papis-2008Full Name: Massimiliano Papis
Oct. 3, 1969
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Residence: Miami, FL
Family: Wife Tatiana, sons Marco and Matteo
Corvette Racing: 2004-2008
Notable: Daytona 24-hour winner, two Sebring 12-hour victories, three CART wins, 2004 Grand-Am Daytona Prototype champion
Web site:

Max Papis – Corvette Racing

American Le Mans Series Career Record
Year Starts Wins Fast
2002 1 0 0 Drove Team Rafanelli Ferrari 550
2003 3 0 0 Drove Panoz LMP01
2004 2 1 0 Corvette C5-R (O’Connell, Fellows)
2005 2 0 0 Corvette C6.R (O’Connell, Fellows)
2006 2 0 0 Corvette C6.R (O’Connell, Fellows)
2007 2 2 0 Corvette C6.R (Gavin, Beretta)
Total 12 3 0


24 Hours of Le Mans Record
Year Finish Class Car Co-drivers
1997 3rd LMP Ferrari 333 SP Moretti, Theys
2003 3rd LMP900 Panoz Beretta, Jeannette
2004 2nd GTS Corvette C5-R O’Connell, Fellows
2005 2nd GT1 Corvette C6.R O’Connell, Fellows
2006 7th GT1 Corvette C6.R O’Connell, Fellows
2007 14th GT1 Corvette C6.R Gavin, Beretta

Career Highlights

  • 1982-88: Italian national karting team
  • 1988: Formula Monza series
  • 1989-1992: Italian Formula 3, 3 wins, 1992 Italian Formula 3 champion
  • 1993-1994: International Formula 3000, 1 win
  • 1993: Second in German Formula 3 championship
  • 1994: Formula 1 test driver (Lotus and Honda)
  • 1995: Formula 1 driver (Arrows)
  • 1996: IMSA World Sports Car, 3 wins (Ferrari)
  • 1997-2002: CART, 3 wins
  • 2002: Indy 500 debut
  • 2000: Winner 24 Hours of Daytona, sports car division
  • 2002: Overall winner 24 Hours of Daytona (Dallara-Judd)
  • 2004: American Le Mans Series, won GT1 class in Sebring 12-hour and runner-up in 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans (O’Connell and Fellows co-drivers, Corvette C5.R). Won Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series Daytona Prototype championship, scoring four victories and three runner-up finishes.
  • 2005: American Le Mans Series, second in GT1 in Sebring 12-hour and 24 Hours of Le Mans (O’Connell and Fellows co-drivers, Corvette C6.R). Also won two races and one pole driving Cadillac CTS-V in SCCA World Challenge GT and represented road racing in International Race of Champions all-star races.
  • 2006: Drove No. 3 Corvette C6.R with Fellows and O’Connell in Sebring, Le Mans and Petit Le Mans endurance races. Drove Daytona Prototype in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, finished sixth in International Race of Champions standings
  • 2007: Won Sebring 12-hour and 1,000-mile Petit Le Mans with Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta. Drove Daytona Prototype in Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, competed in selected NASCAR road races; test driver for No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Impala SS in NASCAR Cup Series

Max Papis brings intensity and European style to the American Le Mans Series. A native of Como, Italy, Papis is the third driver for Corvette Racing’s No. 4 Compuware Corvette C6.R, competing in three long-distance events (Sebring 12-hour, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Petit Le Mans) with teammates Oliver Gavin and Olivier Beretta.

This versatile driver has found success in both sports car and single-seater competition. Papis started his racing career in karts in the early ’80s and joined the Italian national karting team at age 12. In 1989, Papis moved to auto racing when he competed in Italian Formula 3, producing podium finishes and victories in the prestigious open-wheel series. In 1993 and 1994, Papis raced in International Formula 3000 and began testing Formula 1 cars for Lotus and Honda. Arrows Formula 1 tapped the Italian for seven grands prix in 1995, with Papis recording a best finish of seventh at his home track of Monza.

The following year Papis made his debut in sports cars and selected CART events; he finished as a runner-up in the IMSA World Sports Car championship, scoring three victories. More success followed in CART while he developed his skills in sports cars in events such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Rolex 24 at Daytona, which he won overall in 2002.

