Oscar Ruiz De Luzuriaga Interview by Chris McCarthy for Formula Kart Stars UK 2015
Sum up your history in karting so far?
I started karting just over 2 years ago in August 2012. I asked my mum to go to a kart track and she took me to have a go in some fun karts. I found it pretty scary at first but quickly got used to it. As the Singapore Championship was nearing to a close I decided to wait until the next year to do my first race. So my first season was in 2013 I competed in the Singapore Karting Championship in Junior Max, I was overweight in my class but still did alright, in 2014 I then did a round of the Rotax Karting Challenge in Malyasia and finished 17th out of 27 before competing in two rounds of the Singapore Karting Championship finishing on the podium in both rounds. I raced as a senior and had a lot of fun, it was really cool.
Tell us a bit more about yourself?
I’m 15 years old and was born in Bromley UK. After two years I moved to Singapore for 5 years I then moved to America for 3 years before moving back to Singapore.
Will this be your first time racing in the UK?
No I did one round of Super 1 Series at Larkhall in Junior Max in June 2014. I also tested at PFI the week before the race which was great. I unfortunately didn’t make it to the Finals, I was knocked out in the Repercharge after crashing out on lap 2. It was frustrating as I had a great first lap passing 7 drivers but it was still an awesome experience.
How does racing in the UK compare to racing in Singapore?
It’s so much different in the UK there’s a lot more participants then in Singapore. At my last race in the Singapore Karting Championship there was only around two other competitors compared to 52 juniors in Super 1. It was very exciting, I love it!
When did you first hear about FKS?
I heard about it at Super 1 from my coach Richard Bradley around July Time he told my dad about Mr Eccclestone setting up a Championship which I thought was cool.
What were your initial thoughts?
I thought it would be a fantastic opportunity. I get to race in Europe which I love andalways wanted to do. F1 is backing it which is great and it seems very exciting. It’s a fantastic opportunity.
What made you decide to enter it?
It was my own decision to enter, I had been offered by other teams to race in Malaysia an it was between doing DD2 in Asia or doing Super Juniors in the UK so I decided to do that. One of the main reasons being it gives me more exposure.
Do you like the fact it is a level playing field?
Yes definitely that’s one of the main reasons I’ve entered it. You have the same karts same engines so it just comes down to the drivers. Its fantastic!
What are your views on the paddock?
I haven’t heard much but I think it’ll be well put together.
What do you think of the prizes?
I think the prizes are very good free entry for juniors and cadets the next season is great and well earned. I think the super junior prize is quite awesome I think that it will motivate drivers to do their best.
What do you think about the F1 backing?
I think its fantastic I think the F1 teams will be good, they may send scouts to watch which is good andit gives drivers the exposure they need and should bring really good drivers to the grid.
What makes it different from any other championship you’ve competed in?
I think the level playing field because in Malaysia there are favourites but in FKS we have a level playing field and the F1 backing makes it different and the fact the karts are stored between rounds is also really good.
Do you think this will help you climb the motorsport ladder?
Definitely I think with the F1 backing it will attract F1 scouts and maybe scouts from GT racing and other endurance championships and it will make drivers think more about what they want to do in the future.
What are your realistic goals for the season?
I’ve thought about it a little bit I want to do well obviously. A realistic goal will be to finish in the top 15, top 10 in every round. I’m just going to do my best throughout the season and give it my all.
Would you encourage other drivers to enter the championship and why?
Yeah I would urge drivers to do it, I know kids in Singapore who I would encourage to do it once they’ve got more experience. It’s a great series which gives you exposure.
What made you want to compete in England?
It’s the exposure and the fact its taken a lot more seriously than in Asia and it really helps develop you as a driver. Especially as I’m still learning new things and developing all the time. England’s definitely where I want to be.
Will you be living in the UK next year or ravelling just for FKS?
I’ll be travelling over from Singapore for each round. My school have a limited number of days you can miss but my parents spoke to them about it and they’re fully supporting me.
I bought the exhaust from the Caterham V8 F1 car. I saw it on facebook that Caterham were doing a clearance sale and ran straight down stairs and managed to convince my parents to buy it. When I first started karting I was 90 KG which was 20 kg over in Asia in my class but now I’m 70 kg and under the weight limit for Senior in Asia. I do tonnes of training away from the circuit and hoping to be 68 kg by the time FKS starts.
My first time in the UK next year will be for the official test at Whilton Mill in April
Ill be doing 1 or 2 races in Asia before the season starts to get me into the swing of things