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Max Papis

Max Papis
File:Max Papis.jpg
Born (1969-10-03) October 3, 1969 (age 50)
Como, Italy
Achievements 2004 Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype Co-Champion
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Statistics current as of November 17, 2013.
Formula One World Championship career
Nationality 23x15px Italian
Active years 1995
Teams Footwork
Races 7
Championships 0
Wins 0
Podiums 0
Career points 0
Pole positions 0
Fastest laps 0
First race 1995 British Grand Prix
Last race 1995 European Grand Prix
24 Hours of Le Mans career
Participating years 1997, 2003–2008
Teams Moretti Racing, JML Team Panoz, Corvette Racing
Best finish 5th (2003)
Class wins 0

Massimiliano "Max" Papis (born October 3, 1969)[1] is an Italian professional racing driver who has competed in several top-level motorsports events such as Le Mans 24 Hours, Formula One and Champ Car. He has three Champ Car victories. He is the son-in-law of Emerson Fittipaldi. His sons' godfather is fellow Italian Alex Zanardi. He currently drives the No. 33 Menards Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing on a part-time basis in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Papis also currently drives in the NASCAR Whelen Euroseries.

Personal life

Papis was born on October 3, 1969 in Como, Italy. He was raised in Italy and got an interest in car racing at a young age, winning several go-kart races and several rounds for racing clubs in Italy.[2]

He is married to Tatiana Papis, daughter of the racing driver Emerson Fittipaldi, and has two kids Marco and Matteo Papis.[3]

Formula One

After a spell as the Lotus team's test driver in 1994, Papis replaced Gianni Morbidelli in the Footwork team for seven races in the middle of the 1995 Formula One season, as he brought valuable sponsorship to the cash-strapped outfit. Despite being a race-winner in Formula 3000, he often struggled with the unfamiliar car, and was occasionally outpaced by his much-maligned team-mate, Taki Inoue. He also proved to be an unlucky driver, suffering a spectacular puncture and suspension failure on his début race at Silverstone due to clipping the pit lane wall after a tire change, being left on the grid at Hockenheim due to a transmission failure, and spinning on dust and oil kicked up by David Coulthard at the Ascari Chicane on the first lap of the Italian GP, causing a pile-up and a restart. However, he only missed out on a point in the restarted race when he was overtaken by Jean-Christophe Boullion's Sauber on the last lap. When Morbidelli returned, Papis was out of a drive and headed to America for 1996.

Champ Car

He moved to CART Champ Car racing in 1996 as a replacement for Jeff Krosnoff who was killed in the previous race in Toronto. In 1999 he joined the more competitive Rahal team, almost winning the US 500 before running out of fuel, and finishing 5th in the series. He started the next year by winning the 2000 season-opener, but failed to finish in the championship top 10. In 2001 he won twice and finished 6th overall, but was dropped by the team, mainly due to two collisions with team-mate Kenny Bräck. He started 2002 with the Sigma team before they folded, and did a partial season with PK Racing in 2003, but has mostly concentrated on sportscars since 2001, remarking that "Champ Car needs me more than I need it" as the series struggled to fill its grid for 2003 after many teams defected to the IRL. Papis also raced in the 2002 and 2006 Indianapolis 500 races for Cheever Racing.


Papis raced in the IRL series early in his career. He has raced for Roger Penske, Andretti-Green Racing and Panther Racing before from 2001-2009. Papis is a long-time friend of drivers Tony Kanaan and Alex Zanardi. In 2013 at the Indianapolis 500 Papis and Zanardi were present in the victory celebration when Kanaan won his first Indy 500.


He made his NASCAR debut in August 2006, competing in the Busch Series race at Watkins Glen International Raceway for McGill Motorsports.[4] He attempted to qualify for the NEXTEL Cup race but failed to make the race. He is also credited with having helped develop Toyota's Champ Car engine.

In 2006 he drove the #36 car in the NASCAR Busch Series for McGill Motorsports following the release of Tim Sauter from the ride. Papis also announced that he would run 2 races in 2007 for James Finch's Phoenix Racing #01 chevy. In his first race, at Montreal in the inaugural NAPA 200, Papis avoided Marcos Ambrose' heartbreaking crash (Caused by a DQed Robby Gordon), with 2 laps left, to finish in third place. At Watkins Glen the next week, his engine failed on lap 2.

Papis made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Infineon Raceway in 2008, piloting the #66 Haas CNC Racing Chevrolet in place of regular driver Scott Riggs. He was also scheduled to drive the #64 car for Rusty Wallace, Inc. on three road course races in the 2008 Nationwide Series. Haas CNC Racing hired Papis to drive the #70 Chevrolet Monte Carlo at the course at Watkins Glen in the Sprint Cup Series in August 2008. He was announced as the driver of the #13 Geico Toyota in 18 races in the 2009 and a full-time ride in the 2010 Sprint Cup.

In his first Cup season with a dedicated ride, Papis recorded a career best 8th place finish at Watkins Glen and 15th starting position at Fontana. He also recorded 12th place finish at Infineon Raceway. In February at Daytona in 2010, Papis had the fastest truck in the truck series event, nearly winning his first Truck series event after leading for some laps. Papis was collected in an accident with 15 laps left in the race, while going towards the lead.

