AF Corse competes in the Michelin Le Mans Cup, a racing series that was created in 2016 and has a field of around 30 cars. Spa-Francorchamps is the fifth race in its six-race season and the champion team receives an invitation to take part in the following 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Photography: Max Lammers
Christoph Ulrich, driver of the AF Corse team, kindly invited us to accompany him during the Belgian round of the Le Mans Cup.
An early morning at Spa-Francorchamps meant we could explore the pit lanes, hospitality areas and various part of the track before the race started at 16.00. Christoph took some time to show us around the two pit boxes AF Corse uses during the weekend. He races a bright orange Ferrari 488 GT3 and shares it with Italian driver Maurizio Mediani. Though Christoph has been into all kinds of racing his whole life, he only started competing in the Ferrari V8 race cars three years ago. In 2017, he purchased an orange Ferrari 458 GT3. He began competing with AF Corse under the Spirit of Race banner. To say he’s an upcoming talent might be a bit of an understatement. Twenty cars competed in his first season, and after six races he finished in eight position. In 2018 and 2019, only 13 cars entered, but he still managed to finish second the 2018 season. Christoph is currently in fourth position.
AF Corse is a legendary racing team in the world of Ferrari. Former racing driver Amato Ferrari founded the team in 1995. They currently compete in several racing series, such as the World Endurance Championship (WEC) and Le Mans Series. Around 2000, AF Corse was hired by Maserati to take care of development, maintenance and transport of the Maserati Trofeo Cup. Through the years, AF competed with cars such as the Maserati MC12, Ferrari F430 GT2 and Ferrari 458 GT3. The team is also very successful in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, ending up on the podium for their class 10 times since 2008. Notable drivers such as Davide Rigon, James Calado, Alessandro Pier Guidi, Sam Bird, Antonio Giovinazzi, Jean Alesi and Giancarlo Fisichella have all raced for the team. In 2017, AF Corse won the LM GTE Pro Class of the WEC with Ferrari 488 GTE #51. As a tribute, Ferrari introduced the 488 Pista Piloti edition.
Christoph kindly took some time before the two-hour race and gave us a tour around the two AF Corse pit boxes. Spa-Francorchamps is one of a few tracks with two pit lanes. He first showed us around the F1 boxes, and then we walked to the old pit boxes just below Eau Rouge. The latter are extremely narrow and hard to work in. He also explains the origin of the orange colour of his racing car.
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