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Jem Hepworth steps up to GT4 Europe with RAFA Racing Team

Having fought for the title in the inaugural season of McLaren Trophy Europe, RAFA Racing Club ambassador Jem Hepworth will step up to the GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club in a McLaren Artura GT4 in the Silver class.


Jem hepworth and Rafa Martinez, RAFA Racing Club
Photo by: Burke Motorsport Photography | @burkemotorsportphotography

RAFA Racing Club took the sports car racing world by storm as the Texas-based community of car enthusiasts founded by entrepreneur and racing driver Rafa Martinez entered partnerships with series such as the GT4 European championship. Martinez himself contested his first racing season in the McLaren Trophy Europe, where he teamed up with Jem Hepworth in the 570S ProAm class.


Hepworth and Martinez had 100% podium rate after the first three rounds, in a remarkably consistent first half of the championship. The duo claimed their first class win at Nürburgring.

Into the penultimate round at Hockenheim, Germany, Hepworth and Martinez remained in the championship fight with another win.


Only a technical issue on the final lap of the final race denied them the title - and was a heartbreaking end to their stellar campaign; nevertheless Hepworth and Martinez - who showed great progress in his car racing debut - showcased great speed, consistency, and racecraft.


The 2023 season served as a warm up for their GT4 European Series entry in 2024: RAFA Racing Club will in fact field two McLaren Artura GT4s under the banner of RAFA Racing Team - one in the ProAm and one in the Silver class.


RAFA Racing ambassador Jem Hepworth will share the Silver class car with Cameron Lawrence, while Martinez is set to share the car with British experienced racer Jon Lancaster.


“I am excited for the new season with RAFA Racing", said Hepworth. "This is a step up for my career development and I am thrilled for the opportunity to showcase what I can do in a very competitive championship.”


Hepworth, 22, previously won the 2020 Britcar Endurance Championship aboard a Praga R1 prototype and was also part of the 2022 W Series selections. Having joined the RAFA Racing Club family, she enjoyed a highly positive 2023 season in the McLaren Trophy Europe, where she consistently ran at the top of the 570S class and impressed among the Pro drivers.

 

“We’re taking a step up in competition this year, but we’re bringing an even stronger team to take it on", Rafa Martinez commented. "Jem and I learned a lot last year racing together and are ready for the challenge of these GT4 cars."


Hepworth's new teammate, Cameron Lawrence, had successes in TransAm as well as the in the North America's premier sports car series IMSA, where he's a class winner at the 24 Hours of Daytona.


RAFA Racing Club therefore continues to climb the ranks of international sports car racing - and its unmatched support for female drivers. At the end of 2023, it hosted an all-female driver shootout that promoted one driver - French racer Caroline Candas - to a full time seat in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America.


Jem Hepworth's season in GT4 European Series Powered by RAFA Racing Club will kick off at Circuit Paul Ricard on 5-7 April. The series will then visit Misano, Spa Francorchamps, Hockenheim, Monza and Jeddah for its six double-header calendar.

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