Braselton, GA — Johnny O’Connell, the premier American Corvette race car driver of his generation and one of the most successful sports car racing drivers of the modern era, has been named the Grand Marshal of Historic Sportscar Racing’s April 21-25 Mitty at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Corvette is the event’s featured marque. See who’s on the event’s robust entry list.
In a 20-year relationship with GM that ended just two years ago, O’Connell raced and won championships in Corvettes and Cadillacs.
“It kind of goes without saying, but of the many years I spent racing, it was my time racing for Corvette that I’m best known for,” O’Connell said. “I think I could argue it was one of the most important times since what we did really redirected Chevrolet’s passion and focus on Corvette and its global appeal.”
In his first start with GM at the wheel of one of the trademark bright yellow Corvette Racing entries, O’Connell came home an overall winner in the 2001 Rolex 24 At Daytona.
Co-driving the victorious Corvette C5-R with Ron Fellows, Chris Kneifel and Franck Freon, the 2001 win was O’Connell’s first of 41 victories with Corvette Racing, second only to longtime teammate Oliver Gavin.
In addition to the Daytona win and three Le Mans triumphs, O’Connell’s career with Corvette Racing produced three ALMS Driver Championships, five wins at Sebring and a pair of victories at Petit Le Mans at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, O’Connell’s home track.
O’Connell also won four titles for GM driving Cadillacs in Pirelli World Challenge, the last series in which he competed full time. The last time he raced at a professional level was the 2018 World Challenge round at Utah Motorsports Campus, where he shared a Robinson Racing-run Chevrolet Camaro GT4.R with his son Canaan O’Connell.