Max Cohen-Olivar

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Max Cohen-Olivar (born 30 April 1945) is a Moroccan former racing driver.[1] 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.

Le Mans[edit]

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[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1971 Switzerland Wicky Racing Team Switzerland André Wicky Porsche 908/2 P
1973 Switzerland Wicky Racing Team Switzerland André Wicky
Switzerland Philippe Carron
Porsche 908/2 S
270 21st 9th
1974 Switzerland Wicky Racing Team Switzerland Philippe Carron De Tomaso Pantera-Ford GT DNF DNF
1975 Switzerland Wicky Racing Team Switzerland Philippe Carron
France Joël Brachet
Porsche 908/2 S
1977 France Racing Organisation Course France Alain Flotard
France Michel Dubois
Chevron B36-ROC-Chrysler S
1978 France ROC La Pierre du Nord France Jacques Henry
France Albert Dufrene
Chevron B36-ROC-Chrysler S
1979 France Lambretta S.A.F.D. France Pierre Yver
France Michel Elkoubi
Lola T298-BMW M12 S
248 21st 4th
1981 France Jean-Marie Lemerle France Jean-Marie Lemerle
France Alain Levié
Lola T298-BMW S
1982 France Jean-Marie Lemerle
Italy Sivama Motor
France Jean-Marie Lemerle
United States Joe Castellano
Lancia Beta Monte Carlo Gr.5 295 12th 2nd
1983 Italy Scuderia Sivama Motor Argentina Oscar Larrauri
Italy Massimo Sigala
Lancia LC1 C 217 NC NC
1985 United Kingdom Goodmands Sound
United Kingdom Bartlett Chevron Racing
United Kingdom Richard Jones
United Kingdom Robin Smith
Chevron B62-Ford Cosworth C2 19 DNF DNF
1986 Germany Porsche Kremer Racing France Pierre Yver
France Hubert Striebig
Porsche 956 C1 160 DNF DNF
1987 United Kingdom Charles Ivey Racing United Kingdom John Cooper
United Kingdom Tom Dodd-Noble
Tiga GC287-Porsche C2 224 DNF DNF
1988 France Primagaz Competition Belgium Patrick de Radiguès Cougar C12-Ford Cosworth C2 273 NC NC
1989 United Kingdom Tiga Race Team United Kingdom John Sheldon
United Kingdom Robin Donovan
Tiga GC289-Ford Cosworth C2 126 DNF DNF
1990 United Kingdom Team Davey Italy Giovanni Lavaggi
United Kingdom Tim Lee-Davey
Porsche 962C C1 306 19th 19th
1991 Switzerland Team Salamin Primagaz Switzerland Antoine Salamin
France Marcel Tarrès
Porsche 962C C2 101 DNF DNF
1992 France Equipe Alméras-Chotard France Jean-Marie Alméras
France Jacques Alméras
Porsche 962C C3 85 DNF DNF
2000 Germany Seikel Motorsport Belgium Michel Neugarten
Canada Tony Burgess
Porsche 911 GT3-R GT 302 18th 3rd
2001 Germany Seikel Motorsport Canada Tony Burgess
New Zealand Andrew Bagnall
Porsche 911 GT3-RS GT 272 12th 6th


  1. ^ "Profile". Retrieved 7 July 2012.