Ruben Boutens

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

8 hour Nightrace Silver Hotel & Gokart

The Dutch Value takes victory in 8h Nightrace in Poland
Szczecin 24/25 October 2015

1a corne en ruben kopie

Together with my friend Corné Snoep I stepped into the car on our way to Poland on Saturday October 24th. 10 years after I first raced together with Corné, we now teamed up again for The Dutch Value and entered the 8 hour Nightrace on the, by now, well known track of Silver Hotel & Gokart in Szczecin. We were really looking forward to return to this awesome track after the Polish Indoor Kart Championship 2014 and also earlier this year. With the organisation in the hands of Remigiusz Drzazga and Bartosz Malutko we knew it was going to be a smooth event and we were excited to race against internationals drivers from Germany, Poland and Belgium again. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and enjoyed some talks with the nice guys from the Belgain Traxxis Racing Team who were also present with no less than 3 teams. After a very nice welcome in our hotel room it was time for some food and the briefing afterwards.

0b silver hotel en gokart center kopie

Before the 15 minutes qualifying we had 50 minutes of free practice, nice to get back into rhythm and adapt a bit to the new karts and slightly adjusted track layout. The difference between Corné and me was very small so we were positive about the race. In qualifying I ended up 2nd behind the fast German team of Formiko with Lars-Ole Jens behind the steering wheel, beating us by only a few thousands of a second. The race started in Le Mans style and in the first lap I was able to take the lead. We knew the key word today was consistency, because many teams were very close together in terms of laptimes, so to make a difference we definitely had to be consistent. We drove 14 stints, all 13 teams drove the same karts and minimum weight was 85kg. The stints were rather short and thereby we decided to do 2 or 3 in a row every time, to make it stints of between 1 and 2 hours.

3 le mans 2 kopie

After my first 2 stints Corné stepped into the kart and we were chased by Formiko and the first Traxxis team (Traxxis Frieza) including Christophe Verhoeven and Nick van Ostade. Team Poland, one of our biggest opponents, was a bit unlucky with their first kart, they immediately lost a lap. Arthur Pel, Mikolaj Marczyck and Jakub Klek are really fast drivers, they showed great speed in both PIKC as during the Kart World Championship in Italy, so we knew we should not underestimate them. During the race they came back to the front of the field, working their way up past the 2 other Traxxis teams, and in the end also Formiko. We were leading the field for most of the time, and we didn’t make any mistakes. Even though we drove really consistent laptimes, Traxxis Frieza stayed within the same lap all the time and the tension remained until the final hour.

4a corne kopie

Meanwhile Polish Piotr Wolynka was driving 8 hours on his own, a very strong performance even though he was not able to fight for a top 5 spot. With approximately 40 minutes to go Corné finished his last session and I entered the track for the final part of the race, we had an advantage of ¾ of lap. However our last kart was surely not our best one, the differences in karts were quite small, and I was able to maintain a lead of over half a lap. After 8 hours we were extremely happy to see The Dutch Value on the top of the screen, we made it!! The first big international race win is there for our newly formed team, and that’s the best feeling there is. Congratulations to the other 2 podium finishing teams and also to the organizers and the people from Silver. After receiving the trophies we enjoyed a nice breakfast and stayed for one more day in Poland before we returned to Holland again. We are already looking forward to next year’s edition of this cool nightrace.

8 groepsfoto podium kopie