Ruben Boutens

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

Actie Spieren voor Spieren

logo spieren voor spieren

My motivation: I want to use my own muscles to collect money for children for who sport is less obvious due to a muscular system disease!

My campaign: On Saturday May 29 I will try to obtain as many Strava Crowns as possible in 24 hours by running in different places across the Netherlands. You can donate an amount per crown I capture on that day, for example €0,25 of €1,00, if you like with a maximum amount. You can also donate a fixed amount. My goal is to take at least 40 crowns. The collected money will go to the Spieren voor Spieren foundation.

About Spieren voor Spieren: The Spieren voor Spieren foundation raises money for children with a muscular system disease. The money is used for scientific research to improve fast diagnosis, effective treatment and innovative health care, so that these children can sport (again) as well!

About Strava: Strava is an app for athletes often used by runners and cyclists who sport with GPS tracking. Strava provides the opportunity to compete with other athletes by putting down a time on a segment. A segment is a specific route, which can vary from a sprint of a couple of hundred meters to longer courses of multiple kilometers. The fastest man and woman on a segment own the crown of that segment. During my challenge I will run on existing segments across the Netherlands where a minimum of 10 athletes already competed before 29 May. You can follow my Strava profile via this link: I will upload my activities during the day in different parts.

My own contribution: I will donate €5 per crown to Spieren voor Spieren with a minimum amount of €100.

My plan: With a training total of over 1250 running kilometers this year, I'm physically well prepared for my challenge. I will start around midnight and will run on as many different places as possible, taking on segments which are mainly between 1 and 2 kilometer per time. In the meantime, I will try to rest, eat and drink to keep enough energy to run fast times for 24 hours. On Saturday I will be supported by Hotel Van der Valk Hotel Zaltbommel-A2 where I can take a break and refill my energy level!

How can you contribute: Do you also want to help children with a muscular system disease to sport again, let me know by leaving a message before May 29 on my Spieren voor Spieren page with the amount per crown you want to contribute (if you like with a maximum amount). You can also send me a message via Facebook, email, Instagram or WhatsApp. I will update you on the result on 30 June and send you a payment request via my Spieren voor Spieren page. You can obviously also donate a fixed amount already via my Spieren voor Spieren page in case that is your preferred option.

During the day I will also post some video updates on my Instagram and Facebook account!

Thanks a lot for your contribution!

Supported by:

Logo Zaltbommel FC 2


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

Racehall of Champions

Ruben steals the show in last big race of the year
Aarhus (Dk), 27-28 December 2018

Like previous years, for the last race of the year I drove to Denmark to participate in the Racehall of Champions. A magnificent track which hosted the 2013 Indoor Kart World Championship. Together with talented youngsters Eliano de Vos and Hugo Leenaars and Selina Balneger I arrived on the track on Wednesday evening for some first practice. The track was changed a bit compared to last year and I still loved the wide and fast track which was very good for overtaking. On Thursday a 5-hour endurance race was organised, 18 teams battled in 3 different weight categories for the victory. I raced together with Ian Andersen and Ayrton Walczak, two very nice guys who are always fast in Racehall. I started the race and after qualifying in 2nd place, I had a bit of a challenging first stint as I was chased by some Danish drivers and at the same time, I couldn’t follow the German team of WRT Lubeck who had a nice first kart and made very well use of it. We had to make 3 kart changes and Ian went out on track for the 2nd stint. He drove very good laptimes and closed in on WRT Lubeck. We came back to 10 seconds behind the leaders, but at that moment, Ian entered the pit for the mandatory fuel stop, while there was already another team in the pit. A costly mistake as we had to wait more than 50 seconds before we could press the button and enter the kart change zone. We were now again a lap behind and chances on victory sharply declined.

Ayrton did everything he could in his stint, lapping very consisted and fast laptimes and coming closer to the Germans again. As he was fast, we decided to wait long before performing our final kart change. I stepped in to this last kart for the final 10 minutes of the race. We managed to come pretty close to the leaders but ultimately finished in 2nd place behind Andre Lohse and Lars Ole Jens who drove a very strong race. The Dutch team with Selina, Hugo and Eliano finished on a very good 2nd place in the 65kg class behind the team of Consulting Denmark Jr. On Friday was the most important day for me with the individual championship in 4 different categories, the Juniors (65kg), Seniors (80kg & 100kg) and Old Boys (110kg). I participated in both the 80 and 100kg class. I was very much focused to finish the year on a high, I really wanted to win today and I started with a win in my first heat race in both categories. I felt strong out there and knew that the starting position in the final would be very important as the races were short. In the past years I was often one of the fastest drivers in the final but had to overtake too many drivers. In the second round of heats I finished 3rd and 2nd while Ayrton Walczak (80kg) and Lars Ole Jens (100kg) took the win. In round 3 I could score 2 victories again, meanwhile I drove the fastest lap of the day of all categories in a very good kart, I was ready for the final.

