The Ferrari 333 SP is a sports prototype race car that was built by Italian race car manufacturer Dallara and later Michelotto to compete in the World Sports Car championship for Ferrari. Unveiled at the end of 1993, at the behest of amateur racer Giampiero Moretti (owner of the MOMO auto parts business), the 333 SP marked Ferrari's official return to sports car racing after a 20-year absence. The car was built to compete in the IMSA's new WSC class, which replaced the previous GTP cars.
|Ferrari 333 SP|
|Category||Le Mans Prototype|
|Chassis||carbon fibre and aluminium honeycomb monocoque|
|Suspension (front)||Double wishbone, pushrod operated coil spring and dampers|
|Suspension (rear)||Double wishbone, pushrod operated coil spring and dampers|
|Engine||Ferrari F130E 4.0 L V12 Naturally aspirated mid, longitudinally mounted|
|Transmission||Ferrari 5-speed sequential manual|
|Debut||1994 Road Atlanta Sprint race|
While the 333 SP was in its planning stages, Ferrari contracted Italian motor racing manufacturer Dallara to assist with its development. Dallara provided the transmission and suspension, and were also responsible for aerodynamic development and bodywork construction. The gearbox used Hewland mechanical parts, housed within a custom-built Dallara casing. Ferrari developed the chassis tub and engine in-house. British race car engineering consultant Tony Southgate joined the project in early 1994 and went on to help design and run the cars until the end of 1995.
The engine was a modified version of the 65 degree V12 engine used in the 1990 Ferrari 641 Formula One car, enlarged to 4.0 L and producing 641 hp (650 PS; 478 kW). Southgate later described it as "one of the most reliable race engines I have ever worked with."
The car debuted in the third round of the 1994 IMSA GT Championship at Road Atlanta, securing the first two places. Four cars were allocated to three teams, Euromotorsport, Momo Corse, and Team Scandia. In the following round, at Lime Rock, the Italian cars monopolized the podium, and would take three more wins until the end of the season. However, due to Ferrari starting the season late, they were beaten by Oldsmobile to the makes' championship, and Andy Evans was the best placed Ferrari driver at fifth in the drivers' championship.
In 1995, the 333 SP took its revenge. Although proving unreliable at the 24 Hours of Daytona, it took top honors at the 12 Hours of Sebring before securing another four wins. With the four cars taking more consistent results, Ferrari won the makes championship and Fermín Velez won the drivers title, with Mauro Baldi and Wayne Taylor taking third and fourth, respectively. The car also made its debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, but was never competitive in the French race, its best result a 6th spot in 1997.
The following year the car was still competitive and tied with Oldsmobile in the constructors championship but lost on a tie-breaker, as well as allowing ex-F1 driver Max Papis to score a final second place and Didier Theys a fourth in the drivers championship, even though the 333 SP won only two races. In 1997, the Ferrari won again at Sebring and took another four wins. However, the car was losing its competitiveness against the more modern Riley & Scott, and taking 4th, 5th and 6th in the drivers championship and second in the makes was the best it could with a four-year-old design.
In 1998, the car was slightly updated, and found new life in the International Sports Racing Series (later called FIA Sportscar Championship), winning every race and scoring the championship's two top spots with the winners Emmanuel Collard and Vincenzo Sospiri and runners-up Didier Theys and Fredy Lienhard. In America, the car won three rounds in the IMSA Championship (including Sebring) and took Wayne Taylor to second in the final standings while Ferrari won the makes championship. In the rival USRRC Can-Am championship, the 333 SP finally managed to take the Daytona 24 Hours crown.
Starting from 1999, the car found its niche in the European races, as the newly introduced American Le Mans Series saw factory-backed Audi and BMW entries dominating against privateer Ferraris. The cars were consistently outclassed in the ALMS races, and in 2000 Doran Racing even fit a Judd engine in an attempt to stay competitive. However, across the Atlantic, the 333 SP was the car to own, and in 1999, Collard and Sospiri renewed their ISRS title, edging out Christian Pescatori, who won the following year, with David Terrien, making it three championships in a row for the JMB Racing-entered Ferrari.
