Ruben Boutens

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

8 hour nightrace Silver Hotel & Gokart Center

Ruben & Rico on fire in 3rd edition of Silver nightrace
Szczecin (PL), 28 October 2018

The third edition of the 8 hour nightrace at Silver Hotel & Gokart Center was organised in the weekend of 27 and 28 October 2018. After two successful editions in 2015 and 2016, The Dutch Value was also present during the 2018 edition. This time again with myself, after having won this race in 2015 together with Corne Snoep, together with Rico Haarbosch. Only a couple of months ago this beautiful track was the scene of a fantastic edition of the Indoor Kart World Championship, and the karts were ready to go again for a nice endurance race. A field of 13 teams lined up, including international flavour from Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and of course Poland. Before the start of the race we had a 30 minute free practice and 6 minutes qualification. In this session it was very close between a couple of teams, and in particular between Sebastian Papke from PPR RT (winners of the 2016 edition) and Rico from our team. Just a few hundreds of a second split the two for the fastest lap in the qualification. It was four time Polish Indoor Kart Champion Papke who ultimately took the pole position.

The start of the race was in Le Mans style, running to the kart to jump in and launching the 8 hour race at midnight. The outdoor part of the track was open for this race, but the circumstances were quite different from those during the world championship of last summer. At that time tarmac was flying around because of the heat, while it was now cold and sometimes rainy, making the track quite tricky. In the opening lap it started to drizzle outside which surprised Rico, creating a gap between us and the leader. Afterwards, Rico was fast and slowly started to close in on Sebastian and overtook him halfway through the first stint. We had 14 stints of c.35 minutes, and besides that we had to make 4 extra stops. We decided to start with double stints and everytime PPR RT got our gat of the stint before while we got the kart of Hussarya team Poland, one of the strongest Polish teams and a challenger for the win tonight. It was therefore easy to compare laptimes and in the second stint Rico seemed to be fast. Papke did 3 stints in a row and won time on us after having made his first extra pitstop to get in clean air. Hussarya was closing in on us as well, and they had a strong line up including the numbers 2 and 4 of the past world championship, Jakub Klek and Michal Grzyb.

In the 3rd stint I came out on track for the first time and took over the kart from Klek. It was very nice to see that I was slightly faster as him in this kart, and we could virtually take back the lead from PPR RT in this stint. In the fourth stint I could further increase the lead by bringing the fastest racelap so far to 49.34, every team got all the 14 different karts during the night. In the mid pack of the field, Team Holland impressed with a very young team including Dutch talents Mike Dijkgraaf, Tess Verschoor, Max op den Kamp and the more experienced driver Guido van den Heiligenberg. They were surprisingly fast, matching laptimes of most top teams and were competing for a top 5 position in the pro ranking (for teams consisting of 4 or more drivers). At the front of the field we increased our lead with a couple of strong stints, also in less good karts. PPR RT dropped back a little bit because of an incorrect pitstop (resulting in an extra pitstop of 43 seconds!), while the Belgium Traxxis team drove consistent stints and made their way up onto the podium. Traxxis won the team championship during the past Indoor Kart World Championship and now drove with Kenny Verbinnen and Peter Neefs, coached by Ward Maenhout.

In my penultimate stint, the 11th of the race, I set the best lap time on 49.14, which would remain until the end of the race, confirming we were the fastest team today in terms of race pace. Hussarya was however less than 2 laps behind and still going strong, featuring the Skoda rally driver Mikolaj Marczyk as well. Mikolaj competed in several big indoor kart competition before and has always been a strong competitor not to underestimate. In the closing hours of the race many people complained about a headache or being sick of the dirty exhaust gasses inside the building. This made the race physically hard and as Rico still felt relatively fit, we decided to let him drive the final 2 stints. Our advantage over Hussarya increased to almost 2 laps, while Traxxis was holding PPR RT off on 20 seconds for the final spot on the podium. After 8 hours the chequered flag was waved and we could celebrate a very nice win in this great race. We were very happy with our performance and were glad we came again to Poland. After the podium celebrations we quickly passed by the breakfast before heading to our beds again, we needed it after this race by night! We would like to thank Remi Drzazga for the smooth organisation and hope the rumours of a 24 hour race next year will be realised!

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.


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.


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 ;)


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