The Junior category featured many strong drivers, but it was Eliano who was the star of the day by winning 2 of his 3 heats and winning the final in great style after driving one of the midfield karts. Eliano was fast from the beginning on this track and deserved the win like no other driver. Hugo also drove for the first time in Denmark and was one of the youngest participants. He showed great potential in all his races and finished in a good 11th position in the final. For the finals we had to draw a kart which was a very exciting moment, I just hoped I didn’t draw a very bad one and that was not the case. In the 80kg class I could pull away from the beginning of the final, building up a small gap to Selina and Ayrton who were fighting for second place. Behind them, an interesting and intense battle for 4th took place, which was ultimately won by Polish Wojtek Stefaniuk. My girlfriend Edyta improved her performance from last year, finishing in a strong 6th place! I was able to secure my first ever win in the Racehall of Champions, a very very nice title which already made my day very good!! There was however another title for grab, as I could start from pole in the 100kg class as well. In this final the competition was even stronger, from the start of the race I had German Lars Ole Jens, Ian Andersen from Denmark and countrymate Selina close behind my bumper. In the middle of the race I was able to slightly pull away, before Ole Jens came closer again. It was a very good race, but I didn’t make any mistakes and finished off the year in the best possible way, with a double win in the Racehall of Champions. After my victories in the Indoor Kart World Championship, British Rental Kart Championship, Belgian National Championship and Formula Karting Championship I could add another big title to my amazing list of results in 2018. I was honored with some big wreaths and an amazing collection of great prizes on the Racehall podium. I would like to thank the organization and ATR Team for making this event possible, and I’m already looking forward very much to 2019!

Puchar E1 Gokart Poznan

Ruben victorious in first edition Puchar E1 Gokart in Poland
Puchar E1 Gokart Poznan, 14 October 2018

During the 2018 Indoor Kart World Championship I was approached by my karting friend Karol Romanczyk regarding a new indoor kart tournament hosted on the new track of E1 Gokart in Poznan. The format included 4 qualifier rounds, a semi-final and a final for the top 12 drivers in the ranking. 90 kilograms was the minimum weight and there was a great prize pool, so I was looking forward to go. A new track for me, and I arrived there on Saturday 13th of October, the track looked amazing, having a first-floor level and an outside part. The Sodi karts were not very fast, but nice to drive. The weather was perfect this weekend and that allowed us to also drive on the outside part. After a few practice heats I felt comfortable on the track and I really liked the variation between the normal tarmac on the ground floor and the more slippery surface on the first floor. On Saturday evening we went into the beautiful city center of Poznan to relax before race day would start on Sunday.

On Sunday around 30 drivers gathered on the track, maybe slightly less than expected but some strong drivers were present and for a first edition it was a really nice field of drivers. A lot of drivers I didn’t know but it felt like many people were looking at me as being the favorite, I was the only non-Polish driver on the grid today. I was excited to get going and in the first heat I could take the full amount of points after being chased by the young Polish talent Maksymilian Bergiel. In every race we had to make a pitstop which worked via a laser system which detected that you entered the pitlane. In the next rounds I faced a couple of strong opponents, but every time I managed to grab the victory, kart differences didn’t seem to make the difference today, which is always very good. After 4 qualifier rounds I was 3 points ahead of Przemo Niewiadomski, a driver I knew from the Polish Indoor Kart Championship who has driven here before and was very quick. He finished one time second, and like in the qualifying heats, we didn’t meet in the semi-final as the group were based on the points standing. We both won our semi-final, keeping it tight going into the big final.

