Born in Lisbon, on the 19th February 1987 and lived in Portugal until the age of three. In the summer of 1990, all his family came to Macau – South of China and settled here.
Since very young Rodolfo has always shown a strong fascination with racing cars and motorbikes, like those competing in the Guia Circuit during the mythical Macau Grand Prix. Year after year he and his father would not miss a single moment of the races.
When he was six he sat for the first time in a rented Kart and was overjoyed by those initial 15 minutes at a motor vehicle, driving along a few roads in an uninhabited area of Macau used at that time as a makeshift circuit.
From then on he became a regular enthusiast at the weekend kart races, together with Mafalda, his sister, and their father. Despite his strong support to the youngsters racing activities, Rodolfo’s father has always made clear that school must remain their first priority and all depends on them being successful in their studies.
In "real" racing, Rodolfo’s idol has always been André Couto, from André´s first races and victories in karting to becoming a professional single seater and touring car driver in European championships.
As he grew up, Rodolfo kept following André’s career and cheered for him every time he competed at the Macau Grand Prix.
When he was 14 his father offered him his first kart and Rodolfo joined the “Macau Karting School”, owned by Mr. Alberto Sin, who became his coach and imposed a strict routine of daily practice, aiming his attendance at the following year’s Macau Karting Championships.
Keeping his priority on school duties, Rodolfo competed and won this Championship, Intercontinental A Class, Group B, finishing first on 6 of the 8 events and was proclaimed best rookie pilot in 2002 by the local sports press. Not bad for a first racing season.
All was made possible by his coach Alberto Sin, a rare blend of sportsman and teacher with unique commitment and knowledge of the sport.
At 15, owing to his remarkable performance in the karts, the Organizing Committee of the Macau Grand Prix and the China – Macau Autosports Club, jointly invited Rodolfo to compete at the 49th Grand Prix of 2002, and provided him with a training course with the FRD –Formula Racing Development – team, held on the Zhuhai International Circuit – People’s Republic of China.
So, he completed the 3 day course of the Racing School, driving a Formula Campus beginning his training for the Macau’s race, where he would drive a Formula Renault 2.0 car, two weeks later.
His attendance at the 49th Macau Grand Prix was his first experience in the highly competitive world of “serious” motorsports racing. He clearly exceeded his promoters’ expectations, for an inexperienced 15 year old driver, managing to reach the 10th position by the 8th of 10 laps. Sadly, as he was about to overtake one more opponent, the heavy rain betrayed him and Rodolfo spin out of the race.
Even as he joined the race he was already making history at the Macau Grand Prix, as the youngest driver ever to attend this prestigious event held now for half a century without interruptions.
At 16 and continuing always with his studies, Rodolfo competed both in the China and Asian Formula Renault 2000 Championships, under direct coaching by the French driver Philippe Descombes. Good result after good result, the season ended with Rodolfo’s victory on both Championships.
At the trophy award ceremony, Rodolfo was deeply honored by the presence of H.E. the Chief Executive of the Macau SAR, Dr. Edmund Ho, who personally handed him the cup.
In 2004 Rodolfo competed for Asia Racing Team, in the China and Asian Formula Renault Championships, finishing second overall in the Asian Championship.
In a strategic move, Rodolfo decided to debut in Formula 3, racing at the Macau Grand Prix, driving a Dallara Mügen-Honda from the British team Carlin Motorsport and delivering an encouraging performance.
2005 started, for Rodolfo, in the best imaginable way, as he was awarded the Commendation of Merit by the Chief Executive of the Macau SAR; this is both an honor and a stimulus that Rodolfo keeps always in his mind.
On the sports front, the season of 2005 saw him committed to the Asian Championship or Formula 3 and had two different stages: at first the experience was disappointing and lead Rodolfo to move to a new team. But from the moment that Rodolfo joined Christian Jones Motorsport, the results scored driving the Dallara 301 were significantly better. Rodolfo finished the Championship in 5th place (best rookie) and even got to the podium on three occasions, twice in the last event, held in Batangas, the Philippines.
As in previous years, his presence at the Macau Grand Prix, Formula 3 Intercontinental Cup, was his most anticipated target of the year. Working with the Austrian team HBR Motorsport, Rodolfo’s attendance was crowned with success: finished the event without suffering any accident, in 16th among 30 drivers and - for the record - he clocked the fastest lap among Macau drivers.
