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 Racing driver Petr set competitive lap times during pre-season tests at the circuit – but he’s cautious about reading too much into that.
“It’s true we were quick in the tests but I don’t want to have high expectations because of that,” said the 16-year-old, who finished P7 last time out in Hungary. “It might seem like a strange thing to say, but I want to keep my feet on the ground.
“I prefer to think that this weekend we have to start where we left off at the Hungaroring, and we shouldn’t pay much attention to what we did before the start of the season. Since then, the other teams have made big progress, whereas our progress has perhaps not been as much as we might have liked. Therefore, I prefer to stay calm and not over-think things.”
Parmigiani Fleurier-supported Petr has targeted the all-important qualifying sessions as being fundamental to the success of his race weekend in Spain.
“I think it will be quite difficult to overtake there in the races. Although the Formula Renault isn’t the most aerodynamic of cars, the rear diffuser is quite big and it does generate quite a lot of aero at the back, which can pose a problem when you’re trying to follow another driver closely,” the Czech driver said.
“Also, Barcelona is a tight track in places and the car is quite wide, so once again we have to focus on doing the best we can during qualifying. Overall, though, it’s a nice track – and I especially like a hotel restaurant I know close to the circuit where they make great tartare!”
Between Formula Renault Eurocup events Petr kept his racing skills sharp by competing on a Praga chassis in the KZ category of the CIK-FIA Karting World Championship in Italy.
“It was just for fun,” said Petr. “My heats were not so good, but I was able to qualify for the Final against some of the best kart racers in the world. It helped me to be honest. I was relaxed but it also gave me the instinct to be more aggressive on the track. I definitely think that will benefit me during the remaining formula races.”
Petr’s weekend will begin with a brace of 50-minute test sessions at 09.50 and 13.20 (GMT+2) on Friday. Qualifying 1 is scheduled for 09.00 on Saturday morning, with Race 1 at 13.15. Qualifying 2 gets underway at 09.00 on Sunday, with Race 2 following at 13.25.