The young Brazilian driver made a strong impression during the FIA Junior Karting World Championship which took place in early September in Finland. He finished his second season in the OK-Junior category on the second step of the World podium at the end of a particularly difficult competition with more than a hundred participants.
Rafael Câmara has long been recognized as a very fast driver. However, many obstacles had prevented him from showing his enormous potential with a significant result in a major international competition. In Finland, the sporting confrontation between more than a hundred of the world's best young kart drivers was not without difficulties. First of all, the Alahärmä circuit confirmed its reputation for selectivity, allowing only solid contenders to succeed. The changing weather also complicated things. On the track, the grip went through all the possible nuances between a fully dry and totally soaked surface.
Rafael Câmara was very versatile in the most differing situations. He was able to count on the experience of the Forza Racing team, led by Jamie Croxford, to provide him with an Exprit / TM Racing kart that was always at the peak of competitiveness.
A faultless event
The fantastic result obtained by the young Brazilian was accompanied by exemplary performance during all phases of the competition. Rafael was already fast in Free Practice, but he hit even harder in Qualifying with the 2nd fastest time out of the 104 drivers, just 54 thousandths of a second off the pole.
Well placed at the start of his six Qualifying Heats, Rafael crossed the finish line three times as a winner, whatever the track conditions. He drove with relative caution in the pouring rain and took a penalty of 3'' in one of the starts, but finished this hazardous phase in the top five.
Starting from 5th position for the decisive Final, he took the time to gauge the situation on wet tyres on a drying track before going on the attack. He took 2nd place after only the fifth of the 21 laps and outdistanced his pursuers, the leader having already escaped out of reach. Rafael maintained a very high pace without any mistakes and was rewarded for his efforts and his talent by becoming FIA Karting Vice-World Champion - Junior of 2019.
"My joy is immense!” said Rafael. "Mounting the second step of a World podium is a moment that counts in the life of a driver, especially as Felipe Massa, President of the CIK-FIA congratulated me. The Final progressed so that I couldn’t get the 1st place, but I think that I performed well under sometimes difficult conditions and that the observers realised that. I want to thank Jamie Croxford and the Forza Racing team for their great work."