Petr Ptacek returned to point-scoring form in the Formula Renault Eurocup this weekend, registering P4 and P6 finishes during two closely-fought races at Zandvoort.
The Sauber Academy driver put a frustrating start to his 2020 race programme firmly behind him at the remodelled home of the Dutch Grand Prix.
He impressively qualified P3 for Saturday’s opening race but just missed out on a podium finish after encountering a bout of unexpected understeer part-way through the race.
“I was pretty pleased to qualify P3 for the first race. I think it was a decent job, considering how we were coming into this weekend,” the R-ace GP driver said.
“Unfortunately, I had some mega understeer at Turn 2 and that enabled [David] Vidales to overtake me around the outside. I won’t let that happen again.”
Sunday’s second qualifying session was held on a drying track and Petr was on course for another strong result during the chaotic session. Sadly, he encountered yellow flags on his final push lap and had to abort early. That meant he lined up P9 for Race 2 that afternoon.
Building on his promising form in Race 1, Petr showed his excellent race craft on the 4.25km circuit as he moved his way up the order and gained three places before taking the chequered flag.
Sealing P6 gave the 17-year-old his second top-six finish of the weekend and added another eight championship points to the 12 he secured a day earlier.
Summarising his weekend and a pleasing improvement in his on-track results, Petr said: “It’s been a pretty decent couple of races and we scored some good points which is also nice.
“The pace is still not the best and we definitely have a lot more hard work to do. But if we continue to work this way as a team, I’m sure we’ll continue to improve and keep challenging at the top of the pack.
“This weekend has given us a new baseline and I’ll be working flat out to build on this at the races we still have left.”
The second half of the 10-round Formula Renault Eurocup will kick off with round 6 at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain on 8-11 October.