MAX PAPIS TO LEAD PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB Mooresville, NC (January 28, 2009) -- 'Mad' Max Papis is a racing fan. He loves the history of his sport and he has competed in the top races in the world. Papis will continue to add to...
MAX PAPIS TO LEAD PIKES PEAK INTERNATIONAL HILL CLIMB
Mooresville, NC (January 28, 2009) -- 'Mad' Max Papis is a racing fan. He loves the history of his sport and he has competed in the top races in the world. Papis will continue to add to his resume when he arrives in Colorado Springs, CO, for the 87th Annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, July 19, 2009. Quickly approaching his first season in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as the driver of the #13 GEICO Toyota Camry, Papis will be behind the wheel of the pace car when the event kicks off.
Papis has wheeled around the top facilities in the world, including Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Le Mans. June will find him touring an entirely different circuit. Rather than leading the way through the French countryside on a 13-mile road course, Papis will be leading a 12.4-mile charge up a mountainside that presents 156 twisting turns on the way to the top.
All indications are that Papis will receive a warm welcome when he arrives in town to enjoy Friday night's Fanfest, which is held in downtown Colorado Springs and kicks off the hill climb weekend.
"I have been a spectator or competitor on Pikes Peak for thirty-seven consecutive years, and having someone such as Max Papis, who is a rising NASCAR star and world-class driver, drive the pace car is very exciting," said Layne Schranz, a long-time fan and competitor in the 'Race to the Clouds'. "Max is a perfect fit for this event because he has raced just about everything that sits on wheels. He will undoubtedly bring an unparalleled amount of energy and interest to this incredible event."
As excited as people will be to have Papis on-site, he will be even happier to be there. He has raced all over the world and appreciates the history of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It is, after all, the second oldest auto race in America, giving way only to the Indianapolis 500.
"I'm looking forward to getting to Pikes Peak and being a part of a world class event that has such history behind it," said Papis, who is the son-in-law of famed race car driver Emerson Fittipaldi. "All over the world people talk about the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and now I get to be a part of it." He continued, "I'm bringing my whole family with me because I want them to experience a real piece of auto racing history. I have raced in the Indy 500, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and NASCAR, so this is a great opportunity for me to add another special event to my list."
The 2004 Grand-Am Rolex Series Champion, Papis was born in Como, Italy, and now resides in Mooresville, North Carolina. He has made over 100 open wheel race starts, including two prior Indianapolis 500 starts, while also serving as a test driver for NASCAR's Hendrick Motorsports. He has also participated in NASCAR's #2 Series, where he recorded a third place finish on August 4, 2007 in Montreal.
Aside from recording three wins in the former CART Series and being a former Formula 1 driver, Papis has been one of the top competitors in American sports-car racing. He has posted an overall win at the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2002, as well as a Grand-American Rolex Sports Car Series championship in 2004. As a member of GM's Corvette Racing team, Papis recorded two wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans, as well as two runner-up finishes at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.