Talented racer on his way to the top
With Max Verstappen in Formula 1, Dutch motorsport is on a roll. Yet Verstappen is not Holland’s only hope for international success, since in karting fresh Dutch talent is on the way to the top. Last season,15-year-old Rinus van Kalmthout, for example, made quite an impression on the international scene. Amidst the world’s top drivers in karting Van Kalmthout claimed honours as the second senior racer in Europe as well as in the United States of America. A talent to watch out for!
The KNAC National Autosport Federation (KNAF) recognised Van Kalmthout’s potential and selected the youngster for its KNAF Talent First programme in 2014. This NOC*NSF approved programme supports young talented racers on their way to the top echelons in motorsport. The NOC*NSF elite status is issued for karting and motorsport talent by an Olympic network, and only on recommendation of the KNAF. This special status allows Van Kalmthout, obviously with permission from his parents, to attend a so-called LOOT school, which is specially designed for students who play sports at a high level and enables them to optimally combine their sport with an education.
Rinus van Kalmthout, son of successful entrepreneur and BOSS GP driver Marijn van Kalmthout, began in karting in 2009 at the age of 8. Soon after Rinus’ first laps in a kart, coach Pierre Redeker spotted a unique talent in the young Van Kalmthout. Thanks to good guidance that talent quickly blossomed.
On his karting debut in the Winter Championship Cadet Class Van Kalmthout immediately took the title and ended up as the runner-up in the Cadet series’ championship. In the following years the young karter took one championship after another: in 2011, he grabbed World Formula honours (Netherlands and Benelux), won the Rotax Minimax in 2012, and in 2013 took the Rotax Max Junior and Rookie Junior overall titles.
Having won so many titles, Van Kalmthout stepped up to the senior karts in 2015, at just 14 years of age. Nevertheless, Van Kalmthout became runner-up in both the European and American Rotax Max Senior championships.
Debut in formula racing
These performances were duly noticed and the young Dutchman was selected for a test session that was part of the Mazda Road to Indy, a programme designed to elevate young drivers up to IndyCar level. On the Formula 1 circuit at Austin (Texas) Van Kalmthout was allowed to demonstrate his skills in a USF2000 car. It was his first time in a single-seater, but he did a fantastic job by finishing the test in third, just behind two drivers with lots of USF2000 experience.
It seems obvious that Rinus van Kalmthout has a bright career in motor racing ahead of him. In order to be fully prepared for his motorsport debut Van Kalmthout will remain in karting in 2016, again participating in the BNL Karting Series, the Rotax Max Euro Challenge and the Rotax US Open.
This year Rinus van Kalmthout started in the Cooper Tires USF2000 series and it seems like the type of track on which he has to race doesn’t matter at all for the 16-year-old Dutch driver. Be it a traditional road course, an oval, or a street circuit like Toronto, as the Pabst Racing driver has now showed he is very likely to race to the podium.
2009-2010 Dutch Winter champion Cadet class
2010 Runner-up in Dutch Cadet championship
2011 Dutch and Benelux World Formula champion
2012 Dutch Rotax Max Minimax champion
2013 Dutch Rotax Max Junior rookie champion
2013 Dutch Rotax Max Junior overall champion
2014 3rd in CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy
2014 KNAF Talent First selection, supported by NOC*NSF
2015 3rd in BNL Karting Series Senior
2015 Runner-up in European Rotax Max Euro Challenge Senior championship
2015 Runner-up in Rotax US Open Senior championship
2015 Winner of single-seater test in Mazda Road to Indy (USA)
2016 3rd in IAME X30 Euro Series
2016 4th in European Rotax Max Euro Challenge Senior championship
2016 3rd in BNL Karting Series Senior
2017 Cooper Tires USF2000 - scored eleven podium finishes out of thirteen races up to now