Officially, you would introduce Max Papis with an instruction similar to the following:
Massimiliano Papis was born October 3, 1969 in Como, Italy, and now lives in Mooresville, NC, USA with wife Tatiana, sons Marco & Matteo and a few pets.
Max is one of the most versatile and accomplished race drivers in the world, a consummate professional who through his career combined natural talent, lots of hard work, focus, and sheer determination to win as he climbed over each step, surpassing his limits and building an impressive résumé in the process.
In 1996, fresh out of Formula 1, young Max Papis came to America and made an immediate impact in the driving circles when, at the end of a particularly tough Daytona 24 Hours and at the wheel of a mended factory Ferrari prototype, he put on a very spirited, ‘never-say-die’ drive to chase the leaders, which earned him the nickname “Mad Max” Papis. It stuck ever since, and he is still driving just like that.
But at a more personal level, Max is a man dedicated to his family, an avid cyclist, fitness enthusiast and committed to the causes that matter and touch him closely, such as the battle against cancer. Max is also a Political Science graduate of Milan University.
Many of us at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit have met the Max Papis that underlines the phrase Mad Max. Whether he’s mingling with members in the Clubhouse or taking a car out on the track, there’s an incredible energy that follows. One of the very first conversations with Max took place with Christian Epp from Tilke GmbH. Christian wanted to ride with an experienced driver who would provide him with feedback about the track layout, the runoff areas and the flow of the corners. Sure enough, after a few short laps running at 01:22:12 with Max, Christian left the passenger seat of the white Mercedes-Benz AMG GT S white in the face with the caption of “he is mad!” Shortly after, there was a lineup of people waiting for their “Mad Max Experience.”
Witnessing Max on the track, you’ll quickly realize that car control is an understatement. While he is able to take a car sideways through most corners, he is still able to come out on top with the best times by the end of the session.
However, after spending some time with the “other” Max Papis, the businessman, the fitness fanatic and the family man, you realize very quickly that you are talking to a wonderful person with a great sense of humour and an amazing spirit. Whether he’s telling you stories about his position as a steward at the 2016 Indy Car season, or when he introduces his business, Max Papis Innovations, the premier race car steering wheel provider to Nascar and other performance series or simple his experiences and memories of his great mentor, Ayrton Senna, each and every one is told with great passion.
When you look back at his 20-year career, since his F 1 debut, followed by drives in Champ, Indy, Nascar and Sports Car racing, there are many victories and countless facts and details he can share regarding each race.
At no point during a conversation with Max does it ever become a show, as he makes every listener entertained and mesmerized with his personality. Fellow member and instructor, Pieter Baljet, introduced Max to us and from that first moment, we knew we would be working with Max in the future. Here are a few clips of to illustrate the great “Mad Max Papis.”
Ladies and gentlemen, imagine your first opportunity to drive with Max at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, to have him coach you for the day and even more importantly, be able to rub shoulders and listen to Max in the Drivers Lounge of the Villa Eyrie Resort in the evening over a nice meal and glass of wine or a bottle of beer.
This experience would definitely be an item to check off the bucket list of motorsports fans from around the world, yet it’s simply a reality for members at the Island Circuit.
Max, we look forward to seeing you in the coming months for “Max Papis driving days” at the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit and the Villa Eyrie Hotel. Until next time, ciao!