Petr Ptacek Jr is aiming to secure the Italian F4 Championship Rookie Cup title when the series resumes after a six-week break at Vallelunga this weekend (14-16 September).
The 15-year-old has an impressive 93-point lead over his nearest rival in the standings and with only 150 points available during the next two race weekends, Petr is confident he can wrap up the Rookie series before switching his focus to the overall F4 championship.
“My main objective is to secure the Rookie Cup at Vallelunga,” he explained. “That will mean I can then look at the overall championship because I can still finish third in that table. That would be perfect.”
Petr currently lies fifth in the overall points standings, but is only 24 points behind the driver in third. After a successful three-day test at the 4.09km Vallelunga circuit, the Corum Watches-backed driver is “hungry” to return to competitive action.
“I’m hungry to drive more. I have done some testing but I can’t wait for qualifying and the races, I just want that feeling of being behind the wheel again,” the Czech driver said.
The Vallelunga circuit, based 32km north of Rome, has been another new challenge for Petr in 2018 but his pace during testing has left him quietly confident ahead of this weekend’s races.
He said: “During the test I was fastest – that was a positive. That experience was good for me because it gave me more confidence in myself, the track and the car.”
Petr hopes his increased knowledge of his Tatuus-Abarth F4 car will help him fine-tune a balanced set-up on a track that merges flat-out sections with tight, slow, corners.
“You have to take Vallelunga corner-by-corner,” the BhaiTech Racing driver said. “There are some important corners to get right such as the last one, because it is followed by a long straight. Other parts are mainly flat-out, but then there are four or five corners where you are very, very slow.
“It is a tricky combination, but somehow it suits me pretty well. It is maybe not the strongest track for me and the team, but we should be able to go fast and be in a rhythm during the races.”
Petr will tackle three races at Vallelunga. The first is on Saturday with the other two held on Sunday.