Ruben Boutens

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

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.

red-bull-kart-fight-de-hollandse-helden

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