Ruben Boutens Snatches Fifth Straight British Title

Ruben Boutens claimed his fifth BRKC crown at Formula Fast this weekend, extending what was already an unbelievable record to half a decade of dominance. His route to victory wasn’t all plain sailing in 2018, with a run of individual race victories ending with defeat by Matt Bartsch in Round 3. Boutens navigated the most difficult field of drivers in BRKC history during the heats phase – eventually taking three victories and one second place.

A victory in his Semi-Final provided Boutens with the opportunity to run as the final qualifier in the Grand Final Super Pole session – where he was pipped to first place by BlueStar Racing team mate Yoan Medart by three thousandths of a second. But in the race itself, Boutens was able to pull off his customary – and crucial – overtake into the main hairpin, sealing victory with a flawless drive to the finish.

Thom Van Dijk executed a perfect strategy which enabled him to split the BlueStar team mates and take second place, with pole sitter Medart coming home a close third.

BlueStar took the new-for-2018 Team Championship, with Craig McCallister winning his second BRKC Masters’ title, and Jonathan Elliott awarded the Genevieve Reason Memorial Trophy for the most gutsy drive.

Full results: BRKC 2018 Overall Results v2

ANALYSIS: Who to watch at BRKC 2018

With just seven weeks until the BRKC descends on Formula Fast in Milton Keynes, we take a look at some of the key contenders for the British title in 2018.

 

                                                                                                                                 

The Defending Champion 

RUBEN BOUTENS: NETHERLANDS

There’s no getting away from it. The British Rental Kart Championship has been dominated by one man since 2014. Ruben Boutens has perfected the technique required to excel around the slippery concrete confines of Formula Fast, and he shows no signs of slowing down. With a Kart World Championship finally in the bag, Boutens is once again the odds-on favourite to win in 2018. But he will have to face some seriously tough competition if he wants to make it five out of five at BRKC.

                                                                                                                                

The Challengers: 

MATHIAS GROOTEN: BELGIUM

The only driver on the grid able to rival Boutens in terms of career stats, Mathias Grooten is a double Kart World Champion, with his most recent success coming just two years ago. Analytical and effortlessly fast, Grooten is able to read a race and deploy the correct strategy like no other. He narrowly missed out on a podium at BRKC in 2017 with a failed pitstop in the final. Expect Grooten to feature prominently all weekend in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

MATT BARTSCH: POLAND

As the most potent driver from a very strong Polish contingent, Matt Bartsch has raced his way to the final in every BRKC he has entered. With a highest finish of 4th in 2016, Bartsch is hungry for the victory and has all the ingredients necessary to make that a reality. Expect Bartsch to quietly go about his business once again, racking up more race victories as he attempts to make the BRKC his own.

                                                                                                                                

LEWIS MANLEY: UNITED KINGDOM

Manley is the only driver listed in this analysis who races solely in domestic competitions. Despite this, he has proved to be a force to be reckoned with at each BRKC season since 2014. Twice a podium finisher in the final, Manley’s form dipped in 2017 where he recorded no race wins. However, he is sure to be determined to bounce back in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

SEAN BRIERLEY: UNITED KINGDOM

Fresh from winning the Nations’ Cup at the Kart World Championship, Sean Brierley has his sights set firmly on the British Championship. Experience in overseas rental kart competitions such as the IEKC and the Sport Kart Grand Nationals has boosted Brierley’s strategic and driving armoury, and his speed at Formula Fast is without question. Quick in qualifying and consistent during the races, Brierley will surely fight his way towards the front of the final in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

SAM SPINNAEL: UNITED KINGDOM / BELGIUM

Also a Nations’ Cup World Champion in 2017, Spinnael executed a stunning race in the BRKC 2017 grand final, having only narrowly made it there in the first place. His qualifying lap put him at the sharp end of the grid, and working with team mate Regis Gosselin, he fought his way to the podium with a clever alternative strategy. Having raced all season in various kart competitions around the world, it seems that Spinnael’s BRKC bad luck has finally ended, and it would be a big surprise if he wasn’t once again a feature in 2018.