The number three placed driver was already some 10 points behind, so I knew my focus should be Przemo as he was my only real rival left. All 12 finalists had to do 1 hotlap in the same kart one by one, starting with me. I put in a very good lap, feeling confident this might give me some extra points for the shootout qualification. It was cool to see the 11 other drivers going one by one after me and I had some time to prepare for the final race, for which I didn’t draw the best kart in the pack, but neither did Przemo. Nikodem Wierzbicki qualified in 2nd place after me, which was not bad for me looking at the points. The final comprised 25 laps, approximately 25 minutes, and I was challenged from the beginning by Nikodem. He put me under a lot of pressure, for the first time today I had a real battle on my hands and this was nice to see in the final. We pulled away slowly from Przemo who was around 5th place and when Nikodem made his first of 2 mandatory stops approximately halfway in the race, I decided to stay out. I was risking the first place in the race as Nikodem was a bit faster than me, but for the championship this was safer. When I made my two pitstops, I came out just behind the leader, but I was still close. When a backmarker was in front of us, I could come on his bumper again and I attacked the same lap, taking back the lead successfully. From that moment I defended and I booked my sixth victory of the day, winning the championship with a clean sheet!

It was amazing to win the first edition of this event in style, and a big honour being received in Poznan with a lot of respect and appreciation. During the prize giving ceremony a lot of great prizes were awarded to all top 10 finishers. On the podium I received a nice trophy, a free entry ticket for next year and for another Polish championship. On top of that I got a driving course from a professional racing driver, Mateusz Lisowski, to which I’m really looking forward. I would like to thank the organization including Karol Romanczyk and the crew of E1 Gokart for the invitation and hope to see you again next year during an even bigger second edition of this event.

12 hours of Eupener Karting

BlueStar Racing Team with two teams on the podium
Eupener, 19/20 June 2018

The 2018 edition of the 12 hour nightrace at Karting Eupen was scheduled for the night of 19 to 20 June. Together with my fellow Dutch BlueStar teammates Christian Douven and Romano Franssen I represented BlueStar 1. Our second team was another very strong line up featuring Mathias Grooten, Logan Sougne and Yoan Medart. We faced plenty of other strong international teams in a 25-teams starting grid. Romano drove our qualification and was able to start the race from 4th position. In the past 2 years I won the race together with Romano (and Rico Haarbosch who was now driving for another team) and I was happy to be with him in the same squad again. Although Romano was struggling in the beginning of the race, he was amazingly fast again in later stages of the race. Christina is one of the youngster is our team but very fast in Eupen, a track he is used to drive. We had to do a couple of stints with 95kg instead of 85 and Christian did one in the beginning of the race, followed by a double stint on 95kg from me. We had to complete 13 stints of c.55 minutes in total, and we decided to all start with double stints. Almost halfway through the race we noticed it was not going exactly as planned, we were almost one and a half lap down on the leaders, which were on a slightly different strategy in terms of 95kg stints and pitstops, but we had to make up time.

180520 12h eupen BS2 2180520 12h eupen BS1 2

Romano was in the kart when the direction change took place just passed the halfway point. The safety kart entered the track which diminished the differences between the leaders and the rest of the field. There were basically 5 teams going for the podium positions, being Modave and BlueStar 2 who were currently battling for the lead, followed by Acquity Racing, KGR and our team. In the second part of the race we were very strong. I found a better rhythm and I felt more comfortable with the extreme grip level on the track. I lowered the track record on 85kg and drove back into the top 3 with back to back stints from Christian and me. With a bit more than an hour to go we were only 30 seconds behind the leaders, which was Modave with the fast French speaking drivers Kaivers, Paoleschi and Delvenne. They seemed to be to far away, but after a small problem for them in the pit we closed in to no more than 10 seconds! Chrsitian stepped in the kart for the final stint and he was lapping the same laptimes as Kaivers in front of us.

In the last minute of the race Kaivers found another few tenths of a second and so our hopes were declining and we realized we would have to settle for 2nd in this 12 hour.

180520 12h eupen podium

Racehall of Champions

Ruben finishes successful race-year 2017 in style in Denmark
Aarhus (DK), 27/28 december 2017

