Ruben Boutens

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

Racehall of Champions Arhus

Ruben three times to the podium in last race day of 2019
Arhus (Dk), 27 December 2019

The Racehall of Champions is traditionally the last race event of the year, this year the event took place at December 27th, a single-day format at the great track in Arhus. We started the day with a 3 hour endurance race which I raced together with my friend Eliano de Vos. We raced 25 other teams and which were divided in three weight categories, 65, 85 and 100kg. We entered the 85kg class and started from third position behind two light guys. In the first part of the race I had to fight against 5 65kg drivers which was not easy, but it was fun and I was chased by Consulting Denmark and Hola Lulu from Belgium as well. Each team had to perform three kart changes which were crucial, not only for picking the right kart, but moreover also because of the time you could win or lose during the kart change in the pitlane. After 50 minutes Eliano took over from me and we had a good change. Only Team AIM with Andersen (Dk), Sponholtz (Dk) and Walczak (Nl) were faster then us in the pit and took the lead in the race. Eliano could overtake him but after some time we were overtaken and went back to second.

91227 rhoc team

Back markers had their influence on the race as well, we were unlucky a number of times which caused us to lose the connection to the leader in the race. Eliano drove a long stint of almost an hour and a half, before we went into the pit for our second kart change. I started hunting down AIM and came very close with only 15 minutes left. At that moment Andersen dived into the pit for their last kart change which was a fast one. I knew I had to give everything and the last change had to be good. With less than 10 minutes to go I went to the pit for our last change and I continued in a new kart. The change was ok and I came out just before Sponholtz. It was very close but despite defending moves Mathias overtook me easily in the first lap as I was on almost cold tires and sliding around. A big disappointment because we finished the race on two seconds off first place, not the result we were going for but still a good podium in this field. Hola Lulu ended up half a minute down on third position.

91227 rhoc team1

Just an hour later the individual championship went underway with the four different categories, 65kg juniors, 85kg (main category), 100kg and 100kg old boys (35+). The junior category was a very nice one with a lot of talented drivers and a fantastic battle in the final between Rayhan Mouoya and Victor Sparholt. The latter won the final with a great move in the closing stages of the race. Dutch talent Hugo Leenaars showed strong speed by leading the endurance race earlier on the day, but his podium chances were gone when drawing a less good kart for the final where he finished in a 9th position, which is still good in this field.

191227 rhoc 100kg

In the 85kg category the level was top of the bill but the races were short and a lot of drivers drove pretty aggressive, resulting in several penalties and some unsatisfied faces after the races. I had a very difficult kart in the first heat where I came back from 12th on the grid to 10th position, but could make up in race 2 and 3 with two podium finishes. Only Arnaud Teuwen from Belgium and Ian Andersen from Denmark were in front of me on the start grid for the big final which was a 12-lap sprint race. The tension was high and a group of 4 pulled away from the rest of the field which included big names like Jannik Nielsen, Filipe Vieira, Dylan de Wolf, Eliano de Vos, Ayrton Walczak and Mathias Sponholtz. I was waiting for the right moment to attack Ian in front of me, but that moment didn’t come as I was attacked by the strong Danish Nikolaj Marsengo from behind. The race direction decided that the move was too hard and Nikolaj had to go through the penalty lane. I now lost the connection to the leaders and had to settle for third place, a decent result but still I had the feeling that more was possible today. Arnaud won the race for the second time while Ian had to settle for a nice 2nd place after his win in 2017.

91227 rhoc 80kg

In the 100kg class I was challenged by Andre Lohse, Mathias Sponholtz and Daniel Burger in the heats, but by winning two and finishing 3rd in the last heat I comfortably secured pole position for the big final. I was chased from the first corner by Andre Lohse who put a lot of pressure on me, but I could keep him behind and pulled away when he started fighting with some drivers behind him. Casper Pilgaard was the first one to pass Andre and started hunting me down. It was nerve-racking as I saw him closing in lap by lap, but with 0.2 second left I saw the chequered flag after 12 laps and won the 100kg category for the second year in a row, a super result and what a way to finish my kart year 2019. While being overloaded with prizes, I could look back on another amazing year with some major titles and especially a lot of fun and great memories. See you in 2020 for new karting adventures!

91227 rhoc prijzen

Spanish KWC Qualifier

Ruben wins first Spanish title in Madrid
Rivas-Vaciamadrid (Sp), 22 December 2019

On the 21st of December 2019 I travelled to Spain together with my mom and dad for my third participation in the Clasificatorias KWC Espana, the Spanish championship which gives access to the Kart World Championship 2020 in Portugal for the top 4 finishers. On Saturday I drove several practice sessions in tricky, wet conditions. For Sunday, dry weather was forecast and therefore I came back in the evening to drive some sessions on a dry track as well. This felt very good and I felt ready for the day of competition. Despite extremely windy conditions, I got a warm welcome back to Spain from other participations who received me once more with a lot of respect and admiration. Since I first came here in 2017 for the Indoor Kart World Championship, I love to drive here and it is always a big pleasure to return. No less than 20 groups of 4 drivers started on Sunday for the group stage of the tournament, where each group drove heats in 4 different karts. The best two drivers per group advanced to the next round.

191222 clasificatorias kwc

I was scheduled in one of the last groups and could therefore catch some sleep before heading to the track on Sunday morning. I was in the same group as Victor Plaza, who was the number 3 of last year, so that was immediately a good test. The heats went well, and apart from a small penalty in the first heat, I was very satisfied with the results. I touched the barriers in the first heat which apparently moved a bit, therefore my best 3 times in that heat were deleted. Despite this penalty I was the fastest in all 4 karts by some margin, therefore I knew that I would face a runner-up from one of the other groups in the next round. This appeared to be Busian Fontan, the number 4 driver from last year, so another strong opponent. We know had to drive the reverse direction and in the first lap, Busian unfortunately hit one of the large tractor tires and therefore automatically lost the match. We still drove the second lap to keep the momentum and it felt good again.

191222 clasificatorias kwc ruben

In the second round the draw didn’t turn out to be very lucky for me and Fernando Lara, as we faced each other already in this round. As number one (Fernando) and two (me) from last year, we already knew that one of us would not be on the podium this year. I was very much focused to prevent losing again, and my laps were pretty decent. With a margin of 0.8 second I won the match and advanced to the 3rd round. I now raced Christian Bartolome and won my duel with a 1.4 second margin, I made it to the final with the last 5 drivers. In this final were Jorge Suarez, always a strong rival who was very fast on the Indoor Kart World Championship in 2016 and 2017, Javi Rodriguez, Gerard Soto and Jose Maria Servian. During the laps you could not see any laptimes so it was hard to know how you were doing. It felt good though and on the way back to the cafeteria some people already congratulated me. When looking back at the lap times it turned out that I won the championship, an amazing feeling to be back on the top step of the podium here. Javi became 2nd with a 1.5 second deficit and Jorge finished in third. Gerard was the fourth driver who claimed a KWC ticket. A super result for me at the end of 2019 and after a 3rd and a 2nd place in the two previous editions, I was super happy to win the championship now. I would like to thank the organisers Jose Burillo and Ana Pozuelo once more, as well as the host track owner Miguel. I hope to see you all at the world championship in 2020.

191222 clasificatorias kwc podium