Petr Ptacek will make his debut in the Formula 3 category this weekend as he travels to Japan to compete in the latest round of the F3 Asian Championship.
With a significant gap in the Formula Renault Eurocup calendar until his next outing at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium (25-27 July), the Czech youngster has elected to use his time wisely and increase his single-seater learning by gathering some F3 experience.
The 16-year-old will drive for the Seven Grand Prix squad at the iconic Suzuka International Circuit – the home of Formula 1’s Japanese Grand Prix – and will tackle three races at the 5.8km track.
“I’m always keen to drive as much as possible and when this opportunity came up, it was definitely something I wanted to try,” he explained. “Although I’m racing in the Formula Renault Eurocup, the regulations allow me to do another two events during the season. F3 is a category I’m very interested in so it makes sense to try one of the rounds.”
The FIA-certified F3 Asian Championship car that Petr will race uses the same Tatuus chassis that is common to the Formula Renault Eurocup. However, the F3 car uses an Alfa Romeo engine and Giti tyres as opposed to Hankook rubber.
That means Petr will need to adjust to an almost entirely new racing package this weekend and he won’t have a team-mate that he can discuss his on-track experiences with as he will be the sole Seven Grand Prix entrant.
The Parmigiani Fleurier-supported driver said: “It will definitely be tricky this weekend because there are a lot of new things for me to understand. I’m not going to Suzuka with high expectations. My only focus is on doing my best.”
Having already raced single-seaters in Europe and New Zealand, Petr’s trip to Japan will be another important adventure as he looks to broaden his understanding of racing in other countries, using unfamiliar cars and having to get to grips with completely new circuits. It’s an opportunity he’s relishing.
“I love challenging myself because I know new experiences will help me to develop and achieve my goal of being the best driver I can,” he explained. “Suzuka is an iconic track and fairly tricky. It should be good preparation for when I face another new and tricky track in Formula Renault at Spa next month.”
All of Petr’s F3 Asian races will be streamed live at www.f3asia.com. His first race on Saturday will start at 13.45, while his two races on Sunday will get underway at 09.35 and 15.25 respectively. Times quoted are local (GMT+9).