Ruben Boutens

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

Racehall of Champions

Ruben finishes 2015 kart season in Denmark
Arhus (Dk), December 27/28

rhoc trio

Together with my dad and Mika Mathia I left Holland on the 26th of December to take part in the Racehall of Champions in Arhus, Denmark. My Dutch Value teammate Rico Haarbosch joined later that day. There were 4 individual classes in the standard karts and a 1 hour teamrace in the superkarts also used at KWC 2013. On Sunday 27th of December we arrived early at the track to do some practice sessions, because the entry list showed a lot of fast drivers which were not to be underestimated. Today the three of us all took part in the 100kg class, more or less a warm up for Monday but once you start racing you want to win of course. A lot of autosport drivers joined the championship and this was fun on the one hand, on the other hand some of them didn’t care too much and drove quite aggressively. During the heats, kart draw was very important, the track has long straights and with a less good kart it is very hard to still score good points. In my first two races I scored 2 bad results, 10th and 9th and I knew the last heat had to be good. With a 3rd place I secured a starting position inside the top 10 for the final at the end of the day, featuring the 24 best drivers.

rhoc startgrid

In that final Frenchman Jean-Philippe Guignet started from pole position and immediately build up a lead over Rico. Rico had to defend his 2nd position which created a long line of karts behind him. I worked my way up from 9th to 5th place when I was bumped out by ruthless driving Nicki Thiim from Denmark. Luckily he didn’t participate on Monday as he made not much friends on Sunday. 5 people were penalized during the final, most of them simply ignoring the penalty which lead to some chaos on the track. Luckily Rico remained calm to take 2nd position over Danish Nikolaj Kandborg.

rhoc podium 100kg


Later that day 12 teams competed in a 1 hour endurance race with the faster 13BHP superkarts. In this race I teamed up with Michele Ottini, a team organized by Martin Christensen. We had a lot of fun on the slippery track and were able to finish in 2nd position. The race was won by the local Danish drivers from Polle Racing, including Mark Kamstrup who finished in the top 10 in KWC 2013.

rhoc endurance

After a 10km run through Arhus and a good night of sleep we were looking forward to another day of racing on this great track. Today the 65kg (junior) and 80kg (main class) categories were raced. In the junior class it was a battle between Christiaan Lungaard and Rico Haarbosch all day long. In the end however it was Aske Nygaard who took home victory in an exciting final. Rico secured another 2nd place just before Lungaard. Mika was able to finish in a very decent 5th position, for his first time in Denmark this was a remarkable effort! In the 80kg class Rico showed his talent once more, finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the heats to grab pole position for the grand final. I drew the same kart twice in the morning, which resulted in a 10th and 6th position before I came up to speed and won my last race. After a nice battle with Nielsen (local favorite) and Teuwen (last year’s winner) I finally got a win. This brought me to the 8th position on the startgrid for the final.

rhoc podium 80kg

This final worked out pretty well for me, as I was able to win 4 positions by clean overtakes. I had some good fights with Danish Daniel Lundgaard and reigning Belgian GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne. Rico was defending his 1st position against Jannik Nielsen. After less than 1 lap of defending, Nielsen just pushed Rico on the back of his kart and he had to run wide. While everyone clearly saw this was a ridiculous move, the marshalls decided not to do anything at all. This was for most people a real letdown of the officials and a shame the final had to finish in this way. Top 4 remained unchanged in the last 5 laps, so Nielsen passed the chequered flag first in front of Rico, Guignet and me. All in all we enjoyed the weekend, despite some questionable judgement of the referees. It was nice to see some international drivers again and we hope to face them again in 2016 in other great karting events.


rhoc ruben stoffel

Red Bull Kart Fight

Ruben wins Dutch Red Bull Kart Fight Final

On Saturday December 12th 2015 the big final of the Dutch Red Bull Kartfight took place at one of the best indoor racetracks in the Netherlands (Kart Centre Roosendaal). Like 13 other competitors, I had managed to qualify for today’s final and the day started with a photoshoot. The 10 minutes qualifying session determined the groups for 2 heats and of course the starting order. I was able to set the best laptime just in front of Selina Balneger (+0.002) and Rico Haarbosch (+0.010). Therefore I lined up first in group 1, having Rico right on my tail. During the first heat I had an intense fight with Rico and Calvin Streppel and Ayrton Walczak were able to catch up with us. After a while Rico took the lead and build up a very small gap, allowing us to pull away from Calvin and Ayrton. After having performed a pitstop the order remained unchanged and I ended up race 1 in second. Very important detail was that I was able to snatch away the best laptime from Rico in the ultimate lap by doing a hotlap, surprisingly I was the only one to do so. Meanwhile Dutch Formula 1 driver and rising star Max Verstappen visited the kart track as a Red Bull representative, a very nice surprise and many used the moment to score a picture with Max.

red-bull-kart-fight-de-hollandse-helden

In heat 2 reverse starting order was applied and I started in 6th position. I directly went into the pit to make my pitstop and came out just in front of Rico a lap later after he did his pitstop as well. I was able to keep him at a small distance and we were lapping quicker laptimes then the guys who didn’t stop yet. Coming closer to the end I took the lead and also grabbed fastest lap again, making sure I won my group on bestlap tie-braker. Selina won the other group by beating Lorenzo Stolk (winner of the event in 2011) twice, but had clearly slower average best laptimes and so I was the one to start from pole position in the grand final with the top 8 drivers. Jorg van den Oever and Ralf van der Grift accompanied Rico, Selina, Lorenzo, Calvin, Ayrton and me to set the grid. The pole position gave me a strong tactical advantage, allowing me to pit at the first lap no matter what other drivers would do. I knew the others would have to slow down when I would enter the pit right after the start, and so it happened. In the final 2 pitstops were required and I focussed on driving consistent laptimes after my first pitstop. The rest of the field battled right from the start, which was good for me at that moment.

ruben boutens max verstappen

After my second pitstop I knew I was in the perfect spot to win the race, as Rico and Selina could not match my laptimes and battled over 2nd place. Lorenzo made a very smart move to pit when Selina started defending on Rico, and came out in front of both after the last pitstops. My advantage over Lorenzo at that moment was more than 3 seconds so I knew I was safe, what a feeling in front of the big and enthusiastic crowd. Rico was able to pass Selina with a brilliant pitstop, leaving Selina disappointed just outside the podium. She showed great speed again today but unfortunately couldn’t walk away with one of the three trophies. The chequered flag was shown and I won the Dutch Red Bull Kart Fight 2015, what an amazing result and yet another great title to add to my list of the 2015 season. Of course I was very happy, to be on the top step of the podium alongside big talents like Lorenzo and Rico feels great. Next year I will represent the Netherlands during the World Final in Austria. Many thanks to Red Bull and Kart Centre Roosendaal for organising the event!

red bull kartfight podium