Sébastien and Kevin Petit are a racing dynasty in the world of hillclimb. Sébastien runs Team Petit Auto Sport, a French team competing in French and European championships. Recently, Kevin picked up a win in Andorra, and Sébastien is on the top steps of the European championships. We speak to the Motul-sponsored brothers to find out more about their victory and the hillclimb scene.
Congratulations to Team Petit Auto Sport. I believe you’re celebrating some success?
Sébastien: Yes, my brother Kevin Petit was racing in Andorra at the Arinsal Hillclimb in the French Mountain Championship. He took first place in the French second division. I didn’t race this one. I was there to coach my brother. It was the first race he did with the Norma. So, I went to help him.
Your first victory in a hillclimb. How was the race from your perspective, Kevin?
Kevin: It was a crazy race! I so wish I had fought until the end with Raul and Cyrille who sadly forfeited on the second day, but what an emotion to get my first ever victory. We were battling hard all weekend with the rain. I admit 500hp is hard to take under these conditions. But the car was awesome. I had a blast and I learned so much.
What were the roads like in Andorra for hillclimbing?
Kevin: The route is just incredible, the landscape is breath-taking and the organisation of the Automòbil Club d'Andorra is simply perfect! But it's an extremely technical route and you need big brakes.
What car were you driving?
Sébastien: Kevin was driving the Norma M20 FC. It uses a 4.0-litre BMW engine. This year I’m driving a Nova NP-01 with a V8 engine and my son drives a Nova NP-03 prototype. Everything we do is hillclimb.
What kind of coaching were you giving your brother?
Sébastien: With data and video and coaching him on track. I was champion with this car in 2017, so I was sharing my experience with him and talking him through the best lines.
As well as managing the team, and coaching your brother and son, are you racing this year?
Sébastien: Yes, it’s my team. I do it all. I am the driver and the manager. I work with my son, brother, my girlfriend, and my father. We are a family team. This year I’ve decided to focus on the European Hillclimb Championship and European Cup. Currently, I I am leader of the European Hillclimb Cup and I have one last race at the end of August in Germany. In the European Championship, I’m sitting third at the moment.
When we last talked a year ago, you said Covid could destroy your team. You’re still going. Have things improved?
Sébastien: I have lost 80% of my sponsors so it’s very difficult and I work hard to find new sponsors. Fortunately, Motul and some others continued to help me.
Your team has something of a family feel with both your brother and son racing…
Sébastien: My brother started racing five years ago, and my son last year. I think they both have lots of talent. They have achieved some good times in this category. And my brother has had a really good year. With our team of young drivers who are competitive, if we can get the sponsors, we can do well.
Motul has been a partner for a few years now. What benefit do its products give you?
We use all the products. In my prototype I use 20W60, and in Kevin’s car we use 5W40. I have always used Motul and know the products very well. The technical support is really helpful. Even if I wasn’t supported by Motul, I would choose this product. There’s a lot of gain with it.
© Pictures: Nicolas Millet Photography