Press Release - 10/02/96
MOMO Corse Ferrari Team Returns to Daytona to Avenge 24-Hour Race
DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA - The thrilling season-long battle between MOMO/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP driver Massimiliano "Mad Max" Papis and Oldsmobile's Wayne Taylor comes to a close this weekend in the 3-hour IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship race.
||Team Manager Kevin Doran continues to contribute greatly to the MOMO Corse team. His Doran Enterprises operates and manages the MOMO Corse Ferrari 333 SPs for their third year, his fourth with Moretti. Doran has secured a total of 28 wins, including three this year, two last year and three in 1994 with the Ferrari 33 SP, and 20 under Holbert Racing in the 1980s.|
The two rivals return to the scene of the crime' -- the
location of the first race of the season and the closest race finish in the
history of the Daytona 24-Hour.
In February, Taylor and Papis dueled down to the last lap, where Papis, down several laps at the 20-hour mark, had gained enough time to finish a mere 66 seconds behind Taylor, while setting the fastest race lap. Their battles have mirrored the initial race all season long, including several late race come-from-behind victories for Papis and the MOMO Ferrari team.
Papis trails Taylor by 31 points in the 1996 Exxon World SportsCar Driver's Championship after scoring no points at Dallas last month when a broken stub axle caused the first DNF for the MOMO Corse Ferrari team. But as the youthful Italian Papis has pointed out all season - it's not over until the checkered flag falls on Sunday, Oct. 6th at Daytona.
Team owner/driver Gianpiero Moretti will co-pilot with Papis in the season finale. Always fond of the Daytona circuit, Moretti wants his MOMO Ferrari team to take home the victory this time. "We wanted the victory to be ours at the 24 Hour this year, so now we've come back to get it," said the renown Moretti.
MOMO Corse will also field the #66 Lista/Landshark Racing Ferrari 333 SP of Didier Theys and Gerry Jackson. Theys sits fourth in the Driver's Championship, following the disappointment at Dallas, after maintaining third all season. Ford's Butch Leitzinger is in third, leading Theys by 12 points. Theys will battle hard to regain third place in the championship this weekend.
The Manufacturer's Championship is also up for grabs at Daytona. Oldsmobile leads
Ferrari by a mere two points. The two-car MOMO Corse team will do their
best to defend Ferrari's championship title.
Papis, who celebrates his 27th birthday on Thursday, Oct. 3rd, is in his first season of IMSA racing. He's already collected three victories, four poles and four fastest laps. He recently signed a multi-year deal to drive an IndyCar for the Arciero-Wells tea.
"This year has been amazing for me," said the popular Papis. "I have had many opportunities, and have always raced 110% to win for Ferrari and MOMO. I've met many great fans and made new friends in IMSA. It has been a wonderful experience for me. I want to help Ferrari win the Manufacturer's Championship title."
"Coming back to Daytona for the finish of the season is perfect. This time it is MOMO Ferrari's turn to win on the last lap of the race," added Papis.
Papis' racing background includes competing with Team Arrows last year in the F1 World Championship series, with his highest finish a seventh at the Italian Grand Prix Monza. He also has several years of experience in F3000 and Formula Three with his racing start in go karting in 1981.
Didier Theys of Nivelles, Belgium and Scottsdale, Arizona, is one of the
most experienced pilots of the Ferrari 333 SP, having competed with three
different Ferrari teams last season, including MOMO Corse, Scandia and Horag-Lista.
Theys is renown in Europe in European Formula Three, the Formula Two series
and World Touring Cars, and in the U.S. in IndyCars, in addition to sports
car racing. His 1996 IMSA record includes two second place finishes, one
third, two fourths and three fifths in nine starts. He also claims one
pole and two fastest laps, all IMSA Exxon WSC records.
Moretti's commitment to IMSA racing spans three decades, debuting in a Ferrari in the early 1970s, and returning to compete regularly in 1978. Moretti was instrumental in serving as liaison between IMSA and Ferrari to bring the Ferrari 333 SP to IMSA World SportsCar racing. Moretti's record includes eight IMSA victories, 64 Top Five and 114 Top Ten finishes in 172 career starts. Moretti and James Weaver are currently tied for "Most Wins" in the Exxon World SportsCar Championship Series with six a piece.
Gerry Jackson is in his inaugural IMSA Exxon World SportsCar season. The Landshark Racing owner co-drove with Theys at Road Atlanta and Texas, then teamed as a threesome with Theys and List's Freddy Lienhard at the Watkins Glen 6-Hour race. He previously competed in IMSA's Exxon GTS-2 series in a Ferrari 348 GT last year and in the Ferrari Challenge Series in a Ferrari 348 in 1994, finishing fourth in the point standings and receiving an invitation to the Ferrari World Challenge in Mugello, Italy. Jackson started his racing career in 1965 in SCCA club events. Since then he has competed in numerous closed- and open-wheel sports cars, including Formula Fords and Bridgestone Supercars.
His successes with IMSA over the past decade have included three wins at
the 24 Hours of Daytona and three IMSA GTP championships under Holbert. Last
season he helped Ferrari clinch the Manufacturer's Championship with excellent
preparation of the fine Italian automobile. Doran received the prestigious
"Technician of the Year" award in both 1993 and '94.
Yokohama Tire Corporation has combine efforts with the prestigious MOMO team this season in their challenge of the 1996 IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship series. This is Yokohama's first effort in the World SportsCar series, as they stepped up after having developed the new Yokohama AVS race tire.
A well-known and respected commodity on the IMSA circuit since 1984, Yokohama seeks to improve their ultra high performance Image, and continues to use racing as a proving ground for their products. The advanced technology learned on the track is redeveloped into their street tires, keeping Yokohama on the cutting edge of the tire industry. The results so far this season have proved the Yokohama/MOMO Ferrari relationship is a perfect match.
Joining MOMO Corse and Yokohama this season is Lista International. A Holliston, Mass,-based company, Lista is a world leader in the manufacture of industrial storage and office furniture. Lista International is well known in the performance racing industry for precision engineered storage systems.
Additional sponsorship for the MOMO Corse team for 1996 comes from Breed Technology, Automobile Magazine and Brembo Brakes. Additional sponsorship for the Lista/Landshark team comes from PreCell Communications.