As the 333 SP became outdated in chassis, engine and aerodynamics, it gradually disappeared from international sports car racing. In 2001, no Ferrari prototype raced in the ALMS, although the Risi Competizione car made a few appearances in Grand-Am and Doran Racing's Judd-powered chassis won the 2001 6 Hours of Watkins Glen, while in Europe, Marco Zadra won the FIA Sportscar Championship but the car was not as dominant as it had once been.
In 2002, the 333 SP was absent from the championship, but made a few appearances the following year, powered by a Judd engine, at the hands of Giovanni Lavaggi's GLV-Brums team. The 333 SP's final appearance was at the 2003 500km of Monza.
The 1000 Kilometres of Catalunya was a sports car race held at the Circuit de Catalunya in Montmeló, Catalonia, Spain. The race began as a non-championship event at the Montjuïc circuit in 1954.1995 12 Hours of Sebring
The 43rd Exxon Mastercard 12 Hours of Sebring was an endurance racing sports car event held at Sebring International Raceway from March 15-18, 1995. The race served as the second round of the 1995 IMSA GT Championship.1997 Mosport Festival
The 1997 Mosport Festival was a professional sports car racing event held at Mosport International Raceway in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada on August 29 to the 31st, 1997. It was the seventh round of the 1997 Professional SportsCar Racing Championship season. The weekend featured a separate 1 hour 45 minute, 52 lap Exxon Supreme GT Series race for GT cars on the Saturday and a 2-hour, 86 lap Exxon World SportsCar Championship race for World Sports Cars on the Sunday. The split races were the only time since the 1995 revival of the Mosport IMSA round that the race has gone two instead of three hours.
The World Sports Car race was won by the Central Arkansas Racing team with drivers Ron Fellows and Rob Morgan driving a Ferrari 333 SP. The Sunday race attracted more than 30,000 spectators with an estimated total of 100,000 over the four-day festival.The weekend included the eleventh race of the 1997 Trans-Am season won by Tommy Kendall in a Ford Mustang for his eleventh straight win of the season. The festival also included concerts at the track by Tom Cochrane and the Goo Goo Dolls.1998 24 Hours of Le Mans
The 1998 24 Hours of Le Mans was the 66th Grand Prix of Endurance, and took place on 6 and 7 June 1998.1998 International Sports Racing Series
The 1998 International Sports Racing Series was the second season of International Sportscar Racing Series (later known as the FIA Sportscar Championship). It was a series for sportscar-style prototypes broken into two classes based on power and weight, called SR1 and SR2, as well as a class of hillclimb-style sportscars, called CN. It began on April 13, 1998, and ended December 6, 1998, after 8 races.1998 International Sports Racing Series Paul Ricard
The 1998 Paul Ricard 2 Hours 30 Minutes was the first race of the 1998 International Sports Racing Series. It took place at Circuit Paul Ricard, France on April 13, 1998.1999 12 Hours of Sebring
The 1999 Exxon Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring was the 47th running of the 12 Hours of Sebring. It also served as the first event in the new American Le Mans Series, which had replaced the IMSA GT Championship as the International Motor Sports Association's premiere series. It took place at Sebring International Raceway, Florida, on March 20, 1999.1999 Grand Prix of Atlanta
The 1999 Grand Prix of Atlanta was the second round of the 1999 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at Road Atlanta, Georgia, on April 18, 1999.1999 Grand Prix of Las Vegas
The 1999 Grand Prix of Las Vegas was the eighth and final round of the 1999 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Nevada, on November 7, 1999.1999 Grand Prix of Mosport
The 1999 Grand Prix of Mosport was an American Le Mans Series professional sports car race held at Mosport International Raceway near Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada from June 25 to the 27, 1999. The race was the third round of the inaugural American Le Mans Series season, replacing the former Professional SportsCar Racing Championship that previously held the Grand Prix beginning in 1975. The race marked the 14th IMSA / Professional SportsCar Racing sanctioned sports car race held at the facility.1999 Grand Prix of Sonoma
The 1999 Grand Prix of Sonoma was the fourth round of the 1999 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at Sears Point Raceway, California, on July 25, 1999.1999 Rose City Grand Prix
