Ruben Boutens

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

Racehall of Champions

Ruben finishes the year nicely in Denmark
Aarhus (Dk), December 27th & 28th 2016

Like last year, Rico and I decided to make the big trip to Denmark in the last week of the year for the Racehall of champions. On the impressive track there is always a great field of participants from all over Europe. On Monday the 26th we arrived together with Dutch Value youngster Mike Dijkgraaf to do some practice heats. We had a great time out on track and we were ready for the first day of racing on Tuesday. The 100kg class was planned and 47 drivers started their first of 4 qualifying heats. My day started off very well, as I was able to score a 2nd and a first place in the first two heats. In heat 3 and 4 I had somewhat more difficult karts and had to fight for top 10 positions. Rico had some tough luck and managed to get into the finals only in about 15th position, just behind the third Dutchman in the final, Marcel Hollink. I was ranked 5th after the heats and had good chances on fighting for a podium spot. I was the only non-Danish driver in top 10 and we our doubts about the way the karts were drawn, certainly not random and luckily for the final the draw was done in a transparent way. I had a good kart and in the warm up I managed to clock the fastest laptime.

161227 rhoc dutch value

Now I knew I had to give it all, the final was only around 15 minutes in length. In the first lap I was able to overtake both Nicki Thiim (well know Danish touring car driver) and Markus Bang in one move. Then I was chasing down Nicolaj Kandborg for second, and halfway the race I was on his bumper and immediately overtook him. While setting the fastest laptime I closed in on the leader, Mathias Sponholtz. Unfortunately I the time was too short to catch him and I ended up in 2nd position just 0.8 second behind the winner. Despite the disappointment of not winning the race, I was very happy with my first podium here in the individual championship.

161227 rhoc podium 100

In the evening I drove together with Ian Andersen a 1 hour endurance race in the fast Superkarts which were used during the KWC 2013 as well. This was good fun but unfortunately we just missed the podium and ended the race in 4th position. It was a pleasure to drive with Ian, a driver from the Faroer Islands.

161227 rhoc ian and ruben

On Wednesday both the 65kg (junior) and 80kg (main) class were planned. In the junior category both Rico and Mike were very strong. Mike fought for the 3rd place in the final, but in the end had to settle for 10th position. A super performance from one of the youngest drivers of the field, a performance he can certainly be proud of. After Rico’s runner up position in this class last year, he now took the victory after dominating all races. In the fuel break there was a special shoot out for 8 drivers of different countries in the superkarts. I represented the Netherlands and this fun event was very nice to do. After beating Andersen (Faroer Islands) and Gosselin (Belgium) in the first 2 rounds I was able to beat Danish Moller Madsen in the final! As a bonus, I won a free entry for next year!

161227 rhoc team

Then the 80kg class. With a 2nd, 4th, 5th and 1st position I was again in top shape and spot on for a top start position in the grand final. Only Danish favorite Jannik Nielsen was ahead of me, even after both Rico and I beat him to the line in the penultimate and last spectacular qualifier heats. Rico lined up in 4th while Ian Andersen was in between us. Emiel Hollink was the 3rd Dutchman in the final, following the example of his brother from yesterday! This time I drew a not so good kart and in the warm up I was not able to drive a time amongst the 12 fastest drivers. With a second starting position I still had everything to play for. Surprisingly, due to the slipstream I was able to stay on the bumper of Jannik in the first few laps. I was even able to overtake him at the end of the straight. I knew it would not be good to defend too hard, first because then I would likely get a blue flag here, and second because then the number 3-7 would close in quickly.

161228 rhoc podium 80

Jannik overtook me again with a hard move, and then he pull away. After a couple of laps Filipe Vieira closed in and he passed me also, I was not planning to lose much time because I realized I could maybe profit from a fight between Vieira and Nielsen. Rico closed in on me but had not enough time to catch me, so I stayed on third position. Vieira reached the back of Nielsen but was not able to overtake him. And so I closed my very successful season 2016 with another podium, given the kart I had, I was very satisfied with the result. I’m looking forward very much the next big events in 2017!