January 19, 2020

Solid start to 2020 for Petr in New Zealand

Rising Czech star Petr Ptáček launched his 2020 racing campaign this weekend with a hat-trick of points finishes in the opening round of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series. 

The 17-year-old has returned to the New Zealand-based championship for a second successive year to keep his skills sharp after the winter break. Round one took place at Highlands Motorsport Park, a compact 4.1km circuit where overtaking is difficult, although that didn’t prevent Petr from catching the eye with some inspired passing moves as he charged to a P6 finish in the main race.

Two earlier outings yielded a pair of P8 results for Petr, who is supported by Parmigiani Fleurier, although his pace in both was compromised by a technical issue.

“At the start of the weekend we had decent speed, but when we got to Quali One, I made some small mistakes which compromised us,” explained Petr. “To be completely fair, though, I felt something was not quite okay with the engine, because I was losing a lot of time at corner exit. 

“As a driver, you always know if you’re doing a good job or a bad job, and I felt like I was putting in decent laps, but my times weren’t improving. In Quali Two, the engine was still not pulling enough, then during the last six laps of Race Two, it felt even worse.

“I asked the team to do something, so they changed the whole turbocharger. It worked – thankfully for Race Three I now had the power I needed. I was carrying so much more speed out of the really important corners, so I was able to push hard.”

Having moved up to P8 at the start, Petr deprived Lirim Zendeli of P7 through the sequence of right-hand corners before the start/finish straight. Then on the last lap of the race he made an audacious move on Ido Cohen at one of the most challenging sections of the circuit. 

“To pull off the pass on the last lap I had to take quite a lot of the sausage kerb at the corner exit, which made the car fly quite high! For a while I had no wheels on the ground and it looked like I was heading straight for the wall, but in the end it was okay and good fun,” said Petr, who finished P6.

The MindMaze-backed driver added: “This wasn’t quite the start to the season I wanted, but for sure there are positives. I feel I did a decent job, considering the engine issue was probably there from the beginning and getting progressively worse. On my one clear lap in Race Three, with full power restored, I was able to set the fifth-quickest time overall, so I’m happy about that. I’m also pleased that I finished all three races consistently in the points.

“Big thanks to R-ace GP and mtec Motorsport; they did a really good job and the engine problem we experienced was out of their hands. There are still a lot of points on offer and I’ll push like hell to give the team the results they deserve.”

Round two of the Toyota Racing Series takes place at Teretonga Park near Invercargill next weekend (24-26 January).

Latest newsView all

Petr confirms Formula Renault return in 2020

Rising star Petr Ptacek will race in the Formula Renault Eurocup with the championship-winning R-ace GP squad during 2020. The Czech driver scored a pair of podium finishes in the competitive single-seater series last season and has been keen to put that experience to good use by returning to mount a title charge in 2020. […]

Petr seals P5 in Toyota Racing Series

Czech racing driver Petr Ptacek brought his 2020 Toyota Racing Series campaign to a positive conclusion in New Zealand this weekend, securing another podium and a further two point-scoring finishes across three races at Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon. The 17-year-old’s impressive form in the hotly-contested, five round single-seater series guaranteed a P5 finish (out of […]

Petr powers to a second podium at Pukekohe

Czech rising star Petr Ptáček proved his front-running pace again this weekend, collecting a second podium and two more top five results during Round Four of the New Zealand-based Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Pukekohe Park. After his first pole position and podium of the campaign at the preceding round at Hampton Downs, the 17-year-old […]

Pole, podium and points for pacy Petr

Young Czech racing star Petr Ptáček delivered the goods in Round Three ofthe Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park this weekend, claiming his first pole position and podium in the New Zealand-based single-seater series. After two events where his true pace was masked by issues beyond his control, the 17-year-old was able […]

Petr’s early pace goes unrewarded in Teretonga

Young Czech racing star Petr Ptáček experienced a challenging weekend at Round Two of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series at Teretonga Park, one that did not reflect his true pace. Petr finished two of the three races in the points, but his early lap times around the 2.57km circuit on New Zealand’s South Island earlier […]

Petr makes Toyota Racing Series return in New Zealand

Petr Ptacek will get his 2020 racing season underway in January after confirming he will travel to New Zealand to contest the five-round Castrol Toyota Racing Series. The highly-rated 17-year-old made his debut in the single-seater championship at the beginning of 2019 and will make a return in 2020 as he looks to get some […]


Petr Ptacek brought the curtain down on his rookie Formula Renault Eurocup season in Abu Dhabi on Saturday – before immediately turning his attention to vital 2020 preparation today (Sunday). The 17-year-old, a two-time podium finisher in the single-seater series, endured a challenging time at the Yas Marina season finale as handling issues prevented him […]

Unique Abu Dhabi racing finale awaits Petr

Rising star Petr Ptacek will bring his rookie Formula Renault Eurocup season to a close this weekend (24-26 October) as he tackles a pair of races at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The Czech driver, who celebrated his 17th birthday last week, travels to the Middle East fresh from a pair of […]

Double points for Petr at rain-hit Hockenheim

Czech racing driver Petr Ptacek overcame challenging conditions to twice finish in the points during a rain-hit Formula Renault Eurocup event at Hockenheim this weekend. Inclement weather added extra drama as Petr raced at the home of the German Grand Prix for only the second time in his career, but the BhaiTech Racing driver continued […]

Pacey Petr charges to Eurocup podium in Spain

Rising Czech racing star Petr Ptáček achieved his best finish yet in the Formula Renault Eurocup by claiming second place overall at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend. The 16-year-old was on scintillating form around the Spanish circuit all weekend, qualifying strongly and fighting for podium places in both races.   “The weekend has been really strong,” […]

Petr chases Eurocup success in Spain

Petr Ptacek has vowed to build on the promise he showed during his last Formula Renault Eurocup outing by targeting more championship points at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya this weekend (27-29 September). For the eighth event of the 2019 season, competitors descend upon the 4.65km circuit, which has hosted the Spanish Grand Prix since 1991. BhaiTech […]

More points for fast-starting Petr in Hungary

Rising Czech star Petr Ptacek bounced back from a difficult qualifying to score more Formula Renault Eurocup points in dramatic style at the Hungaroring this weekend.  The scene for Petr’s charge was set in qualifying, held on a damp-but-drying circuit earlier in the day. He found himself restricted to P15 on the grid after he […]