In 2004, Papis joined the factory Corvette Racing program as a third driver for endurance events. Teamed with Ron Fellows and Johnny O’Connell in the No. 3 Compuware Corvette C6.R, Papis won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring and was runner-up in the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Petit Le Mans in 2004. In 2005, Papis, Fellows and O’Connell were runners-up in the Sebring 12-hour and Le Mans 24-hour endurance races.

Papis also drove for Team Cadillac in the 2005 SCCA SPEED World Challenge GT series, scoring victories in Atlanta and Laguna Seca in a Cadillac CTS-V. Papis represented road racing in the International Race of Champions all-star series, finishing 10th in the 2005 standings and sixth in 2006.

In addition to driving for Corvette Racing in endurance events, Papis competes in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. In 2008, he is driving the Autohaus Pontiac GXP.R in the season-opening Rolex 24 at Daytona, and will drive Rusty Wallace Racing’s Chevrolet Monte Carlo SS in all three 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series road course events. When he’s not racing, the personable Papis operates a sports marketing company, manages a kart racing team, and keeps active with an intense physical fitness program.

Papis started his racing career in 1982 aged 12 racing go-karts, he raced for the Italian National Karting team between 1985 and 1988. From 1989 to 1992 Papis raced in the Italian F3 Championship before moving on to Formula 3000 in 1993. 1994 was split between testing for Team Lotus Formula One and the International Formula 3000 championship.

Papis competed in just seven Formula One races all for the Footwork Team in 1995.

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 bang out some of the fastest laps of the entire race. Taylor had already been nursing his car around the track due to an overheating problem and otherwise would have been able to cruise to a win, but Papis’ relentless pace and the slowing Oldsmobile suggested that Papis could theoretically take the win from Taylor except that Papis’ pace put his fuel consumption to the max. One of the most startling sights ever at the 24 Hours of Daytona was Papis’ full-speed shot (approx 200 mph) down the pit lane for fuel (pit lane speed limits were imposed the very next year). At the end of the race, Taylor still beat Papis by 64 seconds, but it was Papis’ bravura performance that people talk about to this day and earned him the nickname “Mad Max”.

From 1996 to 1998 Papis drove in ChampCars for Arciero-Wells Racing before moving to Rahal Racing in 1999. In 1997 Papis made his debut at Le Mans in a Ferrari 333 SP for Moretti Racing. He won the season opening racing in ChampCars at Homestead, Miami in 2000 again for Rahal Racing, competed for Rahal Racing for the rest of 2000 and 2001. 2000 also saw a class win at the Rolex 24 hour Daytona race in the Riley & Scott. 2002 saw Papis change teams to Sigma Autosport and in 2003 he changed again to PK Racing.

Papis joined Corvette Racing as the third driver of the #3 car for the 2004 season, the raced with the #3 for 2004-2006 and then with the #4 car for 2007 and 2008.

Papis is married to Tatiana Fittipaldi daughter of racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi.



Max Papis 24 Hours of Le Mans Race History

Year Position Drivers Car Team Class Position in Class
1997 6th Max Papis / I

Didier Theys / B

Gianpiero Moretti / I

#3 Ferrari 333 SP Moretti Racing Inc LMP875 3rd
2003 5th Olivier Beretta / MC

Gunnar Jeannette / USA

Max Papis / I

#11 Panoz LMP-1 Evo 2002 JML Team Panoz LMP 900 3rd
2004 8th Ron Fellows / CAN

Johnny O’Connell / USA Max Papis / I

#63 Corvette C5R Corvette Racing LM GTS 2nd
2005 6th Ron Fellows / CAN

Johnny O’Connell / USA Max Papis / I

#63 Corvette C6R Corvette Racing LM GT1 2nd
2006 12th Ron Fellows / CAN

Johnny O’Connell / USA Max Papis / I

#63 Corvette C6R Corvette Racing LM GT1 7th
2007 DNF Oliver Gavin / GB

Olivier Beretta / MC

Max Papis / I

#64 Corvette C6R Corvette Racing LM GT1 DNF
2008 15th Oliver Gavin / GB

Olivier Beretta / MC

Max Papis / I

#64 Corvette C6R Corvette Racing LM GT1 3rd

Courtesy of Nigel S. Dobbie, Author of Corvette Racing: The GT1 Years