Ruben Boutens

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

12 hours Eupen

The Dutch Value to second place in 12 hour nightrace
11/12 May 2019

For the 7th time I participated in the 12 hour nightrace at Karting Eupen last weekend, teaming up with Romano Franssen and Rico Haarbosch for the Dutch Value, with who I won this race in 2016 and 2017. A total of 20 teams entered the 2019 edition, mainly from Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The race consisted of 11 stints of just over 1 hour, of which 4 on 95kg and 7 on 85kg, 10 kart changes and 5 additional pitstops with a minimum time of 550 seconds in the pit. This provided plenty of option to play around with strategy and especially the direction change after 6 hours race was an interesting moment where you typically don’t want to be in the lead. We had a difficult first couple of hours, me starting the race in 11th position and losing some time on other top teams in the beginning of the race. Rico drove second and Romano third, this sequence we remained until the end of the race. We decided to do a lot of 95kg stints in the beginning of the race when we had some decent karts and before the direction change. After 6 hours it was BlueStar dictating the race with Benjamin Kaivers, Logan Sougne and Christian Douven all driving impressive laptimes. We were virtually only just in the top 10 and had to make up quite some time to come back onto the podium.

190513 12h podium

The direction change was ok for us, we won some time on most of our competitors but were still around 7th position. It was a close battle on the front of the field and our speed improved during the second half of the race, with Rico, Romano and me all driving some very good stints in the early morning to make up time bringing us back in the fight for the podium position. We managed to overtake the Belgian team of Standwork, DWT and Acquity and the strong German teams of KRS and PF Racing. With two hours to go I went into the kart for my last of in total 4 stints and felt satisfied about my speed which was not always at 100% in the first two stints. The last hour was split between Rico and Romano and we made our last 2 extra pitstops to arrive at a total of 15 stops. This brought us to second place, more than one lap clear of KRS who finished with 2 drivers (Felix Hahn and Michael Joussen) in a strong third position. Only the team of BlueStar was too strong for us today, scoring a dominant and well deserved victory 2 laps ahead of us. Another challenging edition came to an end at 10 o’clock on Sunday morning, I was tired but happy to make it onto another podium of this high level race, looking forward to the 25 hour race later this year in Eupen!