2006 Corvette Racing Season
The 2006 season would mark the second year for Corvette Racing with the C6.R and the seventh overall season since their inception in 1999.
After collecting another manufacturers championship and drivers championship the previous year, Corvette Racing were looking to keep the streak alive in 2006. Achieving this goal would not come easy as the rival team Prodrive, would enter a pair of their new Aston Martin DBR9s for the full 2006 American Le Mans Series. The battle for the GTS/GT1 class championship was one of the closest between teams within six years.
Corvette Racing showed more pace than Prodrive in the first half of the season, collecting four back to back class victories. But after Corvette Racing collected another victory at the 2006 Le Mans 24 Hours, Prodrive started to produce more speed from the DBR9. After returning to America from Le Mans for the second half of the season, the battle started to heat up. Prodrive would go on to collect five class victories, however Corvette Racing were able to take wins at Portland and Road America. The consistency and experience of Corvette Racing meant Prodrive could not keep them away the podium, therefore the C6.R and Corvette Racing would seal another championship.
During the 2006 season, Corvette Racing accomplished the class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring and their third straight class win at Le Mans. It would also make for Corvette Racing’s sixth consecutive ALMS Manufactures Championship and the duo of Oliver Gavin and Olivier Berretta accomplished their second consecutive GT1 Drivers Championship.
2006 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|
|The 54th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring||March 17 2006||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||4||1||3||3||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||338||1:56.903||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|The 54th Annual Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring||March 17 2006||12 Hours||Sebring International Raceway||3||4||7||4||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||324||1:56.811||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Grand Prix of Houston||May 12 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Houston Reliant Park Circuit||4||1||2||2||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||138||1:08.565||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Grand Prix of Houston||May 12 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Houston Reliant Park Circuit||3||2||3||1||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||138||1:08.537||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio||May 21 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||4||1||6||2||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||116||1:19.401||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans at Mid-Ohio||May 21 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course||3||2||7||4||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||116||1:19.648||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|24 Heures du Mans||June 17 – 18 2006||24 Hours||Circuit de la Sarthe||64||1||4||3||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||355||3:51.851||ACO||GT1|
|24 Heures du Mans||June 17 – 18 2006||24 Hours||Circuit de la Sarthe||63||7||12||6||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||327||3:53.075||ACO||GT1|
|American Le Mans New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park||July 7 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||3||2||5||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||166||51.697||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|American Le Mans New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park||July 7 2006||2 Hoiurs 45 Minutes||Lime Rock Park||4||4||15||3||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||142||51.631||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Utah Grand Prix||July 15 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Miller Motorsports Park||3||3||10||3||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||61||2:37.914||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Utah Grand Prix||July 15 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Miller Motorsports Park||4||4||11||4||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||61||2:38.032||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Portland Grand Prix||July 22 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Portland International Raceway||4||1||7||1||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||133||1:09.461||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Portland Grand Prix||July 22 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Portland International Raceway||3||3||10||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||133||1:09.963||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Generac 500 at Road America||August 20 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Road America||3||1||9||2||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||74||2:01.681||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Generac 500 at Road America||August 20 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Road America||4||2||10||4||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||73||2:01.528||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Mobil 1 Presents Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport||September 3 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mosport International Raceway||4||2||8||2||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||123||1:15.669||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Mobil 1 Presents Labour Day Weekend Grand Prix of Mosport||September 3 2006||2 Hours 45 Minutes||Mosport International Raceway||3||4||10||4||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||122||1:15.583||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7||September 30 2006||1000 Miles or 10 Hours||Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center||4||3||10||3||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta / Jan Magnussen||372||1:18.834||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Petit Le Mans powered by Mazda CX-7||September 30 2006||1000 Miles or 10 Hours||Road Atlanta Motor Sports Center||3||4||11||4||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell / Max Papis||371||1:19.282||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Monterey Sports Car Championship Laguna Seca||October 21 2006||4 Hours||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||4||2||9||2||Oliver Gavin / Olivier Berretta||153||1:21.268||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
|Monterey Sports Car Championship Laguna Seca||October 21 2006||4 Hours||Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca||3||3||10||3||Ron Fellows / Johnny O'Connell||152||1:21.814||American Le Mans Series||GT1|
#3 Chevrolet Corvette C6.R Drivers 2006 (#63 used for Le Mans)
Ron Fellows would join Corvette Racing for the eighth straight year. He was the only remaining driver from the original 1999 driver lineup in the inaugural season for Corvette Racing. The 2006 season would be the last full season for Ron Fellows as the following year he would step down into the third driver role with the #3 crew. Jan Magnussen would replace Fellows for the 2007 season.
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
The 2006 season marked the sixth year for Johnny O’Connell with Corvette Racing. O’Connell would continue to be paired with Ron Fellows in the #3 Corvette C6.R.
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 and Petit Le Mans)
Max Papis returned for the a third straight year in the role as the third driver for the #3 Corvette Racing crew. He joined the team for three endurance races during the 2006 season.
Despite the season finale at Laguna Seca would remain a four hour race like the previous year. The requirement of a third driver was decided against, limiting Papis to three races compared to the four he was part of last year.
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 2006 (#64 used for Le Mans)
Oliver Gavin joined Corvette Racing in 2006 for the third straight year as a full time driver and his fifth year overall with the team.
After taking his first drivers championship with co-driver Olivier Berretta the following season, Gavin was looking to produce a repeat in 2006. However this time, Gavin and Berretta were not feeling the pressure from the sister car but the pair of Aston Martin DBR9s from Prodrive. Despite the tough battle, Gavin and Berretta went on to win the 2006 GT1 ALMS Drivers Championship, also helping Corvette Racing collect their sixth ALMS Manufactures 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 made his third year appearance as a full time Corvette Racing factory driver for the 2006 season. He remained paired with co-driver Oliver Gavin and accomplished five GT1 class wins in the year, which included a third straight 24 Hours of Le Mans class victory and 12 Hours of Sebring GT1 class win.
After a close battle with Prodrive throughout the 2006 season, Olivier Berretta and Oliver Gavin accomplished their second straight ALMS GT1 Drivers 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 and Petit Le Mans)
2006 would mark the third year for Jan Magnussen as the third driver in the #4 Corvette C6.R. During the 2006 season, Magnussen helped the team accomplish a third straight class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the GT1 class win at the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Despite the season finale at Laguna Seca remained as a four hour race like the previous year. The requirement of a third driver was decided against, which limited Magnussen to three for the year.
2006 would be the last year for Magnussen in the role of a third driver. The following year Ron Fellows would step down from full time driving duties leaving Magnussen to take his seat in the #3 Corvette C6.R.
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