RAFA Racing Team Makes Debut This Week In SRO GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club

Jem Hepworth and Cameron Lawrence Compete in Silver, with Jon Lancaster and Rafael Martinez the Pro-Am Entry With RAFA Racing Team McLaren Artura GT4

Le Castellet, FRANCE (April 3, 2024) – RAFA Racing Team opens its 2024 SRO GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club season this weekend in the South of France, with a doubleheader race weekend at Circuit Paul Ricard. The team will line up on the grid in a pair of McLaren Artura GT4 machines, with Jem Hepworth and Cameron Lawrence co-driving in the Silver class while Jon Lancaster and Rafael Martinez take on the Pro-Am class together.

RAFA Racing Club, who brings motorsports enthusiasts together under the “Race As Family Always” theme, is bringing each of the four drivers to the championship hunt for the first time. In addition, as the presenting sponsor of the series, each of the 50 GT4 cars on the grid will run RAFA Racing Club windshield banners throughout the season.

All four drivers will make their SRO GT4 European Series debut at Circuit Paul Ricard. The U.S.-based team recently completed a test at the track with technical advisors Greystone GT, setting the stage for this weekend’s race.

The first hour-long race of the weekend will begin at 4:40 p.m. local time (10:40 a.m. Eastern Time in the U.S.) on Saturday, April 6, with Sunday’s race beginning at 11:20 a.m. local time (5:20 a.m. ET). Each race can be seen live around the world through the SRO Youtube page at Youtube.com/GTWorld.

Hepworth and Lawrence will team in the No. 81 RAFA Racing Club McLaren Artura GT4. British driver Hepworth earned a pair of podiums last year at Paul Ricard, teamed with Martinez, in the McLaren Trophy Cup Europe season opener. Lawrence, the American racer whose resume includes a GTD class win at the Rolex 24 At Daytona, an IMSA North American Endurance Cup championship and a pair of Trans Am Championships, will make his European racing debut at Paul Ricard.

Martinez’ experience at the track mirrors Hepworth’s, though the two will not share a car during the 2024 season. Instead, Martinez and Lancaster will share the No. 812 McLaren Artura GT4 in the Pro-Am class. Last season was the first in a race car for Martinez, who will play the “Am” role in the car. Lancaster joined Martinez and Hepworth on the podium at the McLaren Trophy Cup event a season ago, albeit as a rival instead of a teammate. He’s also a Circuit Paul Ricard winner in LMP2 on his way to a European Le Mans Series championship in 2015.

In addition to on-track testing, the RAFA Racing teammates have been involved in a rigorous training regimen off the track. The RAFA Racing Club has provided drivers with sim training as well as nutrition guidance and an exercise program to stay fit.

The RAFA Racing Team and the entire SRO GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club are on track for the first time this season on Friday, April 5 for free practice. Qualifying is at 11:10 a.m. local time on Saturday morning, followed by Saturday’s hour-long race at 4:40 p.m. (10:40 a.m. ET). The weekend concludes with Sunday’s 11:20 a.m. (5:20 a.m. ET) race.

RAFA Racing Team Quote Board

Jem Hepworth, Driver, No. 81 McLaren Artura GT4: “I’m looking forward to kicking off the season at Paul Ricard this week. I know the track quite well after racing in McLaren Trophy there last year, where we grabbed two second-place finishes. I’m feeling confident and excited to drive in the No. 81 RAFA Racing Club McLaren Artura alongside my new teammate Cameron Lawrence. We are looking to be a strong pairing together after a very successful pre-season test program.”

Jon Lancaster, Driver, No. 812 McLaren Artura GT4: “Paul Ricard is a circuit I’m always looking forward to. The technical layout is challenging but can be very rewarding. Having had previous success there and following a good pre-season, the No. 812 McLaren of RAFA Racing Team is heading to round one confident of bringing away a great result. I can’t wait to get started!”

Cameron Lawrence, Driver, No. 81 McLaren Artura GT4: “Preseason testing was a tremendous success, laying a solid foundation for the upcoming season. I have a new teammate and a new car, but it’s rooted in the familiar GT4 platform. I’m excited to get this season underway with Jem and the No. 81 RAFA Racing Club McLaren Artura at Paul Ricard.”

Rafael Martinez, Driver, No. 812 McLaren Artura GT4: “I’m excited to get this season started. The competitiveness of this series is incredible, so I’m going to have to bring out the confidence from lap one in practice. I usually take some time to build that up and get into the zone for the race, but I know I can’t afford to waste time on track in a Series like this. Paul Ricard is incredible, and between all of us here at the RAFA Racing family and especially driving with Jon I think we’ll be up to speed quickly.”

About RAFA Racing Club:

RAFA Racing, utilizing the motto “Race As Family Always,” is a motorsports club and race team founded by and made for high-performance auto drivers, supporters, and fans of all types. Started by Rafael Martinez, the Club aims to create a space for high-performance car enthusiasts to enjoy like-minded individuals, network and share ideas on and off the track, and bond as one team with a common interest. The RAFA Racing Team made its debut in 2023 with a runner-up finish in the McLaren Trophy Europe Series, and expands that footprint to include Porsche Sprint Challenge North America and SRO GT4 Europe in 2024. The Club’s off-track presence can be felt on social media and beyond, including YouTube, Instagram and Facebook and at RafaRacing.Club.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com


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