Unlike Ferrari: Gianpiero Moretti, the gentleman driver par excellence

When you speak of a gentleman driver Gianpiero Moretti embodies this term, because while running at the highest level and in a professional manner, is how much good there is in the end. Moretti began his career as a manufacturer of spare parts when he was a student at the University of Pavia. Wheels, steering wheels, knobs of the gear and more invaded soon the world of cars with the brand name Momo, which stands for Moretti-Monza, the company founded in 1964. Very soon the products Momo met the favour of the public, with the lead of Enzo Ferrari that gave life to the partnership, the most important and famous of the Moretti in the world of car.

See also

  • Unlike Ferrari: Eliseo Salazar, the rebirth with the prototypes after the fight with Piquet

  • Unlike Ferrari: Max Papis, dreaming of America

  • Unlike Ferrari of Andrea Montermini, after F1, the second youth with the prototypes and the GT

Moretti, however, was also a valid pilotin 1971 with a Ferrari 512 M took part in the world of prototypes. In that season, she debuted at the 24 hours of Daytona with a race number which remained that of Moretti, or the number 30. That first approach with the world, the USA marked the career of Moretti saw that in 1978, on a Porsche 935, he joined in the plant stable in the world IMSA. From that moment onwards, until the end of the 90’s, a two-seater, red, with the trademark Momo, and the number 30 he trod the tracks of the IMSA almost every season.

A brand like Momo, typically Italian in style and form, could not be paired with another great Italian brand, that is the one Ferrari. What was missing was a car that could satisfy this combination, and when at the end of 1993, the Ferrari decided to deploy a prototype in the IMSA challenge, Giampiero Moretti, welcomed with enthusiasm the idea. The Ferrari F333 SP is the car that marked the return of Ferrari in the Sports category, is the two-seater to which the house of Maranello, a large part of its inimitable appeal. The transition to the discipline, strongly desired by the lovers of the brand, it came in 1993, when the technical regulations IMSA made easier the operation.

Powered by a 12-cylinder 4-litre derived from the unit used on the cars of the maximum formula, had a power of more than 650 horses, accompanied by a sound orchestral, only partially restrained by the presence of exhaust silencers imposed by the regulation. Refined the technical approach. The frame was monocoque load-bearing composite structure, aluminum honeycomb enclosed between two sheets of carbon fiber. The suspensions were quadrilateral deformable and follow the scheme of the push-rod with the rocker arms. Also, the car was realized with panels of Nomex and carbon fiber. The line betrayed a painstaking aerodynamic research. Characterized for the big roll-bar integrated and the numerous air vents, harmoniously embedded in the external case. This car, officially presented in November of 1993, he participated in since 1994 – with private horse stables – only to the sprint races, winning at Road Atlanta, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Indianapolis and Monterey.

In 1995 he took part in the endurance races: it was a triumph that culminated in the conquest of the 12 Hours of Sebring, twenty-three years after the victory of Mario Andretti and Jack Ickx. At the end of the season, Ferrari won also the Manufacturers Championship in the Imsa, while Fermin Velez won the ranking of conductors. With the F333 SP, the sports story of the “cavallino rampante” was enriched with another noble page. In this context, although the absence of a drivers ‘ title, Giampiero Moretti, distinguished himself both on the track, both in the paddock. The Italian climate to the 100 for 100, the Ferrari trademark and the typical cuisine of the Italian made box Momo a reference point in racing, IMSA, so much so that to eat a good plate of pasta, there was the line, also between the pilots rivals. Moretti, however, that the 1995 season he recalled with pleasure the successes at Daytona, Sebring and Watkins Glen, but the best season is still that of 1978, when a series of placements ended up in third place.

In 1993, however, there was still a major challenge for Gianpiero Moretti. The Nissan decided to withdraw from the GTP, and asked Moretti to run with the NPT90. The goal is to make life hard for american pilots. Nissan decided to leave the car for clients, a bit like it was from the time the Porsche. Kevin Doran becomes team manager, but the project was incomplete and Moretti, who paid the consequences with his companions of team, such as Derek Bell, Massimo Sigala and John Paul Jr. The season was not exciting, there were a sixth-place finish at Lime Roch, a third at Mid Ohio. Then an eighth at Watkins Glen and a fourth at Laguna Seca and Portland, but no win in the whole season, even if at the end of the championship came another third place.

It was at this point of the season that Moretti decided to leave Nissan and marry in the full program, Ferrari, supported by Luigi Buitoni, Ferrari North America. It was a sort of revenge on another program started almost 10 years before, and saw Moretti grapple with the Sunrise C2 in the series IMSA. The car, the winner of the world championship C2, in 1983, was renamed Momo, but at the end of the season the only useful result was a fourth place at Lime Rock. A two-seater, red, with the trademark Momo, and with the number 30, when in 1994, the Ferrari returned to racing sport, Moretti knew that dream which, fortunately, has left a mark much larger, as demonstrated in the charts of those years. Moretti, however, was also the architect of the success of other drivers, such as Max Papis, who is called to run in the USA in the series IMSA.

So not only gentlemen of the steering wheel, but also advocate, and soul of a team that over the years has deployed the two-seater the most important and successful. And to think that the great adventure had begun in the distant 1964, with a steering wheel modified that attracted the attention of Enzo Ferrari who wanted Momo before as a supplier of their sports cars, and then, when the Commander was no longer there, as one of the stables that America has brought to success in a car with the Prancing horse. Gianpiero Moretti was also of this and much more. Missed in 2012. Of course, in the light of the ventilated project Hypercar, his would have been an extremely important experience.