Like in the past 2 years, I visited the great track of Racehall in Aarhus (Denmark) in the last week of the year for the Racehall of Champions event. On Wednesday 27th of December the individual championship was scheduled, with 34 drivers in the main 90kg class. After a couple of training sessions I was ready for the qualification in which I managed to drive to a 7th spot overall. Not fantastic, especially because this result counted for all 4 heats. In every heat 28 drivers were on the grid and I had to start from position 5 or 6. The heats are typically short with only 10 laps, and hence not much time was there to make up positions, although there is ample space for overtaking on the wide track of Racehall. In the first heat I came back to a 3rd position, while in the other heats I struggled a bit more, resulting in a 10th, 5th and 4th position, again bringing me to the 7th place in the ranking before the final. I knew however that the final was deciding and that nothing was lost yet. I was very motivated to make the most of it and in the first 2 laps of the 12-lap final I overtook already 2 Danish guys. Then I hunted down Dutch/Polish Ayrton Walczak and Danish local Nicolaj Kandborg to take over 3rd position. Ian Andersen was leading the race and was lapping faster laptimes than all other drivers, so my goal was now set on the 2nd place of Mathias Sponholtz. I was able to close down the gap, but there was 1 lap too few to really attack him. Therefor I ended the final in 3rd position, not bad at all looking at my starting position so I was satisfied with the result. My girlfriend Edyta had a very good day first of all making it into the final and secondly by driving from 24th to 16th place in that final!


On Thursday 28th of December a 5 hour endurance race was organised, and I teamed up with 2 of yesterday’s rivals, Ayrton Walczak and Nicolaj Kandborg. We both showed good speed in the individual championship so we were ready for the endurance race with 18 teams on the grid. We had to make 5 mandatory kart changes, including 4 driver changes and 1 fuel stop. Nicolaj took the qualification and the start and was driving in various positions from 1 to 4 during the first hour. After a one-and-a-half hour stint I took over and could grab back the first position in the race and start building up an advantage. In the third hour of the race the fuel stop took place and after 3 hours and 15 minutes Ayrton made his appearance on track. We had a comfortable position at that moment and Ayrton could drive solid laptimes. Michele Gatting driving for a local Danish team was closing in on us however, and so we had to be aware during the last hour of the race. I did another stint of 35 minutes and could consolidate our advantage, which was more than a lap at that moment. In third position was the team of Ian Andersen and Michele Ottini, a strong team which was a bit unlucky in the beginning of the race and later on dropped back a bit by doing a couple of extra driver changes. Ayrton finished the race and we took the victory, a very nice way to finish the 2017 season which was already one never to forget for me!


Rental Kart Masters 2017

Ruben fastest but misses title
Eupen, March 25th 2017

On the 25th of March the second edition of the Rental Kart Masters took place at Karting Eupen. Like last year there were 2 weight categories. Most drivers participated in the 80kg, almost 40 in total although Eupener Karting might have hoped for a little bit stronger and larger field. A couple of very quick drivers was present, including Belgian drivers Simon Delvenne, Benjamin Kaivers, Regis Gosselin and the Dutch Value and Bluestar trio from the Netherlands; Romano Franssen, Rico Haarbosch and myself. Each driver had to drive 6 preliminary rounds, all short sprint races including some pitstops and shortcuts, and every time with a hotlap qualification. After a couple of rounds it became clear that Rico, Romano and me were fighting for the victory today as we won almost all race in the heats. For me it went very well, after winning the first heat and a second place in heat 2, I won heat 3, 4 before being pushed out in leading position in race 5. This put me back in third and turned out te be my drop result luckily. I had some great battles with Rico and Romano and especially in race 4 I could win in fantastic style by passing Rico in the ultimate lap, thereby taking the lead in the rankings. After winning also the last heat of the day, I was clear ahead of the rest with only the final and superfinal shootout still remaining.

rental kart masters 2017 ruben 1

I was confident but both Rico and Romano were still having a chance on the title as the final counted for double points. This turned out to be quite dramatic for me, as I drew one of the worst karts in the final and I qualified only in 7th position while Rico and Romano were leading the pack. I fought for every position but could finish higher than 8th position which cost me so much points that I didn’t only lost the first place, I was also just too far behind to still have a chance on the title with just the super final shootout remaining. Rico, Romano and me had to pick one kart and drive 3 hotlaps in those 3 karts. This was a nice way to finish the day with the disappointing final still in mind, as I was over half a second faster than Rico and over 0.8 second faster than Romano, this proved that it was not because I was not fast enough today that I didn’t win the title. As Rico finished 2nd, he prolonged his title from last year and I jumped over Romano to become second just before him. German Nils Hartmann won the 100kg class. Congratulations to the winners and to the kart track of Eupen which organized another very professional event, I will definitely be back next year to race on this great track again!

