Story

Julien Gerbi

Born on 3 October 1985 in Nice, France
Resides in Valencia, Spain
FIA Driver Categorisation: Bronze
Speaks Spanish, French, English and Italian

Racing driver since 2003
Driver Coach since 2011
Co-owner and co-founder of Team Virage and Virage Academy
Stuntman & Actor for TV Commercials (Mercedes AMG, Toyota)

 

Without any karting experience, Julien Gerbi started his career directly with race cars. First testing with Philippe Gautheron’s single seater team, he then competed in prototypes and single seaters for seven years in Europe, North America and Middle-East, scoring wins and podiums on three different continents and reaching the World 100 Future Stars classification in 2007.

After a 10-year break while working on the other side of the wall, he returned to racing through Endurance, competing in his own team in GT and LMP3.

CHILDHOOD

Julien Gerbi has been close to motor racing from a young age. With parents being friends of the Morenos while Roberto was competing in F-1, Julien developped a love for the sport and decided very early that he wanted to become, one day, a racing driver. His helmet colors - yellow and blue - are a strong reference to Roberto's famous helmet.

2003

Freshly graduated from his Baccalauréat with honors, Julien started his motor racing career, aged 17, without having competed in any karting competition unlike most of the other drivers. He agreed on a testing deal with Philippe Gautheron’s GTEC team in Formula Nissan Junior in order to prepare an eventual participation to a car race.

2004

Gerbi raced as Draco Junior Team in the European Formula X Sport Prototypes. A podium crowned his first ever car race on the track of Monza. Other top 5 in Spa-Francorchamps and Dubai, and a pole position on the UAE track helped him to finish 4th in the Standings, being crowned “Rookie Champion”. He also tested in British F3 with Promatecme.

2005

A British F3 program with Promatecme was planned, but last minute withdrawal from a major sponsor saw him seat aside during the 2005 year. He competed in only one race in the Spanish Formula BMW championship, which he didn’t finish for a fuel pump failure. He also tested in Formula Renault and appeared to commercial events as a driver instructor to keep contact with the race tracks.

2006

The help of new investors made him sign in Turkish Formula 3. Supported by Red Bull Turkey, Gerbi scored 3 pole position, 3 wins and 5 podiums out of eight races. He DNF’ed in three races for engine issues. He also set the new track record of Izmir, and appeared as a stuntman in the famous Turkish TV program “Yalanci Yarim”.

2007

A management agreement with Barbaro Levi’s SMI saw him sign with the Italian clothing brand Freesoul. Consequently, he joined the Barber Mazda Series in the United States. Out of 40 cars, Gerbi finished the season 10th. At this time, he entered the “World 100 Future Racing Stars”, among drivers such as Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.

2008

Supported by a Mazda North America scholarship, Gerbi started a second year in Barber Mazda Series with a victory on the track of VIR. With 10 podiums out of 14 races, Gerbi was a serious championship contender until the last event. He finished 3rd of the series and was classified 4th after taking off the worst two results, two 7th places.

2009

After some testing in British F-3 during the winter, a route in IndyLights and an oval rookie test was planned. However, the withdrawal of several investors forced Gerbi to review his program. He signed in Formula Palmer Audi with the help of Biotech International. Out of 30 drivers, he finished 12th, scoring a record of 19 points finishes out of 20 races.

WINTER 2009-2010

Approached by the Lotus F1 Junior Team and after having made some contacts with Renault F1 Team - in order to potentially become the first ever Algerian driver to step into a F1 car - Julien took part to a winter testing program in Formula 3000 (becoming AutoGP) with Coloni Motorsport, and also in the Valencia collective tests in FIA Formula 2 with a Williams-Audi.

2011

Out of budget, Gerbi did a few tests in Italian and British GT, respectively with Nova Race and Optimum Motorsport, both with a Ginetta G50. He notably scored the 2nd fastest laptime in Rockingham, while being out of the car for more than 18 months. At the same time, he started to work as an instructor for Mini and BMW Spain alongside DRIVEX School.

2012-2014

In 2012, he joined Philippe Gautheron in the Virage Academy, assisting young drivers in their formation and preparation. As a driver coach of Virage Racing Academy, Julien worked with almost 60 drivers, among them Fran Rueda (French F4), Alfonso Celis (FR 2.0), Tatiana Calderon (FR 2.0), Carmen Jorda (GP3), Nikolay Martsenko (World Series by Renault).

