Press Release - 6/9/96
MOMO Corse Ferrari Team Victorious at Watkins Glen International

WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK -- Gianpiero Moretti and Massimiliano “Max” Papis brought their #30 MOMO/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP to victory today at the First Union 6 Hour of the Glen race in Watkins Glen, New York in the IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship series.

The #66 MOMO/Yokohama/Lista/Landshark Racing Ferrari 333 SP of Didier Theys, Fredy Lienhard and Gerry Jackson finished fifth. Didier Theys maintains third place in the driver’s championship with 136 points to Papis’ and Taylor’s 164 points. Ferrari took over first place in the IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Manufacturer’s Championship with 147 points to Oldsmobile’s 145.

The race was one of the most exciting races of the year, with the margin of victory being a slim 3.895 seconds over second place finishers Butch Leitzinger, James Weaver, Andy Wallace and team owner Rob dyson in the ford R&S MK III. The series leader coming into this race, Wayne Taylor, finished third with teammate Jim Pace in their Olds R&S MK III. The Moretti/Papis victory bring the 1996 Exxon World SportsCar Driver’s Championship to a tie between Papis and Taylor. Taylor had lead the points race since Daytona when the team won by a 65-second margin after 24 hours of racing.

“Mad Max” Papis was leading with only 22 minute to go in the race when Taylor nudged Papis in turn one, bring the #30 MOMO Ferrari down to third place with a 19-second deficit. Papis brilliantly worked his way trhough slower traffice and turned incredibly lap time, including the fastest of the race (1:40.919 on lap 169), and caught up to pass Taylor in twelve minutes. This left a 3.073 second margin between Papis and leader Leitzinger. It only took “Mad Maxs” 3 minutes to make up the margin and pass the #20 Ford of Leitzinger for the lead, with only two minutes to go, all three of the top cars finished on the same lap, number 178.

“I had to go 110% to win the race, particularly from the middle of the race one. It was a very hard race. I had to push very, very, very hard the last 20 laps. We played our strategy. I had to push and keep my concentration. I’m very proud of what I’ve done and of my MOMO Ferrari team,” said the exhausted Papis, who raced just over five of the six hours.

“The car was perfect and I’m very happy to win for the second time in three years at Watkins Glen,” said an elated Moretti. “If I had to give points -- first would go to Max, then the Ferrari, then the team, and myself last, because I’m the owner. I’m very happy, everyone did his work perfectly . It is unbelievable to finish after six hours this way, with only four seconds lead. It’s nice to see this close competition in IMSA.”

This is Papis’ first year in IMSA Exxon World SportsCar competition and his third IMSA victory. He has three poles and four fastest laps, all records, both of which he added to this weekend. “I’m really impressed by the level of competition in IMSA race and with the World SportsCar series,” said Papis.

Today’s victory is Moretti’s second this year and seventh career, five of which came in the Ferrari 333 SP, which he helped bring to IMSA competition three years ago. - ø

Press Release - 6/8/96
Press Release - 6/4/96

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