January 27, 2019

Podium success for Petr at Hampton Downs

Petr Ptacek scored the first podium of his 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series campaign this weekend as the series visited Hampton downs Motorsport Park in New Zealand.

Having qualified P12 for Friday’s opening race at the 3.8km track, the Czech driver delivered a mature and calculated drive to scythe his way through the field and claim an impressive P2 finish at the chequered flag.

The 18-lap race proved to be an incident-packed encounter as a number of collisions forced various Safety Car periods and three red flags. But with chaos unfolding around him, Petr maintained a cool head and focused on his own race.

By perfectly blending his proven speed with exemplary race craft, the 16-year-old made up six places on the very first lap and continued his confident push up the leaderboard as the laps counted down.

When the chequered flag dropped, Petr’s Giles Motorsport car was placed P2 – just 0.051 seconds shy of victory.

It was a positive start to the third round of the Toyota Racing Series and a result that illustrated Petr has the skills to mix it with the best junior single-seater drivers in the world.

“It was fantastic to claim P2 in the opening race, particularly as the race was so messy,” the Parmigiani Watches-supported driver said. “I recognised quite early that the race required a calm and measured approach and that’s I delivered.

“It would have been easy to force the result by trying to be a hero. Instead, I concentrated on being fast and keeping out of trouble. In the end it was exactly the right strategy and I was happy for that.”

Unfortunately, Petr wasn’t able to build on his positive start during the remaining races at Hampton Downs.

An honest error of judgement forced the reigning Italian F4 Rookie Cup champion to retire at the beginning of the second race, while the weekend’s remaining pair of races returned solid – but largely frustrating – P11 and P12 finishes.

“The contact during the second race was my mistake,” Petr admitted. “I went defensive to block any passing opportunity from behind and unfortunately the guy in front of me was closing faster than I expected. I couldn’t avoid contact with the rear of his car.

“In the other sessions I had to deal with repeated technical issues that didn’t help my progress. In qualifying, I had to drive with broken rear suspension. It’s the second event that I’ve had suspension problems. It’s something that needs to stop.

“It’s frustrating because I don’t think my final results are showing my true potential in this championship.”

With two events remaining in the Toyota Racing Series, Petr remains determined to push as hard as he can and maximise his learning opportunity as he races in New Zealand for the first time.

The rookie said: “I will always give my absolute best and that will be the case in the remaining seven races of this winter campaign. I’ve already learned lots of new things in TRS and I feel like I’m growing as a racer and a person. That will definitely help me in 2019.”

Petr will return to TRS action next weekend when the championship visits Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park in Taupo.

Latest newsView all

PRODUCTIVE SPA WEEKEND FOR PETR

Rising Czech racing star Petr Ptáček celebrated his first experience of the majestic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps by finishing in the Formula Renault Eurocup points at the Belgian circuit this weekend. Returning to the cockpit of his BhaiTech Racing car after an eight-week break in the Formula Renault Eurocup action, Petr belied his lack of prior […]

PETR EAGER TO RETURN TO RACING AT SPA

Petr Ptacek is eager to return to Formula Renault Eurocup action at the iconic Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium this weekend – after eight weeks out of the cockpit. Due to the single-seater championship’s 2019 schedule, the rising Czech star hasn’t raced his BhaiTech Racing-prepared Tatuus T-318 chassis since the beginning of June. “I’m desperate […]

Pole and podium for Petr on Formula 3 debut

Petr Ptacek played a starring role on his F3 Asian Championship debut at the Suzuka International Circuit this weekend, claiming P3 in his first-ever Formula 3 race and qualifying on pole position for the final race of the weekend. The Czech youngster travelled to Japan to keep himself race-fit during a long gap between races […]

Petr to make his F3 debut in Japan

Petr Ptacek will make his debut in the Formula 3 category this weekend as he travels to Japan to compete in the latest round of the F3 Asian Championship. With a significant gap in the Formula Renault Eurocup calendar until his next outing at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium (25-27 July), the Czech youngster has elected […]

Promise unfulfilled for Petr at Paul Ricard

Petr Ptacek was unable to translate his impressive raw pace into Formula Renault Eurocup points at Circuit Paul Ricard in France this weekend, as torrid luck denied the 16-year-old on two occasions. Just one week after racing in front of a Formula 1 crowd on the streets of Monaco, the Parmigiani Watches-supported driver continued his […]

Petr takes valuable experience in Monaco

Formula Renault Eurocup driver Petr Ptacek gained useful experience as he made his racing debut on the streets of Monaco this weekend, although a points-scoring finish narrowly eluded the talented 16-year-old from the Czech Republic. It was a weekend of firsts for Petr as he not only came face-to-face with the tight and twisty 3.33km street circuit […]

Monaco marks maiden street circuit test for Petr

Petr Ptacek has described the Formula Renault Eurocup races that he will contest on the streets of Monaco this weekend as a “great challenge”. The Renault-powered single-seater category has been enlisted to support the FIA Formula 1 and Formula 2 championships in the iconic Mediterranean principality and the star-studded event will mark the first time […]

Petr scores podium success at Silverstone

Petr Ptacek claimed his first podium in the Formula Renault Eurocup this weekend, charging to P3 at Silverstone during only his third race in the new-look single-seater category. The 16-year-old, racing at the British circuit for the first time, laid the foundations for success by qualifying P6, his best starting position to date, for the […]

Petr is ready to star at super-fast Silverstone 

Rising star Petr Ptacek is determined to mark his first-ever visit to the iconic Silverstone Circuit in the UK by finishing strongly in the Formula Renault Eurocup points this weekend. The second of this season’s ten events takes place on one of the fastest circuits on the calendar and the talented 16-year-old is relishing the opportunity […]

Petr powers into the points on his Formula Renault debut

Czech driver Petr Ptacek succeeded in his aim of scoring points on his debut in the Formula Renault Eurocup at Monza this weekend, impressively charging from P19 to P9 during the opening race at the famous Italian circuit. Embarking on only his second year of car racing, the 16-year-old’s first race in the new-look series […]

Points are the prize for Petr at Formula Renault opener

Rising star Petr Ptacek is hoping he can turn his previous good form at Monza into a healthy points return when he kicks off his Formula Renault Eurocup campaign at the iconic Italian track this weekend (12-14 April). The 16-year-old is using Renault Sport’s relaunched single-seater series to take the next step in his promising […]

Petr completes Formula Renault testing in style

Petr Ptacek was one of the pacesetters as he successfully completed his Formula Renault Eurocup pre-season testing programme at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today. Having dominated the Italian Formula 4 Championship Rookie Cup in 2018, the 16-year-old is ready to take the next step in his career and will contest Renault Sport’s relaunched junior single-seater […]