2013

Gerbi joined BMW Motorsport and the Formula BMW Talent Cup where he took the responsibility of three cars management in the 2013 series. One of his cars won the Series, with Robin Hansson taking the championship in Oschersleben.

2014

At the end of 2014, Gerbi raced the new Palma Port Kart Cup, substituting the Monaco Kart Cup. Against drivers such as Roberto Merhi, Gabby Chaves or Alex Baron, Gerbi finished 2nd while completing 75% of the 6h race on his own.

2014-2016

Fresh from the championship won with Robin Hansson, Julien took over the team management of Fragus Motorsport in Formula Renault 2.0, the team competing in NEC and a few Eurocup rounds. They entered then the Porsche Carrera Cup, ending Sub-Champion in Scandinavia in 2016.

2015-2017

Gerbi joined Campos Racing to create, jointly with Philippe Gautheron, the Campos Academy. Coaching the team's drivers and preparing the races in simulator, he worked with drivers such as Marta Garcia, Rio Haryanto, Sean Gelael and Julien Falchero. The F-3 team won the 2016 Euro F-3 Open with Leonardo Pulcini.

2017-2018

A new adventure started for Julien, who began to act in TV commercials. 11 years after his last appearance as a stuntman, he substituted Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes AMG Project One commercial, before acting at the wheel of an Amilcar from 1926 in Toyota’s commercial “Move Ahead”.

2018

Associated with Gautheron, Team Virage was created and Virage Academy was reborn. Located in Valencia, Spain, the team competed in various LMP3 European series such as ELMS, VdeV and Ultimate Cup. It also runs two Aston Martin in 24h Series and GT4 Series, and a full driver preparation center.

2019

After having taken part to Team Virage’s Aston Martin Racing development program, Julien returned to the competition in September 2019, 10 years after his last race, competing in the 4h of Valencia in the Ultimate Cup Series. The #94 won in its category after having scored the pole position.

2020

While the season only started in September due to the Covid19 sanitary restrictions, Julien took part to the first event of the Ultimate Cup Series in Dijon in the GT Endurance category, still driving an Aston Martin GT4 of Team Virage. This time with Javier Cobian and Stéphane Adler, the #55 scored the pole position, the fastest lap and won the race in its category.

2020

Later on, Julien received a last minute call from Realteam Racing to substitute Esteban García in European Le Mans Series as a Bronze driver in Portimao’s LMP3 finale. After having scored the fastest lap in the Bronze test, the pair Julien Gerbi/David Droux crossed the finish line in 2nd position, securing Realteam’s 3rd place in the ELMS standings.

2020

Julien also competed in the last LMP3 race of the Ultimate Cup Series in Le Castellet, this time with Team Virage alongside ex-single seater driver Petru Florescu. The pair scored a pole position in the wet in Q2 and a finale 3rd place in the 4h race, while Virage's sister car took the championship.

2021

While Team Virage started its new adventure in European Le Mans Series and Le Mans Cup, Julien joined Sacha Lehmann on the LMP3 #16 in the opening round of Barcelona. Starting from 5th, Julien ended up leading the race at the end of the first hour before a pit stop issue relegated the pair one lap down.

2021

On the other side of the wall, Team Virage associated with ex-F1 driver and Academy driver Charles Pic in order to create CAP Racing, a single-seater structure based and managed by Virage in its Valencian facilities, and aligning three F-3 Regional cars.

Highlights

2021
Le Mans Cup
Team Virage LMP3
2020
European Le Mans Series
Finished 2nd and did the fastest lap in the Bronze test in Portimao with a LMP3
Ultimate Cup Series

Pole position, fastest lap and won the first race with the Team Virage's GT4 

3rd place in the 4h race in Le Castellet in a LMP3

2019
Ultimate Cup Series
Pole position and victory in the 4h of Valencia with Aston Martin Racing
2014
Palma Port Kart Cup
Finished 2nd in the 6h race while completing 75%
2012 - 2010
Italian & British GT
Scored the 2nd fastest laptime in Rockingham with a Ginetta G50
2009
Formula Palmer Audi

Finished 12th out of 30 drivers

Tests in Formula 3000 and FIA Formula 2

2008
US Barber Mazda Series

4th in the General Standings 1 victory, 10 podiums, 1 pole and 2 fastest laps

2007
US Barber Mazda Series

10th out of 40 cars & entered the “World 100 Future Racing Stars

2006
Turkish Formula 3

5th in the General Standings 3 pole positions, 3 wins and 5 podiums out of eight races

2004
European Formula X Sport Prototypes

4th in the General Standings & Rookie champion