Max Cohen-Olivar (born 30 April 1945) is a Moroccan former racing driver. He is considered to be one of the greatest Moroccan racing drivers of all time. He competed extensively in the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans race, and at the time of his final appearance in 2001 he was only the ninth driver to start the race 20 or more times. The others were Henri Pescarolo, Bob Wollek, Yojiro Terada, Derek Bell, François Migault, Claude Ballot-Léna, Claude Haldi and Pierre Yver.
His first appearance in the race was in 1971, when he partnered André Wicky in the Swiss driver's own Porsche 908. The gearbox failed in the twentieth hour, with the pair in 10th place in the race and second in their class. The Wicky car failed to start the race the following year, but they had better luck in 1973 as they were joined by a third driver, Wicky's fellow Swiss Philippe Carron. The trio were the slowest of all the finishers, 21st on the road and 9th in class. The next year, Wicky ran the lead car with Frenchmen Jacques Boucard and Louis Casson, so Cohen-Olivar and Carron were left to run a second car, a De Tomaso Pantera, as a duo. They were running outside the top 40 when they dropped out in the fourth hour. For 1975, Wicky himself retired, so Cohen-Olivar was promoted back into the lead Porsche, alongside Carron and Frenchman Joël Brachet. They were uncompetitive again, before the clutch failed in the seventeenth hour, causing Cohen-Olivar's third retirement in four Le Mans entries.
Wicky did not enter the race again, and it was not until 1977 that Cohen-Olivar found another drive in the race, joining the French ROC (Racing Organisation Course) entry, driving a Chevron B36 alongside Alain Flotard and Michel Dubois. The car once again failed to make the finish, dropping out in the eighteenth hour. ROC ran two B36s in 1978, and while the other car managed to win the S 2.0 class, the car Cohen-Olivar shared with Frenchmen Jacques Henry and Albert Dufrene suffered a similar fate to the previous year, again retiring in the eighteenth hour, this time with an engine failure.
For 1979 24 Hours of Le Mans, Cohen-Olivar joined up with a new French entry under the Lambretta banner, sharing a Lola T298 with Pierre Yver and Michel Elkoubi. This combination gave Cohen-Olivar his first finish since 1973, and even some silverware, as they finished 21st overall and third in the S 2.0 class.
Despite this success, the team did not enter the race again, and it wasn't until 1981 that Cohen-Olivar was able to race at Le Mans again. He again raced a T298, this time owned by Frenchman Jean-Marie Lemerle. The car was co-piloted by Lemerle and his fellow Frenchman Alain Levié. Another uncompetitive race for Cohen-Olivar ended in the seventeenth hour when the car's electrics failed. He remained with Lemerle in 1982, who with support from Italian firm Sivama Motor was able to run a new car, a Lancia Beta Monte Carlo. Levié was replaced in the team by American Joe Castellano, and the trio had much better luck than the previous year, with 12th overall and another 3rd place in class. This 12th place would remain Cohen-Olivar's best ever result in the race.
24 Hours of Le Mans results
|1971||Wicky Racing Team||André Wicky||Porsche 908/2||P
|1973||Wicky Racing Team|| André Wicky
|1974||Wicky Racing Team||Philippe Carron||De Tomaso Pantera-Ford||GT||DNF||DNF|
|1975||Wicky Racing Team|| Philippe Carron
|1977||Racing Organisation Course|| Alain Flotard
|1978||ROC La Pierre du Nord|| Jacques Henry
|1979||Lambretta S.A.F.D.|| Pierre Yver
|Lola T298-BMW M12||S
|1981||Jean-Marie Lemerle|| Jean-Marie Lemerle
|1982|| Jean-Marie Lemerle
| Jean-Marie Lemerle
|Lancia Beta Monte Carlo||Gr.5||295||12th||2nd|
|1983||Scuderia Sivama Motor|| Oscar Larrauri
|1985|| Goodmands Sound
Bartlett Chevron Racing
| Richard Jones
|Chevron B62-Ford Cosworth||C2||19||DNF||DNF|
|1986||Porsche Kremer Racing|| Pierre Yver
|1987||Charles Ivey Racing|| John Cooper
|1988||Primagaz Competition||Patrick de Radiguès||Cougar C12-Ford Cosworth||C2||273||NC||NC|
|1989||Tiga Race Team|| John Sheldon
|Tiga GC289-Ford Cosworth||C2||126||DNF||DNF|
|1990||Team Davey|| Giovanni Lavaggi
|1991||Team Salamin Primagaz|| Antoine Salamin
|1992||Equipe Alméras-Chotard|| Jean-Marie Alméras
|2000||Seikel Motorsport|| Michel Neugarten
|Porsche 911 GT3-R||GT||302||18th||3rd|
|2001||Seikel Motorsport|| Tony Burgess
|Porsche 911 GT3-RS||GT||272||12th||6th|
- "Profile". driverdb.com. Retrieved 7 July 2012.