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RAFA Racing by JDX Completes Weekend Sweep With Porter, Candas on Podium in Porsche Sprint Challenge at VIR

Paige Morales Fights Back on Sunday at VIR as RAFA Racing Family Leaves With Strong Performances

DANVILLE, Virginia (June 17, 2024) – RAFA Racing by JDX kept up their winning ways in Porsche Sprint Challenge on Sunday at VIRginia International Raceway where Ian Porter swept the weekend in the Cayman Pro-Am class and Caroline Candas joined him on the podium for the second-consecutive day.

In addition to the strong showings at the front of the field, rookie driver Paige Morales showed poise on Sunday. She bounced back from an incident on Saturday that forced repairs to her No. 87 RAFA Racing Club Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS Clubsport overnight to finish seventh in the Pro-Am class. Rafael Martinez joined in the success on the weekend despite a difficult Sunday, leaving VIR holding on to fifth in the season-long standings.

In a repeat of Saturday’s race, Porter started his No. 86 Grid Finder Porsche Cayman on pole and pulled away from the field at the start while Candas battled to move from third to second in the 35-minute (plus one additional lap) race.

The field was reset when the safety car was deployed on the fifth lap of the race following an incident that collected Martinez’ No. 85 RAFA Racing Club Porsche Cayman, ending his day early after a strong seventh-place finish in the Pro-Am class on Saturday.

For the second time in the race and the fifth time during the doubleheader weekend, Porter led the field to the green flag perfectly and immediately began to pull away. He would carry that advantage to the checkered flag for a 4.563-second win.

Behind him, however, Candas was on the bumper of the second-place finisher. She held the position briefly on the restart, moving into second place in the right handed Turn Two before giving it back through the next two left handed corners. She regularly turned quicker lap times despite being behind but couldn’t get her No. 84 8Twelve Wheels Porsche Cayman fully into second place and ended her day in third.

Morales, still gaining confidence at the technical 3.27-mile track, nearly matched her qualifying times during race conditions. Martinez continued to improve through the weekend despite the early end to Sunday’s race, turning his third quickest time of the entire weekend in the opening stages.

Porter leaves VIR with his fifth and sixth victories of the season through eight races, and with a pair of second-place trophies in the two races he didn’t win comfortably holds the Pro-Am point lead as the 14-race season crosses the halfway point. Candas sits securely in second after seven podium finishes to open the year and leads both the Porsche Junior point race and the Mobil 1 Porsche Female Driver Development title.

The success of RAFA Racing by JDX extended to the crew this weekend. Each of the four team cars were mechanically flawless all weekend long, and crew member Adam Roberts climbed behind the wheel during the Porsche Sprint Challenge crew member karting race on Saturday night. Roberts led most of the race before a final lap “bump and run” left him second at the finish in the team-building activity.

RAFA Racing by JDX returns to action for rounds nine and 10 of Porsche Sprint Challenge North America at Watkins Glen International, July 5-7. Prior to that, RAFA Racing’s Porsche Sprint Challenge drivers are accompanying the RAFA Racing SRO GT4 European Series team to the race at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the team’s doubleheader June 28-30 where Martinez and Jon Lancaster co-drive in the Am class and RAFA Racing driver coach Cameron Lawrence and ambassador Jem Hepworth share a ride in the Silver class.

RAFA Racing Quote Board

Ian Porter, Driver, No. 86 Porsche Cayman: “I love it here. I wouldn’t say comfortable is the word, but I was having a lot of fun. It’s exciting around here to get the track right, but when you do it’s really rewarding. We’ve worked really hard to get six wins so far this season and it’s been a team effort for the whole RAFA Racing by JDX program. We get to go cheer on our teammates at Spa next, which is my favorite track in the world, and then come back to Watkins Glen and keep the season going.”

Paige Morales, Driver, No. 87 Porsche Cayman: “Coming back Sunday for race two had its challenges both mentally and physically. It’s never easy dealing with the aftermath of an incident like I had on Saturday, but it definitely pushes me to be more on my game and a more resilient racing driver. It’s crucial to bounce back from these situations and not let them affect me too much. Leaving the weekend, I feel happy knowing I learned a lot. Each time I got into the car I was able to set quicker lap times, showing that I’m processing the lessons from my coach.”

Caroline Candas, Driver, No. 84 Porsche Cayman: “We had a great discovery on Thursday and Friday during practice to make the car quicker and I was confident for the weekend. I was really happy with my battle with Nick Shaffer for second place. I couldn’t pass him so I was disappointed in that, but it’s good because we’re there with the two fastest guys in the class. I’m happy with that and where we are in the championship. This track is really challenging. We saw that with a lot of mistakes from other competitors. We take the esses flat, so we have to be focused. I like this type of track. Now I have my eyes on Watkins Glen and I’m looking forward to it now.”

Rafael Martinez, Driver, No. 85 Porsche Cayman: “This was a tough weekend for me. VIR is one of the toughest and highest risk tracks in the country and it’s a struggle to push the Cayman to the limit. I’ve been switching between the Cayman here in the states and McLaren in Europe, and it’s been a struggle as they are so different from each other. But that’s the challenge we signed up for! I was able to move forward in race one on Saturday, but had an incident today that shut us down early. It was tough but we learn every time out, good or bad. As a RAFA Racing program, it was a great weekend and I’m really proud of how everyone did. Now it’s off to two iconic race tracks, Spa and Watkins Glen, in the next month. I’m looking forward to dusting this one off and getting back at it to get those results we’ve been working so hard for.”

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


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