Petr Ptacek is hoping history repeats itself when his 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup campaign resumes at the Nürburgring this weekend.
The Sauber Academy driver is ready to return to the cockpit of his R-ace GP car in Germany for the first time in five weeks following a lengthy gap in the series schedule.
With the first two rounds of the season at Monza and Imola not delivering the results he hoped for, Petr is targeting a repeat of the form he showed when he last raced at the home of the Eifel Grand Prix.
“I’m pretty confident heading to the Nürburgring because I qualified on the second row for both of the Formula Renault races there last year,” he explained. “I have a good feeling for this weekend – I’m calm and I’m not panicking. That’s not in my nature.”
The 17-year-old, a two-time podium finisher during his Formula Renault Eurocup rookie season last year, is also hoping he will benefit from some tweaks engineers have made to his MindMaze-supported car in the build up to this weekend’s third round.
“Having a good break between events has given us the chance to take another look at my car and work out where the problems have been so far,” Petr said.
“We’re pretty confident we now have a better understanding of the situation and that will hopefully allow us to show an improvement at the Nürburgring and make a good turn around.”
Petr has kept busy during the last five weeks, complementing his usual physical training programme with some karting.
He’s also made it a priority to complete most of the driver training that’s needed before he can secure his driving licence for the road.
“I’ve been doing quite a lot of driving – on the road as well as the track,” he explained. “I used the KZ kart that I drove at the world championships last year to do some testing in Germany and the Czech Republic.
“Then I also did my theory test and gained lots of practical experience with my driving school so I can take my test and hopefully get my road car licence in November.
“I’ve been driving since the age of seven on the track but it will be nice drive myself to races next year. It will also be an opportunity to repay my dad for all the driving he’s done across Europe during my career!”
Two days of testing will precede the competitive action at the Nürburgring. Petr’s first qualifying session will get underway at 16.25 on Friday, while Qualifying 2 will be held on Saturday at 10.40.
Race 1 will go green at 15.35 on the same day before Race 2 brings the curtain down on the racing weekend at 10.25 on Sunday (times are CET).