Czech racer Petr Ptacek will come face-to-face with the remodelled Zandvoort circuit this weekend as the Formula Renault Eurocup reaches its mid-way point in Holland.
The home of the Dutch Grand Prix will host the competitive single-seater series for the first time in two decades and Petr will get the chance to sample the new-look Zandvoort track that was scheduled to host a round of the 2020 Formula One World Championship before the pandemic took hold.
The entire 4.25km track surface has been replaced with super-smooth asphalt and two corners have been re-profiled. Turn 3 now features an 18.7° banking, while Turn 13 is almost as steep at 17.7°.
Petr is looking forward to facing a new challenge and is expecting Zandvoort to create something of a level playing field this weekend.
“I had to learn the track on the sim but I thought it was really cool,” he said. “It looked pretty strange initially – especially with the corners that are so steep – but it’s good to have a new challenge and I’m looking forward to getting out there.
“Some of the drivers on the grid will have raced at Zanvoort before, but not on the new-look circuit. I think that will create an interesting dynamic because we’ll all be in the same position. Everyone will have to learn fast.”
Petr heads into this weekend’s pair of Formula Renault Eurocup races eager to turn his fortunes around and score his first podium of the season with his R-ace GP squad.
He’s been consistently fast during the opening four events of the season – but the pace that’s required to break into the top places has deserted him.
“It’s been quite a strange season so far and we’re still working hard to find out why we’ve been losing time to our rivals,” the Sauber Academy driver explained.
“It’s incredibly frustrating because I scored a couple of podiums as a Formula Renault rookie last year and also finished P5 overall in the mega competitive Toyota Racing Series while using an almost identical car earlier this year.
“But I’m determined to keep looking forward and my desire to win is stronger than ever. We’ve made some more changes to the car for this weekend and I will try something new myself. I’m looking forward to seeing an improvement on both sides.”
Petr, who kept his skills sharp by racing in the KZ2 category at the latest round of karting’s WSK Euro Series in Italy last weekend, will get his Zandvoort weekend underway with Qualifying 1 at 11.35 on Saturday. Race 1 will get underway at 17.00 on the same day.
Sunday’s Qualifying 2 action starts at 10.05, before Race 2 goes green at 14.15. Times quoted are CET.