                                                                                                                                

Other Notable Drivers: 

  • Craig McAllister has been setting the timing sheets alight during the regular Formula Fast members’ sessions. The 2017 Masters’ Champion is a good bet to finish even higher in 2018.
  • Bjorn Vermeulen was a strong contender throughout BRKC 2017 and will certainly be a front runner once again.
  • Chris Daines was one of the surprises of BRKC 2017, and added another CovKartSport championship to his CV this season.
  • Thom Van Dyjk almost anonymously made his way up to 4th place in the 2017 grand final and his form is sure to carry over into this coming season.
  • Andy Gaban was twice a race winner in 2017, with impressive pace and racecraft displayed throughout the heats and finals.
  • Lee Hackett is a double BRKC champion in the previous format of the series and made the final in his last indoor BRKC appearance in 2016.

                                                                                                                                

Interesting Rookies: 

Several new drivers to the indoor format BRKC have impressive racing CVs, with Guillaume GermisGeorge LovellDave SingleeLogan SougneChristophe VerhoevenMathias Sponholz all deserving of a mention for their various strong results at National and International level.

 

Keep up to date with all of the latest BRKC news and information at the Facebook Group.

BRKC 2018 takes place from the 19th to the 21st of January at Formula Fast Indoor Karting in Milton Keynes.

BRKC 2018 Preview Video Launched

In keeping with the annual tradition, the BRKC’s preview video has now been released ahead of the 2018 competition. This year the video is presented by the host of the popular F1 podcast “Missed Apex”, Richard ‘Spanners’ Ready, who will join the BRKC commentary team in 2018 alongside James Auld as pitlane reporter.

Features include: BRKC History So Far, How BRKC Works, Meeting 2017’s Champions & Analysing the Master.

The British Rental Kart Championship takes place at Formula Fast in Milton Keynes from the 19th to the 21st of January 2018

Features include: BRKC History So Far, How BRKC Works, Meeting 2017’s Champions & Analysing the Master.

The British Rental Kart Championship takes place at Formula Fast in Milton Keynes from the 19th to the 21st of January 2018

You can check out Missed Apex Podcast at their website right here: https://missedapexpodcast.com/

BRKC 2018 Sells Out In Under 24 Hours

 

 

The BRKC has been held at Formula Fast for four consecutive years, with each event growing in popularity. With five months until drivers take to the track in anger, entries for the 2018 edition opened this week – and incredibly closed just 22 hours later with the full compliment of 100 drivers signed up! Joining the field are 39 non-British drivers, including two former World Champions – as well as the new reigning Kart World Champion (and four time British Champion) Ruben Boutens.

Looking to take the fight to the best drivers from Europe are the UK’s best rental kart competitors – with recently crowned Kart World Championship Nations Cup champions Sean Brierley & Sam Spinnael among them. Countless local and regional champions and front runners complete the field, which promises to be the most competitive rental kart competition ever hosted in the UK.

The BRKC’s format remains unchanged from 2017, but the organisers have decided to make an extreme change to the ‘Alternate Layout’ circuit which is used for half of the heat races. This is a version of the circuit that no driver is allowed to practice on ahead of the event – ensuring that local advantage is kept to a minimum.

Scruffy Bear Pictures return for 2018 to continue to provide incredibly high quality live video content for BRKC, which in 2017 was broadcast around the world to tens of thousands of spectators – as well as being shown on TV screens around the venue. The voice of BRKC, James Auld will be joined by a rotating pool of co-commentators to talk spectators through everything that happens on track.

The hype is real. BRKC is back and better than ever before.

Ruthless Ruben Takes Fourth British Title

Reigning BRKC champion Ruben Boutens won the British Rental Kart Championship for a fourth consecutive time yesterday and extended his unbeaten run of races at BRKC to thirteen.

Boutens comfortably won each of his heats, with the only danger to his perfect score coming in the form of newcomer Chris Daines who challenged him for victory in the Semi Finals.

