, Daytona and Petit Le Mans. Gavin would win two championships with co-driver Tommy Milner (2012 and 2016) and would become the longest-running driver pairing in IMSA history at the time of the start of the 2020 season.
- Birthdate: September 29th, 1972
- Birthplace: Huntington, England
- Residence: Yardley Hastings, England
- Family: Wife Helen; children Lily, Isaac, Fergus
- Corvette Racing: 2002-2020
Notable Career Highlights
- 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTLM Champion
- Four-time ALMS champion – 2005-07 (GTS/GT1), 2012 (GT)
- Five class wins in 24 Hours of Le Mans – 2002, 2004-06 (GTS/GT1), 2015 (GTLM Pro)
- Six class wins at 12 Hours of Sebring – 2001-02 (GTS), 2006-07 (GT1), 2013 (GT), 2016 (GTLM)
- Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona winner – 2016 (GTLM)
Olivier Berretta would make his second consecutive year as full time Corvette Racing driver in 2005. Paired with Oliver Gavin, Berretta would win the 2005 GT1 Drivers Championship, breaking a four year streak from the #3 Corvette Racing crew. This title helped Corvette Racing collect their fifth straight ALMS Manufactures Championship.
Beretta began his racing career in the 1989 French Formula 3 series. The following year he would finish third in the championship and accomplished a podium at the Monaco Grand Prix support race. Berretta started test driving for the Larrousse Grand Prix team in 1994 and would compete in 10 grand prix, where he finished three times in the top 10, with a career-best seventh in the German Grand Prix.
In 1996 Berretta became involved in the development of the Chrysler Viper of Team Oreca. He would finish third in the FIA GT drivers championship the following year. Beretta would win the 1998 FIA GT drivers championship with teammate Pedro Lamy, where they accomplished eight wins out of 10 races.
In 1999, Berretta would win the FIA GT Championship, the ALMS GTS class championship and the Le Mans 24 hours GTS class, scoring 13 of the 16 race wins for Team Oreca. The following year in 1999 Berretta would win the Rolex 24 at Daytona overall, a class victory at the 12 Hours of Sebring, a class win at Le Mans and a ALMS class championship.
Once joining Corvette Racing in 2004, Berretta scored five victories, including class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans.
After leaving Corvette Racing, Berretta became a factory Ferrari driver for various privateer Ferrari customers.
- Birthdate: November 23rd, 1969
- Birthplace: Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Residence: Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Family: Son Riccardo
- Corvette Racing: 2004-2011
Notable Career Highlights
- Drove for Larrousse Formula 1 team – 1994
- FIA GT2 Champion – 1998, 1999
- Overall winner of the 2000 Rolex 24 at Daytona
- ALMS Drivers Champion – 1999, 2000 (GTS), 2005, 2006, 2007 (GT1)
- 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner – 1999, 2000, 2004 (GTS), 2005, 2006 (GT1)
Jan Magnussen (Sebring, Le Mans, Petit Le Mans and Laguna Seca)
Jan Magnussen would make his second year start as the third driver for the endurance races with Corvette Racing in 2005. He would join Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell for the four endurance races the team entered during the 2005 season.
Magnussen started his racing career in 1990 racing single-seaters. In 1994 Magnussen won the British Formula 3 Championship with Paul Stewart Racing breaking Ayrton Senna’s record of most wins in a single season, capturing 14 wins out of 18 races.
Magnussen would become a Formula 1 test driver for McLaren before competing in DTM and International Touring Car Championship between 1995 and 1996, where he finished second in the 1996 ITC Championship. Magnussen would become a full time Formula 1 driver for the Stewart Grand Prix team in 1997, where he would accomplish a career best sixth place finish at the Montreal Grand Prix in 1998.
Magnussen joined Panoz Motorsports in 1999 to compete in the ALMS where he captured six wins. He would become part of the Corvette- Ferrari rivalry in 2003, driving the Prodrive Ferrari and would join Corvette Racing the following year.
A legend in Denmark, his aggressive racing style and take-no-prisoners mentality made him very popular with the fans. Magnussen became a full time driver with Corvette Racing in 2007 and throughout his time with the team he accomplished 35 wins. In 2008 Magnussen became the ALMS GT1 Driver Champion with teammate Johnny O’connell and would win the IMSA GT Drivers Championship with Antonio Garcia in 2013.
- Birthdate: July 4th, 1973
- Birthplace: Roskilde, Denmark
- Residence: Roskilde, Denmark
- Family: Wife Christina, sons Kevin and Luca, daughter Millie
- Corvette Racing: 2004-2019
Notable Career Highlights
- Two time ALMS Driver Champion – 2008 (GT1), 2013 (GT)
- Two time IMSA WeatherTech GTLM Champion – 2017, 2018
- Four time 24 Hours of Le Mans class winner – 2004 (GTS), 2005, 2006, 2009 (GT1)
- Rolex 24 at Daytona GTLM class winner – 2015
- Five time 12 Hours of Sebring class winner – 2006, 2008, 2009 (GT1), 2015, 2017 (GTLM)
- ALMS “Most Popular Driver” – 2001, 2003, 2011, 2013