rental kart masters 2017 podium

Racehall of Champions

Ruben finishes the year nicely in Denmark
Aarhus (Dk), December 27th & 28th 2016

Like last year, Rico and I decided to make the big trip to Denmark in the last week of the year for the Racehall of champions. On the impressive track there is always a great field of participants from all over Europe. On Monday the 26th we arrived together with Dutch Value youngster Mike Dijkgraaf to do some practice heats. We had a great time out on track and we were ready for the first day of racing on Tuesday. The 100kg class was planned and 47 drivers started their first of 4 qualifying heats. My day started off very well, as I was able to score a 2nd and a first place in the first two heats. In heat 3 and 4 I had somewhat more difficult karts and had to fight for top 10 positions. Rico had some tough luck and managed to get into the finals only in about 15th position, just behind the third Dutchman in the final, Marcel Hollink. I was ranked 5th after the heats and had good chances on fighting for a podium spot. I was the only non-Danish driver in top 10 and we our doubts about the way the karts were drawn, certainly not random and luckily for the final the draw was done in a transparent way. I had a good kart and in the warm up I managed to clock the fastest laptime.

161227 rhoc dutch value

Now I knew I had to give it all, the final was only around 15 minutes in length. In the first lap I was able to overtake both Nicki Thiim (well know Danish touring car driver) and Markus Bang in one move. Then I was chasing down Nicolaj Kandborg for second, and halfway the race I was on his bumper and immediately overtook him. While setting the fastest laptime I closed in on the leader, Mathias Sponholtz. Unfortunately I the time was too short to catch him and I ended up in 2nd position just 0.8 second behind the winner. Despite the disappointment of not winning the race, I was very happy with my first podium here in the individual championship.

161227 rhoc podium 100

In the evening I drove together with Ian Andersen a 1 hour endurance race in the fast Superkarts which were used during the KWC 2013 as well. This was good fun but unfortunately we just missed the podium and ended the race in 4th position. It was a pleasure to drive with Ian, a driver from the Faroer Islands.

161227 rhoc ian and ruben

On Wednesday both the 65kg (junior) and 80kg (main) class were planned. In the junior category both Rico and Mike were very strong. Mike fought for the 3rd place in the final, but in the end had to settle for 10th position. A super performance from one of the youngest drivers of the field, a performance he can certainly be proud of. After Rico’s runner up position in this class last year, he now took the victory after dominating all races. In the fuel break there was a special shoot out for 8 drivers of different countries in the superkarts. I represented the Netherlands and this fun event was very nice to do. After beating Andersen (Faroer Islands) and Gosselin (Belgium) in the first 2 rounds I was able to beat Danish Moller Madsen in the final! As a bonus, I won a free entry for next year!

161227 rhoc team

Then the 80kg class. With a 2nd, 4th, 5th and 1st position I was again in top shape and spot on for a top start position in the grand final. Only Danish favorite Jannik Nielsen was ahead of me, even after both Rico and I beat him to the line in the penultimate and last spectacular qualifier heats. Rico lined up in 4th while Ian Andersen was in between us. Emiel Hollink was the 3rd Dutchman in the final, following the example of his brother from yesterday! This time I drew a not so good kart and in the warm up I was not able to drive a time amongst the 12 fastest drivers. With a second starting position I still had everything to play for. Surprisingly, due to the slipstream I was able to stay on the bumper of Jannik in the first few laps. I was even able to overtake him at the end of the straight. I knew it would not be good to defend too hard, first because then I would likely get a blue flag here, and second because then the number 3-7 would close in quickly.

161228 rhoc podium 80

Jannik overtook me again with a hard move, and then he pull away. After a couple of laps Filipe Vieira closed in and he passed me also, I was not planning to lose much time because I realized I could maybe profit from a fight between Vieira and Nielsen. Rico closed in on me but had not enough time to catch me, so I stayed on third position. Vieira reached the back of Nielsen but was not able to overtake him. And so I closed my very successful season 2016 with another podium, given the kart I had, I was very satisfied with the result. I’m looking forward very much the next big events in 2017!

Belgian Indoor Kart Championship

Ruben wins another big title in 2016
Brussels, October 9th 2016

During the weekend of October 8th and 9th, the Italian PGK-Z karts were started again on Belgium territory, for the Belgian Indoor Kart Championship at FKI Brussel. Like in 2015 the starting grid included many top of the bill drivers, especially a lot of Belgium stars of course, including Matts Breckpot, Giovanni Baccellieri, Arnaud Teuwen, Kevin Caprasse, Mats de Jong, Filipe Viera and Regis Gosselin. After the junior and ladies championship and the race of the champions on Saturday, the main championship started with over 80 drivers on Sunday morning. The day consisted of 4 qualifier heats of 20 minutes, a semi-final for the top 40 drivers and the big final for the best 20 drivers. Only for the first heat there was a 10 minute qualifying session, for the others it was just a hotlap. After some Saturday practice and the KWC earlier this year I felt very comfortable with these karts and I believed I could go for the win today. The track was perfect for these karts, as it was wider and faster than for example the track in Martinsicuro and we could use the power and the gears of the karts, even 5th gear we used quite often. The day started well with a tight pole position over Matts Breckpot in heat 1. In the race however my kart started to lose power very quickly and I got overtaken at the exit of a corner by Matts.

