Ruben Boutens

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

8 hours Silver Hotel & Gokart Center

The Dutch Value races to podium position
Szczecin (Pl), September 25th 2016

At Saturday the 24th of September 2016 many people from the international karting community gathered at Silver Hotel & Gokart center in Szczecin (Poland) for a new edition of the 8 hour nightrace. Together with Corné Snoep I was defending our victory from last year with The Dutch Value. On Saturday evening there was a briefing for all drivers and we went out for practice during the day before the free practice started around 10 o’clock in the evening. Many teams were very close together as we are used in Silver, and after 45 minutes of free practice a 15 minute battle for pole position started. I was facing Sebastian Papke who was driving for the German/Polish team PPR Racing Team together with my girlfriend Edyta Palecka and the young fast local driver Michal Ryndzionek. Papke and I devided the last 3 Polish Indoor Kart titles and now we were separated by 0.003 for pole position which went to Sebastian! The race start was Le Mans style and every team had to make 14 kart changes and 10 extra pitstops during the race. Thereby all 14 teams would drive all 15 different karts.

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In the first hours the differences were very small, I could take over the lead after a couple of minutes, but Sebastian stayed close behind and decided to make an early pitstop. Traxxis Fierza was running then in second position, the strong Belgian team who finished 2nd last year was now driving strong again with Christophe Verhoeven and Nick van Ostade. After a double stint of me and one from Corne, we were virtually a tad behind PPR. I then did a hattrack of stints and give it all to close the gap. Every stint PPR got the kart we had the stint before, and almost every stint the difference was very small. Only in 2 stints they were able to drive a lot faster, we were not quite sure how this came but probably it had something to do with the brake/throttle system as the difference in some karts was exceptionally big. However after 5 hours we were only 10 seconds behind after we made some extra pitstops as well. Our stops were very good and we decided to pit with the slower karts and when traffic appeared.

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After a double stint of Corne and a triple one from me I felt quite tired, Michal Ryndzionek was not driving any slower in the same kart like me and that proved that he improved again since the PIKC! WP Trans with Piotr Wolyka and Adrian Ziejewski were fighting Traxxis for 3rd place, they got many of the better karts in the end of the race, but in the end Traxxis was able to hold on for 3rd position, surprisingly more than a lap behind the top 2. PPR Racing became the deserved winner of the 8 hour nightrace 2016, even though we closed in in the last 2 stints when we were on fire again, we faced a defeat of no less than 28 seconds at the checkered flag! The race was organized again very nicely by Remigiusz Drzazga and Bartosz Malutko and we thank them for their professional race direction, it was a pleasure again to race here and we will certainly come back next year! After the podium ceremony many people were looking forward to their beds, and after a breakfast in the hotel we dived into our bed as well to catch up some sleep and drive back safely to Holland again later on the day, see you next time in Poland ;)

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