Petr Ptacek Jr is targeting a maiden pole position and more points as he travels to Misano for the fourth round of the Italian F4 Championship this weekend (16-17 June).
The 15-year-old heads to the 4.2km circuit on the back of two Rookie Cup wins at the last round in Monza earlier this month. His successful start to the 2018 season has earned him a 15-point lead in the Rookie Cup standings.
“I’m feeling pumped up again, the speed is there,” Petr explained. “It is one of the tracks where I am really fast. We have done quite a bit of testing, more than Monza, and the speed on the last test day was really good.
“I was a bit unlucky at one of the tests because there was a small engine fire. That meant I didn’t get a chance to do a few things the team had planned, but it didn’t disrupt me too much and it should be a good weekend.”
Petr’s confidence has been boosted further after matching the front-running pace at Monza, with a P4 – just 1.8sec off the podium – and a fastest lap of the race highlighting how quickly the Czech driver is developing in his first season of car racing.
Despite being so close to a first overall podium, Petr is aiming for qualifying success this weekend, as he knows how difficult it can be to overtake at Misano.
“Getting a podium is a target, but I think my main objective is to take pole position. I really want to get that,” the Corum Watches-backed driver said.
“Misano is all about how you drive. Unlike Monza and Paul Ricard, speed isn’t the most important thing, it will be important to have enough space to set a quick lap.
“Qualifying will also have a bigger impact on the races than Monza. Misano has more slow and medium-speed corners where I think there are only two places to really get an overtake done so grid position is crucial.”
Petr occupies P11 of out of 31 drivers in the overall Italian F4 Championship standings heading to Misano but the BhaiTech Racing driver’s immediate focus is on extending his Rookie Cup advantage this weekend.
He said: “A bigger gap in the rookie standings is important for me because everyone is so competitive. If you have a few poor races, it is easy to lose positions. Good results will also help me get closer to the guys in front in the overall championship as well.
“It is a different track to the last two, but at the moment I have speed on every circuit the championship has been to, so strong results should definitely be possible.”
Petr will tackle three F4 races this weekend, the first is on Saturday afternoon with the latter two races being held on Sunday.