Interview: Jean & Samuel Luyet

from CIK-FIA

In 2019, the KZ2 FIA Karting European Championship has the distinction of having received entries from two brothers, Jean and Samuel Luyet, members of the family team D.E.L. Motorsport.

For the two Swiss drivers, the mutual assistance, the desire to progress through the rankings and collaboration certainly prevail over the rivalry. This unique pair intends to be visible in the major international KZ2 events this season.

Jean & Samuel Luyet (pic – CIKFIA)

WHERE DID YOUR DESIRE TO GO KARTING COME FROM?

Jean: Our family has been involved in motorsport for many years. The name of our team and the competitor under which we are entered, D.E.L. Motorsport, was created by the Luyet family several years ago.

Samuel: The initials come from Edmond, our grandfather, Laurent, our father, and David, the elder brother of our father, and our uncle. David had a great career in single-seaters and even had the opportunity to test in F1. Unfortunately, the team with which he was in contact at the time had to stop suddenly. Before cars, they raced karts in their youth and we followed in their footsteps.

HOW OLD ARE YOU AND REMEMBER YOUR JOURNEY?

Jean: I was 18 years old last November. I started in Switzerland in the categories for young drivers, then I raced in the Rok Cup. This is where I discovered gearbox karts, which made me want to race in KZ2 at the international level. I took part in a round of the 2016 European Championship at Adria, Italy, and then continued with two full seasons. Pole position in 2017 in Kristianstad ahead of all the best European drivers of KZ2 remains my favourite memory. I hope that the experience gained will allow me to achieve good results in 2019.

Samuel: I was 17 in January. I took my first steps in my home country at the age of 9 in Mini. Unfortunately, Switzerland is not the ideal country to progress to a high level in motor sport. Car racing has been banned for a long time. We are not very well provided for with kart circuits, and the standard is not very high. It was for these reasons that we quickly decided to race in Italy, even though it created constraints with the distances to travel. Like Jean, I participated in the Rok Cup, taking 3rd place in Lonato in 2018 at the International Final in Shifter Rok.

IS IT AN ADVANTAGE TO RUN IN THE SAME CATEGORY?

Jean: Yes, of course. We motivate each other, we share the settings, we compare the data acquisition. When one of us tries something, the other can test a different solution. For the moment, I have a little more experience, so I fight to stay ahead, but I know that Samuel is constantly trying to be faster than me. This is normal, but it is done in a very healthy way, without excessive rivalry!

Samuel: With the exception of a few races, this is really our first full year where we race together and against each other, it’s cool! He is more consistent than me, but the gaps remain small between us. In some competitions, like the German Championship for example, I had the opportunity to get ahead. I noticed that the higher the grip on the track and the tyres, the more I can be the fastest of the two of us.

FOR 2019, WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO REGROUP IN YOUR OWN TEAM, RATHER THAN AN EXISTING TEAM?

Jean: In another team, the budget we are being asked for has to be multiplied by two! Now, we share all the fixed charges. We are also more free to choose the races and test days we want to do. However, we are not alone. We have a solid partnership with the CRG team for equipment. We can count on them for their advice and for their excellent technical support. As for the engines, we work with Galiffa Kart.

Samuel: In KZ2, many drivers have much more experience than us and we really need to push hard to make more progress. With our team, we are autonomous and we organise the programme as we wish, taking into account our education and training. The periods when you are learning within a company, you cannot leave whenever you want.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

Jean: To win titles, if possible at the international level. Becoming a professional kart driver would be great.

Samuel: We are very passionate and the ideal would be to live our passion daily. Every day, we constantly have karting on our minds. When we are with our family, on holiday or at meals, we constantly talk about karting. We fall asleep thinking about karting … Our mom will eventually crack up (laughs)!

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN CAR RACING?

Jean: Not necessarily. The cost is higher than in karting, which remains a discipline that allows you to race a lot and compete against very high level drivers. The competitions are very competitive, it’s still very exciting.

Samuel: We’ve already heard about team endurance racing, but we’re still too young to think about it! In the end, I think there is more fun in karting, it is a lot of fun almost every weekend!

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