AF Corse

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AF Corse
AF Corse
Motor racing team
Founded 1995
Country Italy Italy
Team Principal(s) Amato Ferrari
Current series European Le Mans Series
International GT Open
FIA World Endurance Championship
Former series 1995-9 Italian Superturismo Championship
1999-2005 Trofeo Cup
FIA GT Championship
FIA GT1 World Championship
Drivers Gianmaria Bruni, Giancarlo Fisichella (only in WEC championship)
Drivers' titles 2006, 2007, 2008 FIA GT2, 2011 FIA GT3, 2013 FIA WEC GTE-Pro
Teams' titles 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 FIA GT2, 2011 ILMC LM GTE-Pro, 2012, 2013 FIA WEC GTE-Pro

AF Corse is an Italian auto racing team founded by former racing driver Amato Ferrari in 2002 in Piacenza. Strongly linked to the Maserati and Ferrari brands, AF Corse currently competes in the FIA World Endurance Championship, European Le Mans Series, Asian Le Mans Series, and International GT Open, and are four-time champions of the GT2 class of the former FIA GT Championship.[1] The team has also entered cars under Advanced Engineering, Pecom Racing, and 8Star Motorsports, and in association with Michael Waltrip Racing (AF Waltrip).

History[edit]

In 1995, Amato Ferrari (no relation to the family of Enzo Ferrari and his Ferrari car company) retired from driving and chose to concentrate on team management, initially entering the Italian Superturismo Championship. Following the series' demise in 1999, Ferrari launched a new team known as AF Corse, named for his initials. The team turned to sports car racing, and within a year was contracted by Maserati. AF Corse was tasked with the development, maintenance, and transport of the Trofeo Cup, a one-make series based on the Maserati Coupé. The company would continue in this position until 2005.

During 2004, Maserati approached AF Corse about running their latest development in sports car racing: the new Maserati MC12 for the international FIA GT Championship. The team aided Maserati in testing and developing the car before running the two new racers in their home event at Imola. Drivers Fabrizio de Simone, Andrea Bertolini, Mika Salo, and Johnny Herbert were all be assigned to the team, eventually earning AF Corse two victories before the season ended.[2] Once the development of the MC12 was satisfied, the company returned to running the Trofeo Cup, as well as running a Maserati Light in the 2005 Italian GT Championship.

One of AF Corse's Ferrari F430 GT2s

AF Corse returned to the FIA GT Championship in 2006. This time however they would be running the latest Ferrari offering, the Ferrari F430, as well as competing in the series' lower category, the GT2 class. Salo was retained in the driving line-up, while newcomers Rui Águas, Jaime Melo, and Matteo Bobbi completed the standard line-up. Victory was earned in the teams debut at Silverstone, and another two were earned over the season, including at the Spa 24 Hours. AF Corse won the class championship, beating fellow Ferrari competitor Scuderia Ecosse.[3] The company retained their connection to Maserati however, entering a trio of cars in the new FIA GT3 European Championship.

As defending champions, AF Corse remained in the FIA GT Championship in 2007, although much on the team changed. While the Ferrari F430s remained, all new drivers were introduced to the team. Dirk Müller, Toni Vilander, Gianmaria Bruni, and Stephane Ortelli took over driving duties for the season, while Motorola announced their full sponsorship of the squad. The two cars dominated the 2007 season, winning nine of the ten events on the schedule and wrapping up another championship.[1]

For 2008, AF Corse expanded to a three car team in the GT2 class. Vilander and Bruni are retained in the lead car, while Biagi returns to the squad to be joined by Christian Montanari in the second entry. The third car will be run under the Advanced Engineering name, with Argentinian Matías Russo and Luís Pérez Companc.

AF Corse's Ferrari F458 Italia GT2 at Zhuhai International Circuit.

In 2010, the FIA GT Championship was dissolved and two new championships were born from it. The GT1 class of the former series became the FIA GT1 World Championship while the GT2 class formed the FIA GT2 European Championship. The GT2 series was suspended due to lack of entries. As a result, the AF Corse team joined the Le Mans Series. For the 2010 season, the team fielded three Ferrari F430 GT2s for the series' GT2 class. Drivers Matías Russo and Luís Pérez Companc campaigned the #94 Ferrari with Toni Vilander and former Grand Prix drivers Jean Alesi and Giancarlo Fisichella in the #95. ALMS regulars, with the Risi Competizione team, Jaime Melo and Gianmaria Bruni drove the Ferrari #96.

In 2011 AF Corse entered the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup with brand new Ferrari 458 Italia GT2s as well as the FIA GT3 European Championship with Ferrari 458 Italia GT3s. AF Corse won the ILMC in the GTE-Pro category, including the final round at Petit Le Mans. It also won the FIA GT3 driver's championship with Francisco Catellaci and Federico Leo.

