Press Release - 7/16/96
Papis Continues Momentum for MOMO Corse Ferrari at 1996 IMSA Sears Point Competition

SONOMA, Calif. -- The MOMO Corse Ferrari team continued its IMSA Exxon World SportsCar championship efforts last weekend at the IMSA Toshiba California Grand Prix, held at Sears Point International Raceway.


Unofficially, the second-place finish brings Papis to 191 cumulative points in the fight for the championship title, just behind Taylor, who has earned 196 points. Theys follows in third place with 157 points.
Posting a second-place finish, Massimiliano "Mad Max" Papis and his #30 MOMO / Yokohama Ferrari 333SP made a strong comeback after being one lap down at the halfway point, finishing less than a car length behind race winner Wayne Taylor.

"I seriously thought the race was over when I was down. It was very difficult because the cars were so equal, and we were struggling with the tire combination," Papis explained. "Our Yokohamas were very good for 10 laps, but then the car would slide around a bit."

Team owner and co-driver Gianpiero Moretti began the race, and Papis stepped in at the first fuel stop, with both hoping to earn a third consecutive win this season. While the midpoint of the race did not look promising for the team, the exciting final hour proved to be a true neck-and-neck fight for the finish.

"I was very close to Wayne on the last lap, but it is nearly impossible to overtake other drivers on this track. There are no run-off areas, so you risk going off the track," Papis said. "Wayne played the traffic perfectly. I just drove as hard as I could, and it turned out to be a great race."

The #66 MOMO / Yokohama / Lista / Landshark Racing Ferrari 330SP of Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard finished up the day in fifth, after a stop-and-go penalty following their first pit stop. Theys made a valiant effort to catch up, however, and posted the fastest time of the race on lap 99, with a clocking of 1:27.399.

"It was difficult to pass because the track was so dirty off-line. I got by to try and help Max, but I made a mistake under braking." Theys said. "When I made the change to the different set of Yokohamas, I think I had the fastest car on the track. We had a good race."

In the Manufacturer's Championship, Ferrari trails Oldsmobile slightly with 168 and 170 points, respectively. These teams will continue to vie for top honors at the eighth stop on IMSA's Exxon World SportsCar championship series, Aug. 23-25 at Mosport, Ontario, Canada. - ø
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