The 1999 Rose City Grand Prix was the fifth round of the 1999 American Le Mans Series season. It took place at Portland International Raceway, Oregon, on August 1, 1999.1999 Sports Racing World Cup
The 1999 Sports Racing World Cup was the third season of Sports Racing World Cup (later known as the FIA Sportscar Championship). It was a series for sportscar style prototypes broken into two classes based on power and weight, called SR1 and SR2. It began on March 28, 1999, and ended November 28, 1999, after 9 races.2000 Sports Racing World Cup
The 2000 Sports Racing World Cup was the fourth season of Sports Racing World Cup (later known as the FIA Sportscar Championship). It was a series for sportscar style prototypes broken into two classes based on power and weight, called SR and SRL (or SR2). It began on March 26, 2000 and ended November 26, 2000 after 10 races. The two American rounds were run in conjunction with Grand American Road Racing Championship, using similar SR rules.6 Hours of Donington
The 6 Hours of Donington is a sports car race held at Donington Park in the United Kingdom. The event has been held sporadically since 1989.Ferrari F50
The Ferrari F50 (Type F130) is a mid-engine range-topping sports car manufactured by Italian automobile manufacturer Ferrari from 1995–1997. Introduced in 1995, the car is a two-door, two seat targa top. The car is powered by a 4.7 L naturally aspirated Tipo F130B 60-valve V12 engine that was developed from the 3.5 L V12 used in the 1990 Ferrari 641 Formula One car. The car's design is an evolution of the 1989 Ferrari Mythos concept car.Only a total of 349 cars were made with the last car rolling off the production line in July 1997.
The F50's engine predated the car; it was used in the Ferrari 333 SP for the American IMSA series in 1994, allowing it to become eligible for the stock engine WSC category.Fredy Lienhard
Fredy Lienhard, Sr. (born 14 September 1947 in Herisau) is a Swiss racing driver.
In 1968 Lienhard founded Lista Racing and throughout the 1970s and 1980s he competed in Formula Vee and Formula Two. In 1993 and 1994 he moved to sports car racing competing in a Lola Can-Am car in Interserie division 2. In 1995 he acquired a Ferrari 333 SP and began racing in the European Sportscar Championship and IMSA GT Championship with teammate Didier Theys, winning the 24 Hours of Zolder in 1997. He moved to the American Le Mans Series in 1999. In 2002 he moved to the Rolex Sports Car Series SRP class with a new Judd powered Dallara SP1 and won the 2002 24 Hours of Daytona with teammates Theys, Mauro Baldi and Max Papis. In 2003 he competed in only two races due to a busy business schedule but began racing more regularly again in 2006 and 2007 competing in select ALMS and Le Mans Series races and continued to do so in 2008.
Lienhard resides in Niederteufen and is the owner of Lista Office LO and Alid Finanz AG, a manufacturer of office furniture. His son Fredy Lienhard, Jr. is also a racing driver. He sponsors the Formula Lista Junior and Formula Renault 2.0 Switzerland single-seater series.Lime Rock Grand Prix
The Lime Rock Grand Prix (2010 name: Memorial Day Classic) is a sports car race held at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut, United States on the Memorial Day weekend. It had been a part of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, SCCA National Sports Car Championship, USAC Road Racing Championship, IMSA GT Championship and United States Road Racing Championship. The revived version in 2017 is for the United States Auto Club Pirelli World Challenge.Rob Dyson
Robert Richard "Rob" Dyson (born June 21, 1946) is a retired American sports car racing driver and owner of Dyson Racing.
Dyson began competing in amateur SCCA competition in 1974 and began racing professionally in IMSA GTO and the Trans-Am Series in 1982. In 1985 be purchased a Porsche 962 from Bruce Leven and began racing in IMSA GTP. In 1995 his team was the first to run the new Riley & Scott Mk III, refusing to run the Ferrari 333 SP, as he felt it would make the World Sportscar Championship a "spec series" if all major teams were running the car. Rob and his team with its R&S Mk III won the 1997 24 Hours of Daytona with an "all star" squad of seven drivers including sports car legends James Weaver, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, and Butch Leitzinger. The Dyson team again won the race in 1999, this time without Rob Dyson as one of the drivers. The team later purchased Lola chassis and began racing in the American Le Mans Series, where it currently competes. Dyson retired from full-time racing in 2003 but continued to drive part-time until 2007. Rob's son Chris Dyson drove for the team from 2001 to 2013.