161009 bikc ruben 2

The kart still shifted up and down perfectly, it just lost all the accelerating power and in no-time I had a whole bunch of drivers behind me. I could defend my position even while I was driving laptimes up to 3 seconds slower compared to my pace in qualifying. Unfortunately, in the penultimate lap I got pushed wide and fell back to 6th position. Luckily we had to drop one of the 4 heats, so there was nothing lost yet. In race 2 I had not much more luck, I was the only driver to start with a kart that didn’t drive yet on the day, my tires were ice-cold and I had to start a hotlap right away. I did what I could but only qualified in 7th position. In the race I was able to move up, and when my tires were up to temperature after a lap or 5, the gap to the leaders was already too big to still catch them in this short race. I was able to collect the extra point for the fastest race lap and a third place, but I was pissed-off and not happy with this result. As I had to come back in a championship more than once in the past, I was not planning to give up yet and was fired up for race 3.

This race was by far my most enjoyable of the weekend, with an amazing fight between Regis, Arnaud and me. In this order we qualified separated only by a few hundreds of a second. During the race we pulled away from the rest of the field quickly and Arnaud was the first who was able to pass, he took over the lead. I was able to catch Regis as well and could stick with Arnaud. I knew I had to place an attack quickly as he is a very good defender and we were approaching the end of the race. While I was not very close to his bumper yet I attacked and made a good move. I had to defend a bit every now and then, but I could take my first win of the day including fastest lap. Then in my 4th heat there was not much tension as I drew a very fast kart and could win the race with quite some margin. I lowered the best time of the day with half a second (!) and took pole position and fastest racelap with 0.6 seconds over the second quickest times. Hereby I moved up in the ranking to 6th position and there was still everything to play for. In my semi-final I had a good kart but certainly not the best, a super hotlap gave me another pole position and this was very important.

161009 bikc publieke tribune

In the race I was chased by the fast Belgian driver Sam Spinnael who gave me a hard time all race long. Close behind in third was his teammate Regis Gosselin and I managed to stay away of both of them to claim my 3rd victory in a row! With only the final left I was in second position in the standings just a single point behind reigning champ Giovanni. Regis, Rico, Kevin, Matts and Filipe were all still close behind, especially because in the final you could earn the most points. All you need now was a decent kart and a very good hotlap. My kart was ok and I drove another good hotlap, I could line up in second position behind 3 times Sodi World Series Champion Kevin Caprasse. Kevin was too strong in this race and was able to build a nice lead, while I knew the second place would be enough for me to take the title. The title now was the only thing that counted and I had to be very careful as Mats, Matts and Filipe were close behind. Something that made my life even harder was that the fuel supply to the engine came of the fuel tank and the fuel was flowing over my leg. I was very much worried that this would mean the end of my race but I was able to put it back while holding off the other guys.

It happened three more times and I every time I needed to find a place where I didn’t had to shift for a moment. Luckily I saw the chequered flag in second position and I was over the moon with this title!!! Finally a big title in the PGK-Z karts which I like so much, in the 5th edition of the BIKC I’m the first non-Belgian driver to win, amazing! It felt great to win one of the last big indoor championships of the year and I want to thank the PGK-Z crew from Italy, the organisation of Marc Pilloy and the FKI crew. The 2nd and 3rd position went to Kevin Caprasse and Matts Breckpot, well deserved! Giovanni just missed the podium in 4th place but deserves a big compliment as well! Except from a mega trophy the top 3 won a participation in a 3 hour endurance race in a real race car on the French circuit of Magny-Cours as well, this will be my first time on a race circuit by car and I can’t wait to step into this car next year in April!

