Ruben Boutens

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

12 hours of Eupen

Romano, Rico & Ruben win again
Eupen, 6 & 7 May 2017

On the 6th of May 2017 a new edition of the 12 hours of Eupen took place. This race is always one of the big indoor kart endurance races and so was it this year with 25 strong teams at the start including many fast Belgian and German drivers. Our team, BlueStar 1 consisted of Romano, Rico and myself, trying to give our victory from last year (then representing The Dutch Value) a good follow-up. After some practice on the slightly changed track, Romano started the 20-minute qualifying session in reversed direction. It was very close between the top 5 teams and we put Rico in the kart for the final minutes. He qualified in third position just behind the Belgians Benjamin Kaivers for TGK and Mathias Grooten driving for Modave. In the beginning of the race Rico did a double stint of 1 hour and 40 minutes and immediately took the lead. There was a lot of tactic involved in the race as numerous pitstops had to be made, and more importantly after 6 hours there was a change of direction preceded by a pace kart situation, here you could win or lose a lot by making the right decision in pit stop strategy.

170507 12h eupen bluestar

After Rico, Romano did his first stint and put down the fastest lap of the race, extending our lead. After Romano it was my turn and I had some problems with the high grip level. It took me some time to adjust but after a while I could drive competitive and very consistent laptimes. Rico was in the kart again when the direction change took place, and I guided him through the pit stop strategy which made us win some time. After a short powernap Romano was then ready to go for his second stint and proved his value once more by driving a fantastic stint. We were in 4th position because of more time spent in the pits but virtually we were leading the race by approximately 1 lap. I was very tired but had to put on my helmet again around 6.30 in the morning. When entering the track I was at full focus again and I drove a very strong stint with one good and one bad kart. The top 13 teams all shared the same karts and so we just had to minimalize the loss with less good karts.

170507 12h eupen bluestar 1 en 2

Rico was still in good condition and stepped into the kart again for the final part of the race. We still had a lead of 1 lap and he was able to maintain this advantage. Bluestar 2 with Logan Sougné, Yoand Medart and Simon Delvenne drove very strong to claim the second position, just in front of Blitz Racing team, the German drivers with a very strong line up (in the past driving for Euro Racing). 4th and 5th position were for the Belgian teams of TGK and Acquity, the former being very quick but losing some time on tactics. After 12 hours we finished the race again in 1st position, a very good result for us and this made us very happy on the podium. Compliments to the track for a very strong organization!

170507 12h eupen podium