Olivier Beretta has parted company with Corvette Racing after a very successful eight-year stint with the team.
Ex-Formula 1 driver Beretta, 42, confirmed the departure on the announcement of his participation in this month's Rolex 24 at Daytona with the Risi Competizione Ferrari team. The Monegasque driver was one of six drivers announced for Risi's two Ferrari 458 Italias entered in the Florida enduro on Jan. 28-29.
"I left Corvette Racing in November, and when I was offered the chance to drive a Ferrari at Daytona with Risi, I didn't have to think about it for one second," Beretta said. "When I was a kid, my uncle had a Ferrari Daytona [365 GTB/4]. It was riding in this car that gave me my first feeling of speed, and don't forget I am half Italian."
"I have started a new chapter in my career," was Beretta's only comment on his plans for the remainder of 2012. He would not comment on whether his deal for Daytona is with Risi or whether he has signed a Ferrari contract.
Beretta joined Chevrolet's factory Corvette Racing squad in 2004 and went on to claim three American Le Mans Series titles in 2005-'07 at the wheel of its GT1 class Corvette C6.R. He also claimed four class victories with the Pratt & Miller-run team at the Le Mans 24 Hours, including a GTE Pro success in 2011.
Beretta joins a roster of Ferrari-contracted in the two 458s, which are entered under the Risi Competizione with American Canadian Racing banner. Former Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos, who is expected to be part of Risi's full-time lineup in 2012, joins the likes of Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella and Toni Vilander.
The vacant full-time seat at Corvette Racing for the American Le Mans Series will be taken by Antonio Garcia, who has been a third driver for the team in the long-distance races for the past three years.