Needless to say, after exactly a decade spent behind the wheel of ALMS-spec Corvettes, a period of time during which he won a record 8 class victories in the Sebring 12-Hour Race and 4 class wins in the famous Le Mans 24-Hour Race, not to mention his 3 class titles in the ALMS, the 48-year old New Yorker admitted it will be hard for him to match his performances at Corvette with any other team out there.
“After 10 amazing years with Corvette Racing as part of one of the best American sportscar teams in history, I am extremely flattered that Cadillac selected me for this very important programme,” said O'Connell, who joined Corvete Racing back in 2001 and won his class in both the Daytona 24-Hour Race and the 24 Hours of Le Mans in that same year.
“I'm very proud to have won more ALMS races in Corvettes than any other driver and to set records at Sebring and Le Mans. I've enjoyed fantastic relationships with the team, with great friends and co-drivers like Ron Fellows and Jan Magnussen, and with Corvette enthusiasts around the world.”
O'Connell recorded no less than 38 wins in 102 ALMS starts for Corvette Racing, while also ranking inside the Top 3 in his class in the 24 Hours of Le Mans 9 out of 10 times.
“Johnny O'Connell has made a tremendous contribution to the success of Corvette Racing both on and off the track,” added GM Racing director Mark Kent. O'Connell's successor in the Corvette lineup is yet to be announced, but it is believed that will happen in the early weeks of 2011.