Ruben Boutens

Once something is a passion, the motivation is there...

KWC day 5

Ruben just misses out on the World Title
Martinsicuro, July 31st 2016

kwc wedstrijdleiding

Not very often I was so reluctant to start writing my report about the final day of the Indoor Kart World Championship 2016 in Italy. It took me a while to start my report but as for every big race I publish my story online and so do I this time. Before the start of the final day I was 4 points down on championship leader Gosselin from Belgium, sharing the second place with the German revelation Dennis Höller. Like in 2011 I had a realistic chance to go for the title today. 2 more race to go and I was pretty much excited. When we arrived early morning at the track the groups for the 3 semis of all 16 drivers were published. I was only in the third group. As a shoot out qualifying was introduced for the semis this year as well, it would take a while before I was able to go out on track. In the first two rounds Rico Haarbosch and Mathias Grooten won the race. Rico moved himself back up in the ranking from 5th to 3rd while Mathias was trying to save a spot in the shoot out for the 4 final places of the grand final. Like last year’s vice champion Matts Breckpot he didn’t play a role in the title contention anymore due to a combination of mistakes and bad luck earlier in the week.

kwc podium bluestar

Then it was my turn and in the battle qualification I could dominate my four opponents, first Brazilian Eduardo Favilla, followed by former world champion Gumpenberger from Austria and Dutchmen Lorenzo Stolk and Marcel Hollink. I had a decent kart as I could choose every round, and from the start I could pull away slightly. The semi worked out perfectly for me, I won the race and didn’t lose a single point. Therefore, I took over the lead in the championship with only the big final still in front of us, what a position I was in now, 7 points clear of Gosselin and 11 on Haarbosch. After the semi final I had an hour of 2 to relax before I had to suit up again for the final time this week. The drivers ranked 17 through 32 battled for the final 4 positions in a shoot out, my teammates Tristan and Mathias came out to be the fastest and thereby Bluestar was the only team with 4 representatives in the final, very valuable for the team championship. Then the tension rose once more as the grid was to be determined by the final top-16 shoot out. I immediately faced Mats de Jong, a dangerous Belgian driver but I had some confidence out of the qualifying of the semi earlier today.

kwc podium javanainen

The karts were cold again and I had one with plenty of understeer, far from ideal as I had to be really careful in some corners. After 2 rounds I was not too sure if I had won the battle, and then Poul Horneman told us I had lost the battle. I could hardly believe it and I drove back to the pit in one of the worst karts of the pack. Suddenly my chances to win the title went from very good to not so good at all. I regrouped myself and was ready to give it all one more time in the 45-minute final. The majority of the drivers voted to shorten the final earlier this morning from 1 hour to 45 minutes unfortunately. At the start of the race I immediately felt what I already expected, I didn’t have the kart to finish top 3. I was dependent on the other 4 title contenders, of which Javanainen pitted early and started to drive very quick laptimes. Only Mathias Grooten, who started from P18 with a very good kart, was able to catch him and win the final. Then Regis (who also lost early in the qualifying but had a very good kart again) and Rico (who won the battles and also had a decent kart) were battling for the third position in the race. When Robin was in front of them after they both made 2 pitstops and Robin only 1, the two clashed and Regis went into the barriers and jumped out of his kart. Very surprisingly he didn’t continue and almost at the same time Dennis Holler had to change his kart and lost the chance on a final podium.

kwc bluestar

It was then between Rico, Rickard and me, and it was awfully close. Rico was in 3rd and I needed to finish 6th to claim the title. After having won 1 position on track, I came out of the pits in 8th position, just behind the numbers 5-7 which started to battle only just before the final lap of the race. Time was too short to place an attack, but I still had hopes that Rico would drop back 1 position to Matts Breckpot in 4th, which would have been sufficient as well for me. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and thereby Rico was the 2016 Indoor Kart World Champion. It was so so painful for me, I drove a magnificent championship, while others drivers faced penalties for mistakes in overtakes, qualifying, pitstops, passing under yellow flags or other own mistakes, I was faultless all week long. I didn’t have the luck on my side on the decisive moments and realizing that I was only 2 points short, keeping in mind the button that didn’t work and cost me 3 points, it was extremely frustrating and especially disappointing big time. Emotions came out and it was hard to realize I made the podium for the 4th time but didn’t win again, this time I was so close.

kwc eindpodium

Many people supported me after the finish, which was fantastic, like the standing ovation I got on the final podium. The 2nd place is far from a bad result, but even though this was my best world championship to date, I will always remember how close I was going into the final and even during the final with the shitty kart. My 3rd world title regarding the team championship with Bluestar and the Nations Cup win with Dutch Value earlier made it all in all a very successful week for me, and I hope that’s what I will remember in a couple of months from now. I have to give my compliments to Rico, what an astonishing performance he has shown during this edition, only just 16 years of age and already a world champion, very much respect from my side. Same holds for Rickard who did an amazing job to end the championship in a very nice P3, the first Scandinavian driver on the podium of KWC! Furthermore congratulations to the winners of the junior (Rico), ladies (Selina) and masters (Andrea Bisogni) categories. I want to thank all people who supported me this year, my parents, my sponsors and teammates from both Bluestar and Dutch Value. I will definitely come back even stronger in the next years and will keep going for my first world title!

podium ruben rico