The F4 CEZ Academy is successful, a new generation of male and female racers are making their presence known

The F4 CEZ Academy, dedicated to scouting and training the upcoming generation of male and female racers for the 2025 F4 CEZ season, has successfully completed its inaugural edition. The top-rated newcomer in a series of intensive preparatory training sessions was seventeen-year-old Martin Knápek.

Rallycross racer Martin Knápek participated in the F4 CEZ Academy alongside with other young drivers. They underwent a demanding program that combined physical training, media appearances, testing and and races on simulators, theory including a racing circuit school exam, and finally driving a real Formula 4 car from SAPE Motorsport team on the Most circuit.

Based on the assessment across all disciplines, Knápek emerged as the overall winner with a score of 1.4. Marek Mičík finished second (1.8) and Michelle Jandová third (2.0). Their outstanding performances highlighted level of their talent. Other successful academy graduates included Kristýna Kalistová, František Němec, Eric Boels, and Marc Erweth (2.2). Other participants like Natálie Jakuševová, Jan Dvořák, Matyáš Sovička, and Eliška Pytlounová only completed part of the academy for various reasons but still have the chance to finish it successfully during the year.

Martin Knápek has now the opportunity to participate in the F4 CEZ championship under favourable conditions. Among other achievements, he was also the fastest driver in the final race on simulators, earning a chance to test a Renault Twingo during a free practice session before the Twingo Cup race weekend.

„I really liked the whole academy concept from the start, and as soon as I learned about it, I wanted to be part of it. Every Saturday, we met and improved everything that a racing driver should manage. I think we got along well with the other drivers and formed a good team. Initially, the most challenging part for me was the physical preparation with coach Jindřiška. Although I was used to exercising from rallycross, the g-forces in formula are much greater, and the training was adjusted accordingly. However, I improved over time. Another activity was driving on simulators, which, I must admit, surprised me with how much they could help with real driving. Max Karhan helped us a lot with the simulators, progressively speeding us up. Last but not least, we also worked on social networks and practiced interviews on camera, which we then reviewed with Tomáš Vacín, who gave us tips on how to appear as natural as possible in front of the camera. The media preparation was one of my favourite parts of the academy, but none of it compares to the test with the F4, which I will never forget. Driving a formula car is incomparable to anything I’ve experienced before. I’m already looking forward to the new opportunities that winning the F4 academy opens up for me,“ evaluated Martin Knápek his participation in the academy.

„First of all, I would like to thank all the participants. They were excellent, and I could imagine working with each of them in a racing team,“ commented academy founder Josef Křenek. „They worked very actively and well in the team, always sticking together. Of course, a big thank you also goes to the parents and all the partners, especially Lukamotorsport, SAPE Motorsport, Autodrom Most and the Autoclub of the Czech Republic. There can only be one winner, but all of them have the door open at our academy, and it would be an honor to cooperate with any of the graduates in the future,“ added Křenek.

„After Max Karhan got into the Jenzer Motorsport Formula 4 team and participated in three races of the 2023 season, there was a surge of questions,“ described Lukáš Karhan the academy’s inception. „A lot of people from the world of karting became interested in the F4 CEZ series, which was an impulse for me to fully open the doors and show everything behind Max’s debut in formula 4. Thanks to a team of enthusiastic people led by Mr. Křenek, the founder of F4 CEZ, the idea of the academy was born. No one expected it to generate such a huge response. The fact that many enthusiastic people came together to form a great team that works in unison pleasantly surprised me, and I’m happy about it. I would like to thank everyone for making this idea a reality, and I look forward to opening the doors to more talents in the next edition,“ added Lukáš Karhan from Lukamotorsport.

The F4 CEZ Academy doesn’t end here. Collaboration with the current team of graduates will continue, and they have open doors to participate in race weekends (F4 CEZ, ESET CUP, Twingo Cup, Clio Cup and others) as assistants or racers.

The academy will be open all year round, and other interested parties can apply at any time. Through its unique program, they can gain invaluable skills and experiences that may aid in their career development.