Post-Monza refinements give Petr confidence heading to Imola


Czech racer Petr Ptacek is in optimistic mood heading into the second round of the Formula Renault Eurocup at Imola in Italy this weekend.

The Sauber Academy driver scored points during the first round of the season at Monza earlier this month, but he was largely disappointed that particular event didn’t return more in the way of success.

“I’m optimistic we can do a good job this weekend. We know what the issues were at Monza and we’ve learned from that,” Petr explained. “There were some things I could have done better in terms of my driving and we know which way we need to go with the set-up to be faster.”

Imola, the former home of the San Marino Grand Prix, will be a challenging circuit for Petr and the rest of the Formula Renault Eurocup contingent as speeds are lower than Monza and the track configuration demands a significant element of technical prowess to achieve a quick lap time.

But Petr’s previous experience at Imola should stand him in good stead this weekend.

In 2018, when he was competing in the Italian F4 Championship, the 17-year-old took a trio of Rookie Cup victories at the 4.95km circuit and also set the fastest lap in one of his races.

“Imola is a technical circuit and pretty different to the others we’ll visit this season,” he said. “It’s a flowing track, but not like Spa, Silverstone or Suzuka.

“To be competitive you need good co-ordination between your braking, steering and throttle application. Corner entry speeds are quite fast into heavy braking. The brake bias and weight transfer has to be efficient.”

Petr and his R-ace GP team will benefit from an extra couple of collective test sessions at Imola in the build up to this weekend’s pair of point-scoring races and he’s eager to make the most of that additional track time to ensure he can make a strong impression when the start lights are extinguished and he goes wheel-to-wheel with his rivals.

The MindMaze-supported driver said: “The extra testing time will definitely be useful on Thursday and Friday. I want to be able to fight for wins and podiums so it will be important to have some really good pace from the beginning. The collective tests will be crucial to unlocking that performance.

“In the races, it’s a case of pushing like crazy and seeing where that brings us. The competition showed it was really good at Monza, but I’m optimistic we can do a job against them.”

After six collective test sessions, Petr will tackle Qualifying 1 at 09.00 on Saturday. Race 1 will start at 15.10 on the same day.

Sunday’s Qualifying 2 session will get underway at 09.00, before the Race 2 finale at 12.15 (times are CET).

Live qualifying and race coverage from Imola will be broadcast on the official @RenaultSportSeries Facebook page throughout the weekend.

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