The iconic Nürburgring awaits Czech racing driver Petr Ptacek this weekend (30 August – 1 September) as the Formula Renault Eurocup arrives in Germany for round six of 10.
The 16-year-old resumes his 2019 racing campaign at the former home of the German Grand Prix after a four-week break in the calendar and his target is to build on the point-scoring form he showed at Spa Francorchamps in Belgium last time out.
The Nürburgring, located in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate region, will present a new challenge for Petr. Although he briefly tested a previous-generation Formula Renault car on the sprint circuit last year, he has never raced on the longer 5.14km track.
“The short track was pretty nice in the old car but I don’t really know what to expect from the GP version,” the BhaiTech Racing driver explained. “It’s a case of learning the layout on the simulator and then dealing with the reality this weekend and finding the right pace as soon as possible.
“I’ve been to the factory to see my team a couple of times in the last few weeks and the guys there have been working hard to make sure we’re ready for this weekend. I think if we can get qualifying right and make a good start, I don’t see any reason why we can’t be in a strong position for the races.”
With testing opportunities severely restricted in the Formula Renault Eurocup, Parmigiani Fleurier-supported Petr has turned to another kind of driving in recent weeks to ensure he’s sharp and race-ready for the Nürburgring.
“You can’t do any testing in the Eurocup car so I’ve gone back to my first love: karting,” he said. “I have a track five minutes from my house in Italy and I still have the KZ kart that I raced before I moved into car racing.
“It’s the perfect way to keep sharp during the summer because my KZ kart has a gearbox and it gives you a real sensation of pure driving. I want to enjoy my driving more and more every week so when I don’t have a car race, karting is fantastic.”
This weekend’s racing action at the Nürburgring starts with practice on Friday, before qualifying 1 at 08.45 on Saturday and Race 1 at 13.10 on the same day. Qualifying 2 will start at 08.45 on Sunday and Race 2 will go green at 16.00 (GMT+2).
The Nürburgring is also the first in a sequence of back-to-back Formula Renault Eurocup race weekends for Petr, with two races at the Hungaroring in Hungary following on 6-8 September.
“I’m happy to get back on the track, especially with four races in two weeks,” the reigning Italian F4 Rookie Champion said. “There are a lot of gaps in this year’s calendar so it’s even more exciting when you have a busy schedule.”