SPORTSCAR: Moretti Atlanta report

MORETTI RACING FERRARI 333 SP TEAM TAKES THIRD AT ROAD ATLANTA 23 April, 1997 The defending Road Atlanta champion team, Moretti Racing's ...

MORETTI RACING FERRARI 333 SP TEAM TAKES THIRD AT ROAD ATLANTA

23 April, 1997

The defending Road Atlanta champion team, Moretti Racing's #30 MOMO/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP, took third place in the Professional SportsCar Racing NAPA Auto Parts Grand Prix of Atlanta Presented by Royal Purple Motor Oil race at Road Atlanta today. Team owner Gianpiero Moretti sat out the driving duties and turned the wheel of his Prancing Horse over to Italian F-1 hotshoe Andrea Montermini and Brazilian teammate Antonio Hermann.

The two hour race contained two caution periods, with the later one ending on the final lap. The eighteen Exxon World SportsCars made a final dash to the checkered flag. Dyson Racing's twin Ford R&S MK IIIs took the top two spots with drivers James Weaver and Butch Leitzinger collecting the victory and John Paul, Jr. and Elliott Forbes-Robinson finishing second with only 5.128 seconds distance apart.

Montermini set the fastest lap of the race at the scenic 2.52-mile North Georgia circuit , his second in a row, after setting the fastest race lap in his inaugural SportsCar series debut at the SUPERFLO12 Hours of Sebring last month. His Road Atlanta time was 1:11.670, a speed of 126.58 mph.

"I am happy with our final results on one side, and disappointed on another," said Montermini. "I am happy for the team and for the points, but it was a difficult race to win. Weaver and Leitzinger were hard to beat. We have a good team and my best lap time proves this. We had some problems early on with too hard of tires for the extreme temperatures, but we corrected that on our first stop. And later we had some problems with being blocked by other cars, but this team has the potential to win every race."

"We had a very good start, but it was impossible to catch Weaver and Leitzinger today," added Hermann. "We were able to maintain second place during my stint. Montermini did a good job, but we lost a little time in the pits on our final stop. We are satisfied to finish third though," said Hermann, following his first podium finish in the Exxon World SportsCar Championship. "The car was very good, the engine and gearbox, all perfect. We just did not have good luck."

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About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers Butch Leitzinger , James Weaver , Elliott Forbes-Robinson , John Paul , Antonio Hermann
Teams Dyson Racing