Press Release 6/4/96
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK-- The two-car MOMO Corse Ferrari effort hopes to produce a repeat at this weekend’s First Union Six Hours of the Glen Presented by Acxiom race at the legendary Watkins Glen International circuit. Team owner/driver Gianpiero Moretti will team with fellow Italian hotshot Massimilliano “Max” Papis in the #30 MOMO/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP in the sixth round of the IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship series. The two MOMO pilots co-drove to victory Memorial Day weekend at Lime Rock Park for their second win of the season, having previously teamed for victory at Road Atlanta in April.
The #55 MOMO/Yokohama/Lista/Landshark Racing Ferrari 333 SP will be driven by Didier Theys, Gerry Jackson and Fredy Lienhard at the 3.4-mile New York race course. The team tested here recently and were very pleased with the results.
“Watkins Glen is an historic racing circuit and I would very much like to win here and be able to go down in their history book,” said the 26-year-old Papis. “I feel we have the momentum from our win at Lime Rock and the MOMO Ferrari should be very strong here for the six-hour race. Gianpiero likes the circuit, has raced here many times and has taught me some things and given me some advice,” Papis added.
This will be Moretti’s eleventh start at Watkins Glen since 1984. He and teammate Eliseo Salazar won here in 1994 in their new Ferrari 333 SP. The popular Moretti has collected five top-five finishes and nine top-ten finishes in ten starts, driving a stable of cars including the Ferrari 333 SP, a Nissan NPT 91-B, a Porsche 962, March Buick, MOMO Cosworth Ford and the Gebhardt C901-Audi.
“Watkins Glen is a driver’s race track, a chassis set-up track. It is very smooth with the new paving. The Glen is a good souvenir for me because my first U.S. win was here in 1985 in the SuperVee series. It’s good to return after more than ten years and we hope to do very well,” said Didier Theys.
The MOMO Ferrari drivers plan to score more valuable points in the Exxon World SportsCar Driver’s Championship points race. Wayne Taylor leads with 139 points, followed closely by Papis with 133 and Theys with 116 points. In the Manufacturer’s battle, Oldsmobile barely leads Ferrari with 126 to 122.
Co-driving with Didier Theys will be Lista’s Fredy Lienhard. Theys and Lienhard combined driving efforts to a fifth place finish at Lime Rock. Landshark Racing’s Gerry Jackson co-drove with Theys at Texas and Atlanta, collecting two fourth place finishes.
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 27 wins, including two this year, two last year and three in 1994 with the Ferrari 333 SP, and 20 under Holbert Racing in the 1980s. 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 Racing. 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 1994.
IMSA newcomer Papis has already made his mark on the season. He collected two poles - at Road Atlanta and Sebring, three fastest laps - at Texas, Road Atlanta, and Daytona, and his first-ever U.S. victory at Road Atlanta and his second at Lime Rock Park. The young Italian likes to give 110% when driving his favorite marque. His 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 beginning in go karting in 1981.
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 liasion between IMSA and Ferrari to bring the Ferrari 333 SP to IMSA World Sportscar racing. His record includes seven IMSA victories, 64 Top Five and 113 Top Ten finishes in 169 career starts. 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, renown in Europe in European Formula Three, the Formula Two series and World Touring Cars, and in the U.S. In IndyCars, has returned to sports cars the past few seasons. He has brought home one pole position, at the 24 Hours of Daytona, and one fastest lap, at Lime Rock Park, both records.
Gerry Jackson had his inaugural IMSA World SportsCar series event at Road Atlanta. 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 also competed in IMSA’s Bridgestone Supercar Series in 1994 and 1995. He 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.
Fredy Lienhard started his racing career thirty years ago with karting, before advancing to Formula Vee, Formula 2 and F3000. Recently he’s competed in the European Interserie Championships before purchasing a Ferrari 333 SP for the IMSA WSC series last year.
Yokohama Tire Corporation has combined 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 SportCar series, as they stepped up after having recently developed the new Yokohama AVS race tire. A well-known and respected commodity on the IMSA circuit since 1984, Yokohama seeks to improve their ultr 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. Lista’s chairman, Fredy Lienhard, raced a Ferrari 333 SP in several IMSA WSC races last season.
Additional sponsorship for the MOMO Corse team for 1996 comes from Breed Technology, Automobile Magazine and Brembo Brakes.