Raphael was the 2009 Rookie of the Year in the IZOD IndyCar Series, the pinnacle of open-wheel motorsports in the United States.
Born and raised in Brazil, Rafa got his start in go-karts. After winning several championships in Brazil, he came to the United States in 2002 to chase his dream of becoming a professional racing driver. Rafa has won the championship in every level of racing in which he has competed, including the Firestone Indy Lights Series, the Formula Atlantic Championship and the Star Mazda Championship. He now has his sights set on an IZOD IndyCar Series championship to complete the sweep.