Rinus van Kalmthout impresses in Dubai as well with commanding win and finishing third twice
KNAF Talent First car racing talent Rinus van Kalmthout (Rinus VeeKay) once again impressed in the MRF Challenge with a commanding win and finishing third twice at Dubai Autodrome, round two of this India based single seater championship. Van Kalmthout emphasized his speed by claiming three quickest lap times out of four races. But just like in Bahrain, Van Kalmthout was hit by a mechanical problem in one race, forcing the 17-year-old driver from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands into a race to catch up the lost ground, starting from 17th position to finish ninth. “The speed was great again, but it’s a pity we couldn’t maximize that due to that mechanical problem,” Van Kalmthout said after his second MRF Challenge weekend.
The second round of the MRF Challenge was at the beautiful Dubai Autodrome. In the first round of this India based single seater championship KNAF Talent First car racing talent Rinus van Kalmthout (Rinus VeeKay) impressed with three pole positions, a dominant win, a runner-up finish and a fourth position, and so the young Dutch driver travelled to Dubai with high expectations.
In the two free practices the 17-year-old driver from Hoofddorp in the Netherlands impressed again and finished in first and second position. But in qualifying Rinus VeeKay, the name Rinus van Kalmthout uses in America and other international races, lacked top speed, lost almost 0.4 seconds on the straight compared to the rest of the field and couldn’t do better than fourth position. In the first race, Van Kalmthout had a good start and was in third position after one lap. Particularly in the second part of the race, the young Dutch driver was the fastest driver on track, resetting the quickest lap time of the race. The KTF driver closed the gap to the driver in second position, but couldn’t come close enough to pass and finished in third position.
But there was far more to come in race number two where Van Kalmthout was able to show his real pace. With the reversed grid of the top six finishers of race number one, the KTF-driver had to start from fourth position again. After one lap VeeKay was second, to take the lead with a great move on lap three. Van Kalmthout extended his lead by more than one second per lap and took a dominant win with a margin of eleven seconds to the driver in second position. Van Kalmthout emphasized his dominance by resetting the fastest lap time five times.
The starting grid of the third race was based on the qualifying results and so Van Kalmthout had to start from fourth position once again. After one lap the KTF driver was in third position, but was then hit by problems with his gearbox. Extremely alert, Van Kalmthout stopped his car and reset the gearbox by restarting the engine. But this took so much time that the KTF driver had to rejoin the race in 17th position and with an large gap to the rest of the field. Van Kalmthout started an impressive race to catch up the field, closed the gap to the drivers in front of him, overtook three competitors in one lap and reset the fastest lap time. After ten laps Van Kalmthout crossed the finish line in twelfth position, but as three drivers received a time penalty, he was classified in ninth.
His lap times in the first three races handed Van Kalmthout the pole position for race number four. Although the gearbox was repaired before the race, changing the gears took more time than it should take and so Van Kalmthout couldn’t match the pace he had in the other three races. The KTF driver lost two places and despite the gear changing problems he could stay close to the leaders to finish in third position, his third podium finish of the weekend.
“The speed was really great again and of course that is good for your confidence. But it’s a pity we lost so many points in race three and four due to that mechanical problem. With a little more luck, the championship standing would be much more in our favor right now,” Van Kalmthout said, showing some mixed feelings.
With two more rounds and thus eight races to go, Van Kalmthout is the number three in the MRF Challenge championship at the moment. The next round of the MRF Challenge is next week in Abu Dhabi.
This season, Rinus van Kalmthout is supported by Jumbo and the Dutch KNAF Talent First program.