The team also joined the International GT Open for the 2010 season in the Super GT class, which is largely reminiscent of the GT2 rules in the Le Mans Series. The team fields two Ferrari GT2 cars for drivers Jack Gerber & Rui Águas in the #6 car and Pierre Kaffer and Álvaro Barba in the #8 Ferrari. AF Corse will also field a third Ferrari (#7) for the AT Racing team with drivers Alexander Talkanitsa and his son Alexander Talkanitsa, Jr.

For 2012, AF Corse competed in a variety of sports car championships throughout Europe and globally, including the FIA World Endurance Championship and GT1 World Championship with Ferrari F458 Italia GT2s and Ferrari F458 Italia GT3s, including a co-branded for GTE-Am class car with Michael Waltrip Racing, AF Waltrip. At the 24 Hours of Le Mans, amateur driver Piergiuseppe Perazzini collided with the No. 8 Toyota driven by overall-contender Anthony Davidson, sending the Toyota airborne at the Mulsanne Corner. Perazzini's Ferrari also flipped and landed on its roof after hitting the tyre barrier. Davidson suffered two broken vertebrae in the crash but was able to pull himself from the car in the immediate aftermath of the accident - though of course he was forced to abandon the race.[4]

24 Hours of Le Mans results[edit]

Year Entrant No Car Drivers Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2008 Italy AF Corse 78 Ferrari F430 GT2 Italy Thomas Biagi
Finland Toni Vilander
San Marino Christian Montanari
GT2 111 DNF DNF
2009 Italy AF Corse 78 Ferrari F430 GT2 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Argentina Luis Pérez Companc
Argentina Matías Russo
GT2 317 26th 6th
2010 Italy AF Corse SRL 95 Ferrari F430 GT2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
France Jean Alesi
Finland Toni Vilander
LMGT2 323 16th 4th
96 Ferrari F430 GT2 Argentina Luis Pérez Companc
Argentina Matías Russo
Finland Mika Salo
LMGT2 - DNS DNS
2011 Italy AF Corse SRL 51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Finland Toni Vilander
LMGTE Pro 314 13th 3rd
61 Ferrari F430 GT2 Italy Piergiuseppe Perazzini
Italy Marco Cioci
Republic of Ireland Seán Paul Breslin
LMGTE Am 188 DNF DNF
71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 United States Robert Kauffman
United States Michael Waltrip
Portugal Rui Águas
LMGTE Pro 178 DNF DNF
2012 Italy AF Corse 51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Finland Toni Vilander
LMGTE Pro 336 17th 1st
Italy AF Corse-Waltrip 61 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 United States Robert Kauffman
United States Brian Vickers
Portugal Rui Águas
LMGTE Am 294 31st 6th
Italy AF Corse 71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Andrea Bertolini
Monaco Olivier Beretta
Italy Marco Cioci
LMGTE Pro 326 22nd 4th
81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Piergiuseppe Perazzini
Italy Niki Cadei
Republic of Ireland Matt Griffin
LMGTE Am 70 DNF DNF
2013 Italy AF Corse 51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Italy Matteo Malucelli
LMGTE Pro 311 21st 5th
54 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 France Yannick Mallégol
France Jean-Marc Bachelier
United States Howard Blank
LMGTE Am 147 DNF DNF
55 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Piergiuseppe Perazzini
Italy Lorenzo Casè
Hong Kong Darryl O'Young
LMGTE Am 305 27th 2nd
61 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 South Africa Jack Gerber
Republic of Ireland Matt Griffin
Italy Marco Cioci
LMGTE Am 305 27th 3rd
71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Monaco Olivier Beretta
Japan Kamui Kobayashi
Finland Toni Vilander
LMGTE Pro 312 20th 4th
2014 Italy AF Corse 51 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Gianmaria Bruni
Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Finland Toni Vilander
LMGTE Pro 339 15th 1st
60 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 United States Peter Ashley Mann
Italy Lorenzo Casè
Italy Raffaele Giammaria
LMGTE Am 115 DNF DNF
61 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Argentina Luís Pérez Companc
Italy Marco Cioci
Italy Mirko Venturi
LMGTE Am 331 22nd 3rd
62 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 France Yannick Mallégol
France Jean-Marc Bachelier
United States Howard Blank
LMGTE Am 295 38th 14th
71 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Italy Davide Rigon
Germany Pierre Kaffer
Monaco Olivier Beretta
LMGTE Pro 28 DNF DNF
81 Ferrari 458 Italia GT2 Australia Stephen Wyatt
Italy Michele Rugolo
United Kingdom Sam Bird
LMGTE Pro 22 DNF DNF

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "2007 Champions". FIA GT Championship. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  2. ^ "Team Biography: AF Corse Motorola". FIA GT Championship. Archived from the original on 12 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  3. ^ "2006 Champions". FIA GT Championship. Archived from the original on 27 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  4. ^ "Anthony Davidson breaks back after Le Mans 24 Hour accident". BBC Sport. BBC. 17 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2013. 

External links[edit]