After Watkins Glen in 2010 the team announced that Papis would be replaced by fellow driver Casey Mears for 2011 and Papis would race in the truck series for the team.

Also in 2010, Papis recorded a top 30 in the Daytona 500, but failed to qualify at Bristol. He nearly had a top ten running at Talladega but was caught up in an accident. At Montreal in the Nationwide Series, Papis drove for Richard Childress Racing and while leading on the final lap, took too much of a last-turn curb, got passed by Boris Said, and recorded a second-place finish.

In 2011, Papis raced in the truck series partly for KHI and partly Germain Racing in the Geico Toyota in the No. 9 truck, resulting in an 18th place finish in the standings.

From 2011 to 2013, Papis had good runs on the road-course races but did not win any of them. In 2011 at Road America he had a good car, but he was spun out by Jacques Villeneuve with two laps left. When the race ended, Papis blocked Villeneuve's car on pit road and they argued. In 2012, Papis finished in fourth place at Road America.

In 2013 at Road America, Papis, who spent nearly the entire race in the top five, found himself being spun out twice in the waning laps. When the race was over, a furious Papis went up to Billy Johnson (who spun him out one of the times) and slapped him.[5] After being separated by officials Papis and Johnson exchanged shouts ending with Papis walking off. When he spoke to reporters, Papis apologized for the slap.[5]

In early August 2013, Papis was named to substitute for Tony Stewart in the No. 14 Chevrolet in the Sprint Cup Series at Watkins Glen International after Stewart suffered a broken leg in a sprint car accident.[6] He posted a solid top 15 finish. Papis also competed in the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital 200 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for Richard Childress Racing, finishing in fourth place.

Papis drove for NTS Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series' inaugural race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in September 2013.[7] Finishing 6th in the event, he was slapped following the race by the girlfriend of driver Mike Skeen, who he had crashed with on the final lap, suffering a dislocated jaw.[8]

In 2014, Papis' team fielded the No. 99 car for the NASCAR Whelen Euroseries for Kevin Gilardoni in the Elite Division.[9]

"Mad Max"

Papis earned the nickname "Mad Max" at the 1996 24 Hours of Daytona during his last stint at the end of the race. Although his second-place Ferrari 333SP had been battered due to collisions, some of its bodywork held together by tape, Papis unlapped himself by passing the race leader (the Doyle Racing Riley & Scott-Oldsmobile driven by Wayne Taylor) and proceeded to set some of the fastest laps of the entire race. Taylor was nursing his car around the track due to an overheating problem and otherwise would have been able to cruise to a win, but Papis' pace and the slowing Oldsmobile suggested that Papis could theoretically take the win from him. Papis' speed was achieved at the cost of maximum fuel consumption and although he drove down the pit lane at full speed to re-fuel (pit lane speed limits were imposed the next year), Taylor was still ahead by 64 seconds at the end of the race.

Motorsports career results

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Complete Formula One results


Complete American open wheel results



IndyCar Series

1 Run on same day.
2 Non-points-paying, exhibition race.

Indy 500 results

Year Chassis Engine Start Finish Team
2002 Dallara Infiniti 18 23 Cheever
2006 Dallara Honda 18 14 Cheever
2008 Dallara Honda DNQ Rubicon

24 Hours of Le Mans results

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
1997 23x15px Moretti Racing 23x15px Gianpiero Moretti
23x15px Didier Theys
Ferrari 333 SP LMP 321 6th 3rd
2003 23x15px JML Team Panoz 23x15px Olivier Beretta
23x15px Gunnar Jeannette
Panoz LMP01 Evo-Élan LMP900 360 5th 3rd
2004 23x15px Corvette Racing 23x15px Ron Fellows
23x15px Johnny O'Connell
Chevrolet Corvette C5-R GTS 334 8th 2nd
2005 23x15px Corvette Racing 23x15px Ron Fellows
23x15px Johnny O'Connell
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 347 6th 2nd
2006 23x15px Corvette Racing 23x15px Ron Fellows
23x15px Johnny O'Connell
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 327 12th 7th
2007 23x15px Corvette Racing 23x15px Oliver Gavin
23x15px Olivier Beretta
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 22 DNF DNF
2008 23x15px Corvette Racing 23x15px Oliver Gavin
23x15px Olivier Beretta
Chevrolet Corvette C6.R GT1 341 15th 3rd

Complete A1 Grand Prix results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)


(key) (Bold - Pole position awarded by time. Italics - Pole position earned by points standings. * – Most laps led.)

Sprint Cup Series

Nationwide Series

Camping World Truck Series

Touring car racing

V8 Supercar results

* Season in progress
1 Ineligible for series points

International Race of Champions

(key) (Bold - Pole position. * – Most laps led.)


External links

Preceded by
Terry Borcheller
Rolex Sports Car Series
Daytona Prototype Champion

(with Scott Pruett)
Succeeded by
Max Angelelli
Wayne Taylor