Ruben Boutens

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

KWC day 5

Ruben just misses out on the World Title
Martinsicuro, July 31st 2016

kwc wedstrijdleiding

Not very often I was so reluctant to start writing my report about the final day of the Indoor Kart World Championship 2016 in Italy. It took me a while to start my report but as for every big race I publish my story online and so do I this time. Before the start of the final day I was 4 points down on championship leader Gosselin from Belgium, sharing the second place with the German revelation Dennis Höller. Like in 2011 I had a realistic chance to go for the title today. 2 more race to go and I was pretty much excited. When we arrived early morning at the track the groups for the 3 semis of all 16 drivers were published. I was only in the third group. As a shoot out qualifying was introduced for the semis this year as well, it would take a while before I was able to go out on track. In the first two rounds Rico Haarbosch and Mathias Grooten won the race. Rico moved himself back up in the ranking from 5th to 3rd while Mathias was trying to save a spot in the shoot out for the 4 final places of the grand final. Like last year’s vice champion Matts Breckpot he didn’t play a role in the title contention anymore due to a combination of mistakes and bad luck earlier in the week.

kwc podium bluestar

Then it was my turn and in the battle qualification I could dominate my four opponents, first Brazilian Eduardo Favilla, followed by former world champion Gumpenberger from Austria and Dutchmen Lorenzo Stolk and Marcel Hollink. I had a decent kart as I could choose every round, and from the start I could pull away slightly. The semi worked out perfectly for me, I won the race and didn’t lose a single point. Therefore, I took over the lead in the championship with only the big final still in front of us, what a position I was in now, 7 points clear of Gosselin and 11 on Haarbosch. After the semi final I had an hour of 2 to relax before I had to suit up again for the final time this week. The drivers ranked 17 through 32 battled for the final 4 positions in a shoot out, my teammates Tristan and Mathias came out to be the fastest and thereby Bluestar was the only team with 4 representatives in the final, very valuable for the team championship. Then the tension rose once more as the grid was to be determined by the final top-16 shoot out. I immediately faced Mats de Jong, a dangerous Belgian driver but I had some confidence out of the qualifying of the semi earlier today.

kwc podium javanainen

The karts were cold again and I had one with plenty of understeer, far from ideal as I had to be really careful in some corners. After 2 rounds I was not too sure if I had won the battle, and then Poul Horneman told us I had lost the battle. I could hardly believe it and I drove back to the pit in one of the worst karts of the pack. Suddenly my chances to win the title went from very good to not so good at all. I regrouped myself and was ready to give it all one more time in the 45-minute final. The majority of the drivers voted to shorten the final earlier this morning from 1 hour to 45 minutes unfortunately. At the start of the race I immediately felt what I already expected, I didn’t have the kart to finish top 3. I was dependent on the other 4 title contenders, of which Javanainen pitted early and started to drive very quick laptimes. Only Mathias Grooten, who started from P18 with a very good kart, was able to catch him and win the final. Then Regis (who also lost early in the qualifying but had a very good kart again) and Rico (who won the battles and also had a decent kart) were battling for the third position in the race. When Robin was in front of them after they both made 2 pitstops and Robin only 1, the two clashed and Regis went into the barriers and jumped out of his kart. Very surprisingly he didn’t continue and almost at the same time Dennis Holler had to change his kart and lost the chance on a final podium.

kwc bluestar

It was then between Rico, Rickard and me, and it was awfully close. Rico was in 3rd and I needed to finish 6th to claim the title. After having won 1 position on track, I came out of the pits in 8th position, just behind the numbers 5-7 which started to battle only just before the final lap of the race. Time was too short to place an attack, but I still had hopes that Rico would drop back 1 position to Matts Breckpot in 4th, which would have been sufficient as well for me. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen, and thereby Rico was the 2016 Indoor Kart World Champion. It was so so painful for me, I drove a magnificent championship, while others drivers faced penalties for mistakes in overtakes, qualifying, pitstops, passing under yellow flags or other own mistakes, I was faultless all week long. I didn’t have the luck on my side on the decisive moments and realizing that I was only 2 points short, keeping in mind the button that didn’t work and cost me 3 points, it was extremely frustrating and especially disappointing big time. Emotions came out and it was hard to realize I made the podium for the 4th time but didn’t win again, this time I was so close.

