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Gunnar Jeannette (born May 5, 1982 in West Palm Beach, Florida) is an American racing driver who competes in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship for WeatherTech Racing. He won the 2011 American Le Mans Series season LMPC Drivers' Championship and is the youngest-ever driver to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans.[1]

Gunnar Jeannette
Gunnar jeannette le mans test 2012.jpg
NationalityAmerican
Born (1982-05-05) May 5, 1982 (age 37)
West Palm Beach, FL
IMSA WeatherTech Championship career
Current teamWeatherTech Racing
Previous series
American Le Mans Series
Rolex Sports Car Series
World Endurance Championship
European LeMans Series
Championship titles
2005
2011
2013
Grand Am Cup Team Champion
ALMS LMPC Driver Champion
ELMS GTE Team Champion

Contents

Early racing careerEdit

Jeannette started racing, driving in Historic Sports Car racing at the age of 16. He made the jump to the professional ranks less than one year later.

American Le Mans SeriesEdit

Jeannette made his American Le Mans Series debut in 2000, scoring six top-10 finishes in seven starts in both the Prototype and GT classes. In 2002, he made his LMP900 class debut in a Panoz before moving to the factory supported JML Team Panoz squad in 2003, where he scored his best-ever overall finish of third (2nd in class) at Mosport.

For 2004, Jeannette moved back to GT2, piloting the Panoz Esperante GTLM for what turned out to be a three-year stint with two different teams. His best result was a fourth at Mosport and Petit Le Mans with co-driver Tommy Milner in 2006.

After making a handful of starts in 2008 for Corsa Motorsports, Jeannette returned to full-time ALMS competition in 2010 in the new LMPC class. Driving for his father's Green Earth Team Gunnar outfit, Jeannette became the first LMPC pole winner in series history. He went on to win four races with Elton Julian and finish 2nd in the Drivers Championship that year.

Jeannette joined CORE autosport for 2011 and continued his streak of success in LMPC, taking two wins, three pole positions and three fastest race laps en route to the LMPC Drivers Championship. He shared the honor with season-long co-driver Ricardo Gonzalez and Genoa Racing's Eric Lux, who ended up on equal points to the CORE autosport duo.

24 Hours of Le MansEdit

At the age of 18, Jeannette became the youngest-ever driver to finish the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in his race debut in 2000. He's since competed an additional seven times, with a best finish of fifth overall in 2003.

Grand-AmEdit

Jeannette made his debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series GTU class at the 2000 Rolex 24 at Daytona. He won his first-ever Rolex Series race one year later in the GTS class and has since made sporadic starts in the series.

In 2005, Jeannette ran his first full season in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, finishing sixth in GS Points Standings with two victories to his credit driving for Multimatic Motorsports. He returned to full-time competition in 2010 with co-driver Frankie Montecalvo, finishing 10th in the GS class championship.

For 2012, Jeannette rejoined Multimatic Motorsports for its new Street Tuner-class Ford Focus ST-R development program.

FIA World Endurance ChampionshipEdit

Jeannette made his FIA World Endurance Championship debut in the Six Hours of Spa-Francorchamps on May 5, 2012, co-driving the No. 58 Luxury Racing Ferrari F458 Italia with Frankie Montecalvo and Pierre Ehret to a fifth-place finish in the GTE-Am class.[2] The trio did not finish the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans after suffering an accident during the overnight hours.

Personal lifeEdit

Jeannette is an avid extreme sporting enthusiast. Since 2004, he's racked up more than 1,500 skydives and 200 BASE jumps from all corners of the globe. Jeannette has also participated in world record skydives and has been featured on MTV, People Magazine, USA Today and several other local and national publications.[3]

24 Hours of Le Mans resultsEdit

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2000   Manthey Racing
  Gunnar Racing
  Michael Brockman
  Mike Lauer
Porsche 911 GT3-R GT 261 27th 6th
2001   Freisinger Motorsport   Romain Dumas
  Philippe Haezebrouck
Porsche 911 GT3-RS GT 282 7th 2nd
2002   Panoz Motor Sports   Bill Auberlen
  David Donohue
Panoz LMP01 Evo-Élan LMP900 230 DNF DNF
2003   JML Team Panoz   Olivier Beretta
  Max Papis
Panoz LMP01 Evo-Élan LMP900 360 5th 3rd
2004   Epsilon Sport   Renaud Derlot
  Gavin Pickering
Courage C65-JPX LMP2 124 DNF DNF
2006   Multimatic Motorsport Team Panoz   Scott Maxwell
  Tommy Milner
Panoz Esperante GT-LM GT2 34 DNF DNF
2008   Team Bruichladdich Radical   Marc Rostan
  Ben Devlin
Radical SR9-AER LMP2 297 31st 6th
2012   Luxury Racing   Pierre Ehret
  Frankie Montecalvo
Ferrari 458 Italia GTC GTE
Am
146 DNF DNF

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ ACO. "Interview: Gunnar Jeannette & Frankie Montecalvo". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  2. ^ ACO. "Interview: Gunnar Jeannette & Frankie Montecalvo". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  3. ^ "CORE autosport Driver Bio". Retrieved 17 July 2012.

External linksEdit