161009 bikc podium masters

Rental Kart Masters Eupen

Ruben just misses out on top 3
Eupen, March 25/26 2016

The first ever edition of the Rental Kart Masters was organised on Friday March 25th and Saturday March 26th by Karting Eupen in Belgium. The number of competitors was a little bit disappointing, with almost 40 people it was not completely what the track has hoped for. The organisation was flawless, like we are used in Eupen, but a big compliment has to be made to Karting Eupen and Evelien Bonneux. Every driver drove 10 races with 10 different kart, every race had a different set up as there was variant in the number of pitstops you had to make and the number of shortcuts you were allowed to take. Despite only 28 drivers in the main 80kg class, the level of drivers was really high. The start of the first day went very well for me with 3 consecutive wins in the reversed direction, all including extra 0.5 points for fastest lap and pole position. In the 4th race I was unlucky to draw the only very bad kart in the pack, resulting in an 11th position. Luckily we were able to drop 2 races out of the first 9. In race 5 I ended 2nd after a nice battle with Christian Douven, Guillaume Germis and Dutch Value teammate Rico Haarbosch, one of my 3 main opponents.


The other 2, Dutch Romano Franssen (3rd at IKWC 2008) and Belgian Simon Delvenne were particularly strong on the second day when we drove the normal layout. Both drivers race very often in Eupen and Rico and I had to give everything to keep up with them. I had not the best groups when I drew some mediocre karts in race 6, 7 and 8, causing me to score only 3rd, 5th and another 5th. Especially that last one hurt, because due to the bad kart yesterday I couldn’t drop this one now. Hereby I dropped in the ranking from 1st to 4th going in into the final after I scored my fourth victory in race 9. Delvenne made some really nasty moves on Rico during round 9, but it remained unpunished by the race direction, which did apart from a few small mistakes a very good job. In the final it was between Romano, Simon, Rico and me and Simon won the race with a very good kart. This was not enough for him to beat Rico in the end, who, despite finishing 4th in the final, was able to become the first Rental Kart Master!! Romano took a very well deserved 3rd spot on the podium while I ended up 4th, only a few points down on first place after scoring a nice 3rd in the big final. I’m looking forward to next year’s edition, this definitely is an event to stay!


Racehall of Champions

Ruben finishes 2015 kart season in Denmark
Arhus (Dk), December 27/28

rhoc trio

Together with my dad and Mika Mathia I left Holland on the 26th of December to take part in the Racehall of Champions in Arhus, Denmark. My Dutch Value teammate Rico Haarbosch joined later that day. There were 4 individual classes in the standard karts and a 1 hour teamrace in the superkarts also used at KWC 2013. On Sunday 27th of December we arrived early at the track to do some practice sessions, because the entry list showed a lot of fast drivers which were not to be underestimated. Today the three of us all took part in the 100kg class, more or less a warm up for Monday but once you start racing you want to win of course. A lot of autosport drivers joined the championship and this was fun on the one hand, on the other hand some of them didn’t care too much and drove quite aggressively. During the heats, kart draw was very important, the track has long straights and with a less good kart it is very hard to still score good points. In my first two races I scored 2 bad results, 10th and 9th and I knew the last heat had to be good. With a 3rd place I secured a starting position inside the top 10 for the final at the end of the day, featuring the 24 best drivers.

rhoc startgrid

In that final Frenchman Jean-Philippe Guignet started from pole position and immediately build up a lead over Rico. Rico had to defend his 2nd position which created a long line of karts behind him. I worked my way up from 9th to 5th place when I was bumped out by ruthless driving Nicki Thiim from Denmark. Luckily he didn’t participate on Monday as he made not much friends on Sunday. 5 people were penalized during the final, most of them simply ignoring the penalty which lead to some chaos on the track. Luckily Rico remained calm to take 2nd position over Danish Nikolaj Kandborg.

rhoc podium 100kg

Later that day 12 teams competed in a 1 hour endurance race with the faster 13BHP superkarts. In this race I teamed up with Michele Ottini, a team organized by Martin Christensen. We had a lot of fun on the slippery track and were able to finish in 2nd position. The race was won by the local Danish drivers from Polle Racing, including Mark Kamstrup who finished in the top 10 in KWC 2013.

rhoc endurance

After a 10km run through Arhus and a good night of sleep we were looking forward to another day of racing on this great track. Today the 65kg (junior) and 80kg (main class) categories were raced. In the junior class it was a battle between Christiaan Lungaard and Rico Haarbosch all day long. In the end however it was Aske Nygaard who took home victory in an exciting final. Rico secured another 2nd place just before Lungaard. Mika was able to finish in a very decent 5th position, for his first time in Denmark this was a remarkable effort! In the 80kg class Rico showed his talent once more, finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the heats to grab pole position for the grand final. I drew the same kart twice in the morning, which resulted in a 10th and 6th position before I came up to speed and won my last race. After a nice battle with Nielsen (local favorite) and Teuwen (last year’s winner) I finally got a win. This brought me to the 8th position on the startgrid for the final.