kwc eindpodium

Many people supported me after the finish, which was fantastic, like the standing ovation I got on the final podium. The 2nd place is far from a bad result, but even though this was my best world championship to date, I will always remember how close I was going into the final and even during the final with the shitty kart. My 3rd world title regarding the team championship with Bluestar and the Nations Cup win with Dutch Value earlier made it all in all a very successful week for me, and I hope that’s what I will remember in a couple of months from now. I have to give my compliments to Rico, what an astonishing performance he has shown during this edition, only just 16 years of age and already a world champion, very much respect from my side. Same holds for Rickard who did an amazing job to end the championship in a very nice P3, the first Scandinavian driver on the podium of KWC! Furthermore congratulations to the winners of the junior (Rico), ladies (Selina) and masters (Andrea Bisogni) categories. I want to thank all people who supported me this year, my parents, my sponsors and teammates from both Bluestar and Dutch Value. I will definitely come back even stronger in the next years and will keep going for my first world title!

podium ruben rico

KWC day 4

Ruben climbs in the ranking with 2 wins on day 4
Martinsicuro, July 30th 2016

The penultimate day of KWC 2016 would decide if I would stay in the race for the title or not. Two more heat races and in my first heat I faced Rico who is leading the tables. It was extra important to finish in front of him this morning. I had to qualify in a decent kart which was still cold because it didn’t drive in the race before. This was a bit tricky in qualifying and for the first time I was not super happy with my qualy lap, I lined up 2nd behind the other Dutchman Marcel Hollink who is driving very strong this week. Rico was in 5th so that was not bad for me. At the start I managed to stay with Marcel and after a couple of laps I overtook him in the last corner. He stayed close behind me and meanwhile Rico battled for the last spot on the podium. The situation stayed the same until the final minutes of the race when it suddenly became really slippery. Some fuel out of the radiator leaked on the track and I dived into the pit. A lap later Marcel did the same and on the straight after the pit exit we were side by side. I kept him behind me and carefully I drove to the victory in this race, also scoring the fastest race lap. Rico took over third in the finale minutes of the race while a yellow flag was waved at that corner, therefor he got a time penalty. As he still had a 3rd place as a drop, it now didn’t hurt him too much.

ruben m it

In the mid session interval the medals for the first 6 races were handed out and right after I could prepare for my 8th race. This was my least strong group and at this moment I drew by far my best kart. I was happy to have it now and I qualified on pole position for the first time this week, more than half a second clear of second place. In the race I could take it relatively easy and do not stupid things, I won the race with fastest lap, a very valuable 40 points that I can add to my total. In the remaining races a lot of crazy things happened, a safety kart was deployed and some top drivers including Rico lost many point. Before the start of the final day I’m right back into the top 5 and maybe even top 3, so everything still to play for tomorrow, it will be exciting.

KWC day 3

Two podiums half way through the championship
Martinsicuro, July 29th 2016

On the third day of the Indoor Kart World Championship 2016 races 5 and 6 were planned. My first group was a very tough one with amongst others, Arnaud Teuwen, teammate Robin, Mats de Jong and Dennis Höller in it. I qualified only 4th while driving a very good lap, I didn’t have a really good kart. Dennis Höller who qualified 3rd had to start last because he slowed down too much on his qualifying laps. Then in the first lap I was able to overtake Christophe Verhoeven who started 2nd, while Arnaud Teuwen came with me in a not so good kart as well. Robin was in the lead with a very decent kart and I just couldn’t follow him. Arnaud then pitted and started to battle with Christoph Stasek who was in front of him after the pit. This was ideal for me as I could build up a little gap and pit without risks. Robin was a tad too fast and won the race, which was of course very good and necessary for our team classification.

ruben martinsicuro blauw

After a long long break for me, I could step into the kart in the evening again when the last race of the day started. This was not one of my hardest groups, Belgians Matts Breckpot and Sam Spinnael were the most important ones to watch. I drove a super qualy lap which was good for second place. Unfortunately this was not the best kart either and again I had to make the most out of it. It was a bit frustrating seeing Sam pulling away centimetre by centimetre, but I gave everything. Matts was on my bumper and as I knew I needed a win, I couldn’t defend too hard and let Sam go. Then Matts passed me and closed in on Sam. After they both pitted I decided to wait until the last moment, but I just came short on both guys. So another 3rd place for me, one I was not very happy with. Though I’m still 8th in the championship and much can still happen, so we will go for it again tomorrow!!

