Petr Ptacek Jr will continue to gather further single-seater racing experience during the winter by contesting the 2019 Castrol Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand.
The 16-year-old has been one of Europe’s most impressive junior drivers during 2018, dominating the Italian Formula 4 Championship’s Rookie Cup and winning the title with an event to spare.
With his maiden European single-seater racing season now complete, the Czech driver has confirmed he will travel to New Zealand in January to tackle the five-round Toyota Racing Series – regarded as New Zealand’s premier single-seater championship.
“I’ve had a fantastic year in Italian F4 and I want to keep the momentum I’ve found by staying active and continuing to race during the European winter,” Petr explained.
“The Toyota Racing Series is a competitive championship and it should keep me race-ready during the months that a driver is often out of the cockpit.”
Petr, who is supported by Corum Watches, will compete for the Giles Motorsport outfit in New Zealand, an experienced squad that has won five Teams’ Championship titles and four Drivers’ Championship crowns to date.
The Toyota Racing Series pits drivers against one another in identical Tatuus FT-50 chassis’, with power coming from a 1.8-litre Toyota engine that produces 215hp.
The top-five drivers in the series will earn FIA Super Licence points in 2019.
“The Toyota Racing Series car will be a step up from the Formula 4 car I’ve been racing this season in Italy and I’m looking forward to experiencing that,” Petr explained.
“At my age, it’s crucial to get as much experience as possible so that I can continue to learn and develop my skills as a racing driver. Competing in a new country, in a new car, with a new team and on new tracks will test me a lot.
“I think there have been ten previous Toyota Racing Series drivers that have made it to Formula One as either race or test drivers. My target is use my experience of racing in New Zealand wisely so I can hopefully follow in their footsteps later in my career.”
2019 Toyota Racing Series calendar
Dorothy Smith Memorial Cup – Highlands Motorsport Park, Cromwell
Spirit Of A Nation Trophy – Teretonga Park, Invercargill
NZ Motor Cup – Hampton Downs Motorsport Park, Waikato
Denny Hulme Trophy – Bruce McLaren Motorsport Park, Taupo
New Zealand Grand Prix – Manfeild Circuit Chris Amon, Feilding