In a thrilling climax to the superpole shootout before the grand final, Boutens managed to overhaul erstwhile poleman Lewis Manley to take his first BRKC grand final pole position before storming away at the front of the field once the race was underway.

Behind Boutens, Régis Gosselin established himself in second place after an early pitstop to leapfrog Lewis Manley. Sam Spinnael chose a similar strategy to Gosselin and the pair ran unchallenged for the final two podium places until a late charge from two time World Champion Mathias Grooten dropped Spinnael back to fourth.

However, following a pitstop from Spinnael, Grooten made a reactive stop and caused a yellow light infringement – ultimately demoting him to last place as this was after the ‘Last Chance To Pit’ board had been shown.

At the front, Boutens was unstoppable and once again took the £1000 cash prize along with a free entry into the 2017 Kart World Championship.

BRKC resumes in January 2018.

Full results available here: BRKC 2017 Overall Results

Pictures courtesy of Tim Andrew Photography

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Peerless Ruben Boutens Storms To Third BRKC Title

DOWNLOAD THE FULL RESULTS HERE

 

 

A truly remarkable performance from reigning BRKC champion Ruben Boutens saw him clinch his third British title at Formula Fast in Milton Keynes today.

Boutens was formidable during the heats phase of the competition, having won each of his races and broken the lap record. However, things didn’t go entirely to plan in the Super Pole qualifying session for the final with 2015 runner up Stefan Verhofste taking first place on the grid with Boutens a close second.

Verhofste’s lead was short during the Grand Final itself, with Boutens delivering his customary overtaking manouvre into the main hairpin – never to be challenged again during the race – with Lewis Manley also making his way past Verhofste later in the race.

Having now won three BRKC’s in succession, Ruben Boutens is the most successful driver in BRKC history. Boutens also lowered his own lap record at the Formula Fast circuit during the Grand Final with a 31.5 second lap.

The Kam Ho Memorial award went to Michael Weddell, and the Genevieve Reason ‘Most Determined Driver’ trophy was claimed by Polish driver and fourth placed finisher Matt Bartsch.

BRKC reconvenes in 12 months’ time for #BRKC201712471444_1115621265115787_1027998900222901733_o

Heat Draw For BRKC 2016 Published

 

The heat draw for the 2016 BRKC has been completed. After rectifying an initial technical hitch, the heat dispersal system was used to allocate drivers into the best possible spread of races, ensuring that they meet a wide variety of other drivers during the BRKC heats.

Notable heats include Round 4 Heat 7, where reigning champion Ruben Boutens faces up to 2016 BRKC runner up Stefan Verhofste, as well as Round 1 Heat 10, which includes BRKC favourites Ed White, Lewis Manley, Ramon Pineiro, Corne Snoep – as well as former FIA Kart World Champion Colin Brown.

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In Depth Live Coverage Announced For BRKC 2016

This week the BRKC organisers agreed an expanded video media coverage package with Scruffy Bear Pictures for the 2016 BRKC. In previous years, the Live Stream was basic on Saturday, with some expanded broadcasting with additional cameras on Sunday.

However, for 2016, the entire BRKC will be covered in depth, with several extra camera angles, along with a producer and director on site at all times. New items include a breakfast show each morning, features like track guides and interviews with key drivers, constant high quality coverage broadcast live throughout the weekend, multiple commentators and pitlane reporters, as well as a generally higher production standard than in previous years.

TV Camera

Scruffy Bear director Darren Cook: “I wasn’t happy with last year’s coverage and we have some great ideas for this year’s BRKC. This year we are stepping up to another level. It’s going to be a beautiful event.”

Spectators around the world will be able to watch the live broadcast online with timing information overlayed – and the feed will be played on TV screens around Formula Fast so that nobody misses a moment of the on-track action throughout the weekend.