ruben martinsicuro binnen

KWC Nations Cup

Dutch Value races to glorious victory
Martinsicuro, July 24th 2016

The 2016 Kart World Championship in Martinsicuro, Italy, started with the traditional Nations Cup on Sunday July 24th. My team consisted of Lorenzo Stolk, Rico Haarbosch and Selina Balneger. After many practice sessions we were ready to finally start racing. 18 teams in total battled against each other in 2 3-hour races with 3 driver- and kartchanges required. Rico started the 5 minute qualifying session in the early morning and qualified 4th. One of our biggest opponents, the Belgium Hola Lulu took pole position. In the first part of the race, 5 teams drove away from the rest of the field and Rico moved up place by place to arrive in first place after one hour. Lorenzo drove second and we did 2 kart changes, one just before the driver change and one after, because a good kart was in the pit. This was a good tactical step and Lorenzo was able to further pull away of our rivals. Selina was driving third and she did our last kart change. This did not go completely according to plan, as she came into the pit a little too fast and missed the button. She stepped out of the kart and pushed the button, for which we received a time penalty.

vlaggen

Selina however had a good pace and therefor we moved up again to 7th position. I took over the steering wheel for the last 35 minutes and with a very good pace I was able to take back first place, also because some teams still had to make their pitstop. Hola Lulu finished the race in 8th position, so we had a good starting situation going into race 2. In the second race the top 9 was reversed so we had to start all the way from P9. Within 8 minutes however, Rico flew forwards towards a second place already. Only the German Grindadrap was still in front of us with their quickest driver Dennis Höller on track. Again we did our first kart change before Lorenzo entered the track. In the second our it was extremely chaotic as a red flag was shown but the race continued on a slow pace. Many drivers were confused but we kept calm and changed kart for a second time in this race. Selina went out on track in first place with the German team still pretty close behind. Their final driver Adrian Janecsko was closing in, especially after our last kart change, our final kart turned out to be not a good kart at all.

gregory

When I entered the track with 45 minutes to go, the Hungarian driver closed in quickly and I started defending with more than 30 minutes still to go. After 10 minutes he tried to overtake but hit the barrier and crashed. This gave me some free space for a while, however Janeckso recovered quickly and was on my bumper again in the last 3 laps. In a nerve racking last lap I was able to keep them behind me and thereby we won the Nations Cup!!!!! For the first time in KWC history a Dutch team wins the Nations Competition, something that made us very very happy, especially when receiving the awesome trophies. A good start of our KWC 2016 and a good preparation for the individual championship as well.

KWC day 1

Decent start for Ruben
Martinsicuro, July 27th 2016

The Indoor Kart World Championship (KWC) 2016 started on Wednesday July 27th in Martinsicuro, Italy. After a week of practice and the Nations Cup in between we were ready to go with a field of 101 drivers. Divided in 6 different groups we started the championship early in the morning and I had to go out on track straight away for race 1A. It wasn’t an easy group and we had to start on brand new tires so we got a few additional warmup laps. After 4 laps we started the 2 round grid formation and I managed to qualify in 3rd position just a tenth of a second behind the pole position. In the race I noticed my kart was not so good at all, and I had to defend for my 3rd place against the fast Swedish Javanainen and Baccellieri from Belgium. After the pitstop I kept my third place and defended the last couple of laps, I was happy to finish the race in 3rd. The first round races were won by Haarbosch (NL), Holler (GE), Oliviera (BR), Bartsch (PL), Foldesi (BE) and Teuwen (BE). Many drivers were not able to handle the powerful karts which caused some accidents and broken karts, something the organization and the mechanics clearly disliked.

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After a 2 hour mid session interval we continued with the second round. This was one of my best races I drove in KWC. I was in the same group as my Bluestar teammate and reigning world champion Mathias Grooten, we qualified 4 tenths clear of P3, Mathias 1st only 0.01 second before me. In the race I had to give everything to keep up with him and together we pulled away quickly with very consistent laptimes. It came down to the pitstop in the last couple of minutes and I decided to enter the pit with 4 minutes to go when we were approaching some backmarkers. With a good stop I put Mathias under pressure and he made a little mistake 2 laps later by choosing the wrong pitlane. When I passed start/finish I saw him still in the pits, struggling because his kart stalled. He fell back to fourth and I won the race! A very good first day for me, and furthermore Stolk (NL), Balaz (SL), Gosselin (BE), Borremans (BE) and Javanainen (SW) won their second heat. After one day I’m 5th in the championship for what it is worth after only one day, but better a good start than a bad one of course.

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