Just halfway through his first season of car racing, Petr Ptacek Jr has already surpassed many of his performance targets for 2018 with a pole position, race wins and a large haul of points in the Formula 4 category highlighting how quickly the 15-year-old is developing his skills.
Graduating from the KZ2 karting class, the Czech driver has shown himself to be a fast learner, quickly adapting to F4’s aero and tyre management requirements. His determination to learn what is required to be successful in both the Italian and Spanish F4 championships from those around him has allowed the Corum Watches-supported driver to progress rapidly.
With a promising pre-season testing programme behind him, Petr successfully completed two events in the F4 UAE Championship to increase his experience. A pair of P3 finishes in his first-ever single-seater race meeting provided a springboard for his European season.
Working with his BhaiTech Racing team, Petr adjusted to the demands of the highly-competitive Italian F4 series superbly. During the first round at Adria, he delivered two Rookie Cup podiums and a pair of top-ten finishes as he battled among a 31-car field.
And Petr’s results have just got better and better since. In the last three events, he has recorded six Rookie Cup victories and his overall race results have also shown improvement.
During the fourth round of the series at Misano, Petr showed his best form to date as he qualified on the front row of the grid and raced his way to three overall podium finishes in as many races.
Collecting the P2 trophy twice and the P3 trophy once catapulted Petr into P4 in the overall Italian F4 Championship standings while his continued Rookie Cup success has given him a 72-point lead in that support category.
BhaiTech Racing team manager, Nicolo Gaglian, said: “Petr has worked hard since the beginning of the season and he has improved a lot. He concentrates hard and knows what he wants.
“For me, that’s positive. Not many drivers of his age have that approach to their racing. For sure, that’s the right mentality for the future. Now, he needs to stay focused and continue his learning. That will bring him more success.”
Petr has also taken his stunning form into Spain’s F4 series. Using the championship as a vehicle to fine-tune his skills, a challenging opening event at Motorland Aragon provided valuable experience for round two in Valencia.
Securing a first pole position at Circuit Ricardo Tormo, he converted that pace into a P2 finish in one of his races, before then scoring his first F4 outright victory in another.
“When I came into my first F4 season I didn’t put too much pressure on myself because I’m a rookie,” Petr said. “But I got into the rhythm that I wanted quite quickly and started to realise that points would be possible. After I did that, my team started to push me for podiums and I started to believe more.
“I’m happy with the progression I’ve made so far. There are some things that I want to improve – things that every rookie does – but if I can address those, I’ll be able to get more from the car and be even faster.”