Double Champions Hackett & Boutens Return

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2015 Dutch Red Bull Kart Fight Champion Boutens is feeling confident

Since the inception of BRKC in 2010, only two drivers have won the championship more than once. Lee Hackett was triumphant in 2012 & 2013 during the ‘multi-round’ incarnation of BRKC. In 2014 & 2015 it was Dutchman Ruben Boutens who claimed the overall victory. In 2016, the pair will meet on track for the first time since the 2013 Kart World Championship in Denmark.

Although Hackett has had a low key absence from BRKC, he is sure to be back on the pace quickly, having finished as the top British driver in the 2013 World Championship. Boutens on the other hand has been busy winning multiple international titles including the Dutch Kart Championship and the Dutch Red Bull Kart Fight – and is sure to be a force to be reckoned with.

The battle between these two giants of rental karting – as well as many more big names – will be fascinating to watch when BRKC 2016 gets started on the 15th of January.

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Hackett beats Brierley and Boutens to the 2013 BRKC Round 1 victory

 

Interview with Greg Laporte


In 2015 several former World champions competed in the BRKC. We spoke to 2008 Indoor Kart World Champion Greg Laporte about his experience of the championship.

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BRKC: Tell us a little bit about your role with the Kart World Championship.
GL: I am part of the KWC Committee that was founded towards the end of 2007, when the KWC started hosting it events all over the globe, after the initial 3 events on Northern American soil. In this committee, I contribute as an advisor, making rule suggestions, improvements based on event experiences, and I try to help find new locations as well that would be suitable for hosting a big event like the KWC. There are many great tracks around the world, but karts, kart levelling, facilities, are all as important than the track layout itself. So during the year I try and help out the KWC group as much as possible, whilst during the events itself, I’m a competitor where I have no influence on any kind of decisions.

 


 

BRKC: How did BRKC compare with other similar national qualifiers?
GL: I really enjoyed competing in BRKC, even making it to the finals which had some national & international greats there. It was very challenging, which is what we love the most right? Compared to other national qualifiers (I did the Belgian & Italian series), I must say the level of drivers was similar, but the event managing in BRKC was top notch. The timing schedule was excellent. However, what sets BRKC apart is the live commenting during races, driver interviews and the livestream & live timing. This is a great plus and makes the experience for all drivers extra special. I’m definitely coming back to BRKC if my job allows for it.
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BRKC: What advice would you give to a driver competing for the first time in a high level indoor competition?
GL: First of all I would advise every driver to drive as much as possible on different tracks (different karts, surface). Mainly because in the big competitions you will have to race guys who do so much racing all over Europe and the World. All the top guys adjust very fast to a new track, new surface, new karts – so it’s very important to understand quickly what makes you fast, and what doesn’t. Simply trying your best isn’t enough – it really takes dedication and even studying to make it to the top.
I would also advise drivers to watch as many races as possible when you’re not driving yourself. To see what lines drivers are taking, to see where overtaking manouvres pay off and when they don’t, to see what pit strategies work best, etc. You really can learn a lot just with your eyes. Also, most drivers are as passionate as you are, so they will never act weirdly when you simply walk up to them and ask them some questions. Me & my teammates do nothing else but talk trajectories and what works & what doesn’t. This saves us a lot of time because we don’t have to learn everything individually.
Finally, the ultimate key to success will be consistancy, which means being able to resist pressure. You must learn to do your races, regardless who is around you. If it’s a reigning champion, an ex F1-driver, or a rookie, they are just adversaries like all others, and that is something really important. You have to show respect, obviously, but never too much. Be selfish, you want to win, so you must do everything it takes and not be overwhelmed by some ‘big-name’. Fast laps, lap after lap, plus good racecraft and strategy will bring you success. Nothing else.

 


 

 

BRKC: What impressed you most about BRKC in 2015?
GL: The level of dedication by the BRKC people (organisers, staff) and the Formula Fast crew. This combination of a serious organisation team plus dedicated track owners were the key to success for BRKC 2015 in my opinion. Obviously the great level and number of drivers made it something special as well.

Interview conducted in April 2015