MORETTI RACING FERRARI 333 SP TEAM RETURNS TO LIME ROCK PARK TO EXTEND VICTORY STREAK 19 May, 1997 Lime Rock Park, Connecticut - The always popular ...
MORETTI RACING FERRARI 333 SP TEAM RETURNS TO LIME ROCK PARK TO EXTEND VICTORY STREAK
19 May, 1997
Lime Rock Park, Connecticut - The always popular #30 MOMO/Yokohama Ferrari 333 SP of Moretti Racing is on a mission this weekend at the Connecticut Lottery Presents the Dodge Dealers Grand Prix at Lime Rock - to repeat their victories. Exxon World SportsCar defending winner and team owner Gianpiero Moretti will sit out the one hour, 45 minute race as co-drivers Andrea Montermini and Antonio Hermann hope to guide the Prancing Horse to winner's circle. Last year Moretti and co-driver and fellow Italian "Mad Max" Papis collected the victory with Papis' last lap pass on James Weaver to win with a .571 second margin of victory. This season Moretti brings another Italian hotshoe to Exxon World SportsCar competition, Andrea Montermini. He has already collected the fastest race lap in his first two Professional SportsCar races, at Sebring and Road Atlanta. Antonio Hermann, an endurance ace from Brazil, co-drives. He has taken to sprint racing quickly, already collecting a third place finish at Road Atlanta with Montermini. Since the Ferrari 333 SP debuted at the scenic 1.54-mile Connecticut circuit in 1994, the Moretti Ferrari team has claimed all three Exxon World SportsCar victories. The inaugural race was won by Moretti and Eliseo Salazar. In 1995 the victory was captured by Wayne Taylor's solo drive in the Moretti Ferrari. Last year Moretti and Papis took top honors in their 333 SP. Moretti hopes to perpetuate his Ferrari team's stronghold on Lime Rock, collect another back-to-back victory and make it four years in a row! "Lime Rock Park is a good circuit for our Ferrari," said Moretti. "We should be strong again this weekend. Although Andrea and Antonio have never raced here, they will adapt quickly. It would make me very happy to win four years in a row at Lime Rock" Montermini, although new to the Professional SportsCar Racing Exxon World SportsCar Championship series, has had no problem getting up to speed. Montermini is a former Formula One driver for Forti Corse and Pacific Grand Prix for the past two seasons. No stranger to Ferrari, Montermini was the Ferrari Formula One test driver in 1990 and 1991. "I am happy to be driving a Ferrari with Moretti in the United States. Being Italian, I have a strong heritage with Ferrari as their Formula One test driver. Also I grew up with Ferrari in my backyard in Maranello, Italy. I'm proud to be driving a Ferrari once again," said Montermini. "I hope to be part of making history for Ferrari in the United States with the 333 SP," added Montermini, who now calls Monte Carlo, Monaco his home. Montermini's racing background started in Italy in 1987, with his Formula 3 debut in 1988. In 1989 he collected a hometown victory at the Grand Prix of Rome. In 1990 he moved to F-3000 racing and started his association with Ferrari as their Formula One test driver. He came to the U.S. in 1993, where in his CART IndyCar debut, he finished fourth at Detroit. In 1995, Montermini made his Formula One racing debut and finished seventh in his inaugural race in Brazil. Also new to the Moretti Ferrari team this year is Brazilian Antonio Hermann. Hermann has collected endurance victories at the 24 Hours of Nurburgring, the 24 Hours of Spa, the 12 Hours of Sebring (in 1995 in the Porsche 962 Spyder K-8 of Konrad Motorsport in the LeMans class) and two 1000 Mile of (Interlagos) Brazil, all in the past four years. Last season the Brazilian businessman drove the Ferrari 333 SP with Scandia for two WSC races, co-driving with Fermin Velez and former MOMO driver Eliseo Salazar. Hermann, 42, also finished third in the Brazilian GT Endurance (BPR) race last winter driving a Ferrari F-40 E. Team Manager Kevin Doran and his Doran Enterprises crew oversee the expert preparation of the Moretti Racing Ferrari 333 SP again this season. Doran spearheaded eight victories, ten poles and 13 fastest laps with the Ferrari 333 SP over the past three seasons, many of them records. Previously he had 20 wins and three championships with Holbert Racing in the former IMSA Camel GT Championship. Yokohama Tire Corporation rejoined the prestigious Moretti Racing team for a second year to challenge the 1997 Professional SportsCar Racing Exxon World SportsCar Championship series and the 24 Hours of LeMans. "Yokohama is proud to team up with MOMO Ferrari for the second consecutive year. We look forward to building on the successes of 1996 and make the 1997 championship a reality. Our undeniable commitment to winning makes the Yokohama/MOMO Ferrari relationship an ideal match," said Yokohama Motorsports Manager Chris Miller. Sponsorship for the Moretti Racing Ferrari 333 SP team for 1997 comes from MOMO, Yokohama, Playpiso and Moretti's MoKart Indoorkarting centers.
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