Conceived in response to the new IMSA World Sports Car regulations introduced for 1994, the 333 SP was Ferrari’s first factory sanctioned Sports Racing car since the 312 PB of 1971. Loyal customer Giampiero Moretti was instrumental in persuading Ferrari to pursue the project, whilst a key ally was Ferrari North America CEO Gian Luigi Longinotti-Buitoni, who identified the positive impact that potential racing success could have on sales in the company’s biggest market.
Initial development was a collaboration between the factory, Dallara Automobili and long-time Ferrari associate Michelotto, with erstwhile TWR Jaguar designer Tony Southgate recruited in an advisory role. Much of Dallara’s initial work was aerodynamics focussed, whilst Michelotto were involved principally in component sub-assembly. However, following construction of the prototype chassis 001 at Maranello, Dallara undertook overall production of chassis 002 to 014, and Michelotto of 015 to 041.
Employing a flat-bottomed carbon fibre monocoque chassis, as stipulated by the regulations, the car drew heavily on Dallara’s recent Formula One experience, and utilised conventional double wishbone suspension with pushrod operated coil spring/damper units all round. WSC regulations also required engines to be production based and of no more than 4.0-litres displacement, and it was here that Ferrari pulled a masterstroke. By using its magnificent 4.0-litre V-12 F310E engine – effectively a long stroke version of the Type 036 Formula One engine of 1990 – a similar version of this engine would also be used in the F50, albeit slightly enlarged in that application.
Success on track was immediate, with five victories from seven IMSA rounds contested in 1994, including a hat-trick for Moretti and his Momo team mid-season. Nineteen ninety-five saw the 333 SP take victory in the Sebring 12 Hours and win both IMSA Drivers and Manufacturers titles, although the car’s finest hour was undoubtedly the 1998 Daytona 24 Hours, when the Momo team delivered Ferrari’s first win in the event since 1967. By the time of its final official race in 2002, the 333 SP had participated in 144 races, winning 49 and taking 12 major championships in the process.
Originally intended for a Rhode Island customer who was ultimately unable to fulfil the order, chassis 006 was sold via Ferrari of San Francisco to Bob Rapp of Greensboro, North Carolina, in July 1995. One of only a handful of 333 SPs to have never been raced, Rapp retained the car for display purposes until selling it to fellow American collector Rusty West in 2001. The current owner purchased the car from its third owner in 2012. During the current custodian’s ownership the car has been meticulously maintained in house by his professional race mechanics. In 2016 the car returned to Michelotto and was fully rebuilt; engine, chassis, gearbox and suspension were all included in this full restoration, and details of this work are held on file. The car has since been tested at Fiorano and currently has around 1 hour on the engine. Furthermore, it is important to note that the car comes with an additional set of wheels.
Accompanied by Ferrari Classiche certification, basic spares package and period DOS laptop with all relevant software and cables, chassis number 006 would be a hugely charismatic and competitive entry into the new Europe-based Masters Endurance Legends Series, or Stateside HSR events, including the prestigious Classic 24 Hour at Daytona. One of the most significant Ferrari Sports Cars ever produced, it would also be a worthy addition to any serious competition car collection.
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