Corvette Racing's GT1 veteran Olivier Beretta relished the challenge of the new GTE Pro class but was forced to sit out the final portion of the 2011 Le Mans 24 Hours after suffering nausea during a safety car period, possibly because of breathing in exhaust fumes.
Beretta's #73 Corvette, which he shared with Tom Milner and Antonio Garcia, was a lap down from the class lead with six hours to go. Beretta had a minor off at Arnage, nosing into the barriers, and did not get in the car again. His teammates, helped by electrical problems afflicting the #51 AF Corse Ferrari in front, eventually overhauled the class leader to take the GTE Pro win.
"I was feeling a bit sick behind the pace car and I think I breathed in a lot of exhaust gas," Beretta said. "I had a stint in the morning and it didn't go very well so in the final hours Tom and Antonio did the driving. We had a lot of pressure and we just pushed as hard as we could. I think we really deserve the victory."
In over a decade of racing at Le Mans, Corvette Racing has occasionally faced some stiff opposition but never from quite so many different teams and marques as it has done in the GTE era. In the final years of GT1 it was often only up against a handful of privateer cars, and Beretta believes the change has been for the better.
"In GT1 we had some races against the Prodrive Ferraris and Aston Martins, but now there's not one team that can beat us, there are several."