rhoc podium 80kg

This final worked out pretty well for me, as I was able to win 4 positions by clean overtakes. I had some good fights with Danish Daniel Lundgaard and reigning Belgian GP2 champion Stoffel Vandoorne. Rico was defending his 1st position against Jannik Nielsen. After less than 1 lap of defending, Nielsen just pushed Rico on the back of his kart and he had to run wide. While everyone clearly saw this was a ridiculous move, the marshalls decided not to do anything at all. This was for most people a real letdown of the officials and a shame the final had to finish in this way. Top 4 remained unchanged in the last 5 laps, so Nielsen passed the chequered flag first in front of Rico, Guignet and me. All in all we enjoyed the weekend, despite some questionable judgement of the referees. It was nice to see some international drivers again and we hope to face them again in 2016 in other great karting events.

rhoc ruben stoffel

Red Bull Kart Fight

Ruben wins Dutch Red Bull Kart Fight Final

On Saturday December 12th 2015 the big final of the Dutch Red Bull Kartfight took place at one of the best indoor racetracks in the Netherlands (Kart Centre Roosendaal). Like 13 other competitors, I had managed to qualify for today’s final and the day started with a photoshoot. The 10 minutes qualifying session determined the groups for 2 heats and of course the starting order. I was able to set the best laptime just in front of Selina Balneger (+0.002) and Rico Haarbosch (+0.010). Therefore I lined up first in group 1, having Rico right on my tail. During the first heat I had an intense fight with Rico and Calvin Streppel and Ayrton Walczak were able to catch up with us. After a while Rico took the lead and build up a very small gap, allowing us to pull away from Calvin and Ayrton. After having performed a pitstop the order remained unchanged and I ended up race 1 in second. Very important detail was that I was able to snatch away the best laptime from Rico in the ultimate lap by doing a hotlap, surprisingly I was the only one to do so. Meanwhile Dutch Formula 1 driver and rising star Max Verstappen visited the kart track as a Red Bull representative, a very nice surprise and many used the moment to score a picture with Max.


In heat 2 reverse starting order was applied and I started in 6th position. I directly went into the pit to make my pitstop and came out just in front of Rico a lap later after he did his pitstop as well. I was able to keep him at a small distance and we were lapping quicker laptimes then the guys who didn’t stop yet. Coming closer to the end I took the lead and also grabbed fastest lap again, making sure I won my group on bestlap tie-braker. Selina won the other group by beating Lorenzo Stolk (winner of the event in 2011) twice, but had clearly slower average best laptimes and so I was the one to start from pole position in the grand final with the top 8 drivers. Jorg van den Oever and Ralf van der Grift accompanied Rico, Selina, Lorenzo, Calvin, Ayrton and me to set the grid. The pole position gave me a strong tactical advantage, allowing me to pit at the first lap no matter what other drivers would do. I knew the others would have to slow down when I would enter the pit right after the start, and so it happened. In the final 2 pitstops were required and I focussed on driving consistent laptimes after my first pitstop. The rest of the field battled right from the start, which was good for me at that moment.

ruben boutens max verstappen

After my second pitstop I knew I was in the perfect spot to win the race, as Rico and Selina could not match my laptimes and battled over 2nd place. Lorenzo made a very smart move to pit when Selina started defending on Rico, and came out in front of both after the last pitstops. My advantage over Lorenzo at that moment was more than 3 seconds so I knew I was safe, what a feeling in front of the big and enthusiastic crowd. Rico was able to pass Selina with a brilliant pitstop, leaving Selina disappointed just outside the podium. She showed great speed again today but unfortunately couldn’t walk away with one of the three trophies. The chequered flag was shown and I won the Dutch Red Bull Kart Fight 2015, what an amazing result and yet another great title to add to my list of the 2015 season. Of course I was very happy, to be on the top step of the podium alongside big talents like Lorenzo and Rico feels great. Next year I will represent the Netherlands during the World Final in Austria. Many thanks to Red Bull and Kart Centre Roosendaal for organising the event!

red bull kartfight podium