Press Release - 7/10/96
MOMO Corse Ferrari Team Seeks to Make It Three in a Row at Sears Point

SONOMA, CALIFORNIA - The MOMO Corse Ferrari Team hopes to produce a "threepeat" victory at this weekend's Toshiba California Grand Prix race at the popular Sears Point Raceway.


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.

Team owner/driver Gianpiero Moretti and fellow Italian Massimiliano "Max" Papis won the past two races at Watkins Glen, New York and Lime Rock, Conn. In their #30 MOMO / Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP in the IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship series. The two also co-drove to victory at Road Atlanta in April in their red and yellow V-12 Prancing Horse.

"Mad Max" Papis, in his inaugural IMSA season, has been burning up the stat charts - claiming three poles and four fastest laps, in addition to three victories, in only six IMSA WSC starts.

He got the attention of the racing world at his debut at the 24 Hours of Daytona, turning the fastest lap of the 24 hour race in the final minutes, while chasing down Wayne Taylor to a mere 65-second margin of victory.

At the Watkins Glen 6-Hour race, "Mad Max" drove nearly five hours and, once again, set the fastest lap of the race just minutes from the checkered flag. Papis and Taylor are currently tied for first in the Exxon World SportsCar Driver's Championship with 164 points.

"The MOMO team has great momentum going into Sears Points, following our two victories at Lime Rock and Watkins Glen," said the 26-year-old Papis. "I feel our MOMO Ferrari will be strong and I hope to add another victory," Papis added. This will be Papis' first race at the scenic Sonoma circuit.

A second #66 MOMO / Yokohama / Lista / Landshark Racing Ferrari 333 SP will be driven at the 2.52-mile Sears Point race course by Didier theys and Fredy Lienhard. Theys currently sits third in the points race with 136.

"Last year Fredy and I finished fifth at Sears Points, just edged out of fourth by Mauro Baldi. It was only our third race of the year and we were still learning so much about the Ferrari 333 SP. With our additional experience and preparation, we hope to be competitive enough this year to be in the top three," said Theys.

This will be Moretti's eleventh start at Sears Point since 1978. He has three Top 5 finishes and seven Top 10 at the California circuit. this weekend is his first appearance with the Ferrari 333 SP. The popular Moretti has driven a stable of cars here including the Porsche 935, MOMO Cosworth Ford, March Buick and the venerable Porsche 962.

"I have not always been able to race at Sears Point in recent years due to heavy business obligations this time of year, but now I have more time and can give Max some tips on the circuits, which are all new to him this year," said Moretti, a 19-year IMSA veteran. MOMO S.P.A. was sold earlier this year to Breed Technologies of Lakeland, Florida. Moretti remains on board as Honorary Advisor.

This weekend's race will serve as the as the tie-breaker between Papis and Taylor. All aspects will factor into the points ratio - race winner, race leaders, even pole position. Although IMSA does not award points for pole position, starting from the pole could be very beneficial at a tight circuit like Sears Point.

Landshark Racing's Gerry Jackson, co-driver with Theys of the #66 Ferrari,will sit out this race. He and Theys finished fourth at both Texas and Atlanta. Jackson, Theys and Lienhard finished fifth at the Watkins Glen 6-Hour. Lienhard and Theys co-drove to fifth place at Lime Rock, where Theys set the fastest lap. MOMO drivers have had the fastest race lap in all but one race this season with Papis collecting four and Theys one. Four of six pole positions have gone to MOMO drivers - Papis three and Theys one.

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 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. 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. Ferrari currently leads the 1996 Manufacturer's Championship by two points over Oldsmobile.

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 beginning in gokarting 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 liaison between IMSA and Ferrari to bring the Ferrari 333 SP to IMSA World SportsCar racing. His record includes eight IMSA victories, 65 Top Five and 114 Top Ten finishes in 170 career starts. Moretti and James Weaver are currently tied for "Most Wins" in the Exxon World SportsCar Championship Series with six apiece.

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 Championship before purchasing a Ferrari 333 SP for the IMSA WSC series last year, then joining the MOMO Corse team in 1996.

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 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 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. Lista's chairman is Fredy Lienhard.

Additional sponsorship for the MOMO Corse team for 1996 comes from Breed Technology, Automobile Magazine and Brembo Brakes. - ø

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