In another front, Rodolfo was honored by being appointed “ambassador” of the Macau Association for the Rehabilitation of Drug Abusers, contributing to the fight against the terrible social problem of substance abuse.
2006 saw Avila once again raising the bar: carrying the Macau flag to Europe he joined Performance Racing to compete in British F3 International Series. The Macanese drove a Dallara F304 powered by a Neil-Brown engineered Mügen-Honda engine in National Class and he got fourth position in the class after four season podiums. He was also the first Asian driver to get a “Pole-Position” in National Class history and made a selected round of Recaro F3 Cup at Lausitzring.
In November Avila’s returned to Macau GP with Performance Racing but the luck wasn’t there as he crashed heavily on the Sunday’s race when he was climbing positions looking for a promising final result.
After an up and down season, Avila had plans to return to British F3 International Series to race in Championship Class. The Macau flag car appeared on the first race at Oulton Park but Performance Racing wasn’t ready to take the challenge. So Macanese driver decided move to the brand new single seaters series International Formula Master (IFM) where he raced for Cram Competition. Several technical problems with the car over the season took from him a chance to shine in Europe. Although Avila helped Cram Competition to clinch the team’s title, a fourth position in Anderstorp (Sweden) was his best result in the tough IFM season.
In the end of 2007 Avila participated in season’s highlight Macau Grand Prix – Formula 3 Race. The Macanese driver returned to the HBR Motortsport’s cockpit to finish straightforwardly as the best of the local drivers.
2008 saw Avila returning to Asia to face new career challenge. At the age of 21, Avila drove successfully the Mastercar’s Ferrari 360 Modena GT to the Asia SuperCar Challenge (ASCC) title. Although the six years old Ferrari was not anymore the most competitive car in the field, Avila consistency and natural speed were enough to beat his rivals new cars.
The brand new Macau GT Cup attracted the very best GT drivers in Asia for a great final in Macau Grand Prix. Avila was one of the favorites and Mastercar brought a Ferrari 430 GT (Grand-Am spec) from Italy. Unfortunately the Cavallino Rampante was never competitive and Avila was just fourth in qualifying. An oil brake trouble would stop him in middle of the 10-laps race.
In the beginning of the year Avila also took part in the first race of Asian GT Cup at the wheel of a FRD’s Ferrari 360 Modena Challenge. In front of a big crowd in Zhuhai International Circuit, he was a superb second overall in his GT cars race debut.
With nothing else to prove in Asian GT racing, Avila took part of 2009 Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA). Driving again for the prestigious Macau outfit Asia Racing Team, the Macau driver immediately impressed by taking pole position and a podium finish in his very first race. His two victories (Zhuhai and Setul) plus five podium finishes in 13 races saw Avila end the 2009 season fourth overall and best rookie in a championship.
In 2010 Avila joins two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champions Team Jebsen for its Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) campaign.
In 2010 Avila joined two-time Porsche Carrera Cup Asia champions Team Jebsen for its Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) campaign, claiming the fourth position. Avila returned to Macau GP, taking part of Macau GT Cup with Team Jebsen’s Porsche 997 GT3 Cup.
In 2011, Avila was back with Team Jebsen for a third season in Porsche Carrera Cup Asia. After a superb season of 10 podium finishes in 12 races, talented 24-year-old Macau driver came to within two points of taking the title. Avila also took part of Macau Grand Prix's Macau GT Cup Race, finishing fourth on the world debut of the 2012 spec – Porsche 911 GT3 R.
In 2012 Avila returned to Porsche Carrera Cup Asia, once again driving for Team Jebsen. In 11 races over six race meetings, Avila collected an impressive five podium finishes amongst the most competitive international field of sportscar drivers ever assembled in Asia.
Avila also raced in the 59th Macau Grand Prix with a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. He had struggled the whole weekend with engine limitations, finishing the Macau GT Cup in 24th. In the end of the year Avila took part of Zhuhai 500 km endurance race, driving a Radical SR8. The Macau racer did the pole-position, the best lap of the race and led it but did not finish due to an alternator failure.