Petr Ptacek has only been racing for nine years but his development and rise towards the top of motorsport has been rapid and impressive.
With a strong kart racing career on his record, Petr made a successful switch to formula racing in 2018. His Italian F4 Championship Rookie Cup triumph singled Petr out as one of Europe’s top junior talents and he is bidding to enhance his growing reputation with further success in 2019 as he tackles the relaunched Formula Renault Eurocup series.
The excitement of motorsport grabbed Petr attention in 2010 when he tested a rental kart for the first time. There was no turning back. Within a handful of weeks, Petr had joined the domestic karting circuit in his native Czech Republic and was officially a junior driver in the Easy 60 class.
Within a year, Petr graduated to the Mini 60 category and competed in various championships to gain experience and develop his race craft and understanding of motor racing. The highlight of the 2011 season was Petr guiding his Praga kart to P7 in the Moravian Championship. He also raced at selected races in Italy and America; impressing many with his speed and maturity at the SKUSA Super Nationals in Las Vegas that season.
Petr career progression took a significant step forward a season later when, as a nine-year-old Cadet driver, he won the 2012 Karting Cup in the Czech Republic – the first championship title of his karting career.
And more success followed a season later when Petr scooped a further two championship titles. He won the Karting Cup for the second successive year – this time in the Mini 60 class – and was also crowned the Slovakian and Moravian Cup Champion after finishing inside the top-three at 17 races. And to guarantee the season ended with further positivity, Petr secured an impressive P2 finish in the final Czech Championship points.
Having dominated at home for two seasons, Petr spent much of the 2014 season competing in America to gain some valuable international experience. He contested the Tag Junior SKUSA Supernational, Summernations, Springnationals and Florida Winter Tour series; winning a rain-soaked meeting in Lanchester with a confident and mature performance.
Petr returned home when his US race calendar permitted and drove in the KF Junior class at selected events in the Czech Karting Cup, Czech Championship and Czech Auto Club Trophy – finishing P5, P2 and P4 respectively.
The 2015 season brought a step up to international competition in the KF Junior category, with Petr continuing his learning a he raced in the World and European Championships, as well as contesting selected events in Italy and America.
Unfortunately, a broken elbow, suffered during a school hockey match, curtailed Petr racing activities in 2016, although he did finish P19 in the CIK-FIA OK Junior World Championship and won races in Italy and Germany.
Petr’s graduated to the KZ2 gearbox class for his final season in karts (2017) and, although he didn’t have as much experience as many of his older rivals, he still impressed as he competed at domestic, European and world level with the factory Formula K squad.