Rik Koen, the Dutch youngster who made a name for himself in the Dutch Ford Fiesta Cup, will switch to single-seaters for the coming season after signing with MP Motorsport to compete in the Spanish Formula 4 Championship.
Following up on two seasons in the one-make Ford Fiesta Cup, and on the instigation of his experienced driving coach Cor Euser, Arnhem 16-year-old Koen has now decided to make the move to single-seaters.
His first encounter with MP Motorsport’s F4 car came during a satisfying two-day test at the Barcelona circuit, resulting in Koen doing everything in his power to get signed up by the team for 2021. As in his two previous years in the Ford Fiesta Cup, Koen will be supported by the local federation’s KNAF Academy.
“It’s super cool that everything worked out with the sponsors,” says Koen, “Switching from a front-wheel-drive touring car to Formula 4 is a big step-up in my career. It’s still my dream to one day race at Le Mans, but my coach Cor Euser has identified the single-seater driver in me.
“This is why I will first aim to achieve the best possible in single-seaters, as I can take that experience with me everywhere I go. The test went really well – the F4 car felt like a big kart, making me feel at home immediately. I am also happy to drive for MP Motorsport, the team that dominated the Spanish championship last year. As a Dutchman, it is always nice to drive for a Dutch team!”
“I warmly welcome Rik into our team,” said Sander Dorsman, MP Motorsport’s team manager, “His performances in the Ford Fiesta Cup have been impressive, but he has also shown in karts that he has the talent to prove himself in single-seaters. We’ll be working hard with Rik in Spain, and the results should follow quickly.”
Koen started karting at the age of five and would have liked to have started even earlier had he been taller. He started racing four-stroke karts at seven-years-of-age, switching to Rotax karts the following year.
Seasons in the Rotax Micro Max and Mini Max categories, including a Dutch Mini Max rookie title, followed before Koen moved on to the international Rotax scene where the highlight came in 2016 – holding third place, shortly before the end, during the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals for Mini Max karts.
This performance caught the KNAF’s eye, but the support of the Dutch federation could only materialise when Koen started racing in the Ford Fiesta Cup in 2019. In parallel, Koen raced in the DNRT’s long-distance races, resulting in several victories in 2019 and 2020.