My Most Memorable Win
Max Papis - Watkins Glen - June 9, 1996
WATKINS GLEN, NEW YORK - August 9, 2006 -- Massimiliano "Max" Papis brought the #30 MOMO/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP to victory years ago at the First Union 6 Hours of the Glen race in Watkins Glen, New York in the IMSA Exxon World SportsCar Championship series.
"Mad Max" Papis was leading with only 22 minutes to go in the race when Taylor nudged Papis in turn one, bringing the #30 MOMO Ferrari down to third place with a 19-second deficit. Papis brilliantly worked his way through slower traffic 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 Max" 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.
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 Moretti/Papis victory brought the 1996 Exxon World SportsCar Driver's Championship to a tie between Papis and Taylor.
"I had the pole with a new qualifying record and I still had to go 110% to win the race.It was very hard, particularly from the middle of the 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 was exhausted and at the end of the race, I was still on track when a fan hands me the Italian flag. Watkins Glen is an historic racing circuit , it was a most memorable win!" said Max Papis.
This weekend Max Papis will make his NASCAR national series debut at Watkins Glen, replacing Tim Sauter in the No. 36 Sport Clips Chevrolet for McGill Motorsports for this race. Papis also is entered in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup event in the No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet, the car normally driven by Kenny Wallace in that series. "Mad Max" will add stock-car racing to his impressive 2006 resume, which also includes racing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the Indianapolis 500 and at Le Mans.
-credit: Kika Garcia-Concheso