Danny van Rijkens

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Danny van Rijkens
Nationality Flag of South Africa svg.png South African
Born 25 May, 1995
Cape Town, South Africa
Current Team Flag of Spain svg.png/Flag of the United States svg.png CR Motorsport
Car Number 25
Former Teams Flag of Tropico svg.png Tropico Grand Prix
Races 18 (11 starts)
Championships 0
Victories 0
Podiums 0
Points 1
Pole Positions 0
Fastest Laps 0
First Race 2015 German Grand Prix
First Victory
Last Victory
Last Race 2016 North Sea Grand Prix (ongoing)
Best Finish 25th (2015)


Danny van Rijkens (born 25th May 1995 in Cape Town, South Africa) is a South African racing driver, credited with being the first African driver to compete in both the Rejects of LFS series and F1RWRS. He currently races for CR Motorsport in the F1RWRS' 2016 season. Van Rijkens is heavily sponsored by South African petrochemicals firm Sasol.

Career

Little is known of van Rijkens' motorsport history, it's believed he had a prolific karting career in the Cape Town area, but a lack of published results and witnesses of his talent betrays this. What is known is that van Rijkens was initially spotted by Sammy Jones whilst the latter was on a business trip to South Africa in February 2014. Jones was seeking to raise further sponsorship for his motorsport projects when a visit to a kart track on the outskirts of Cape Town led to the two bumping into each other. Having seen van Rijkens' talent, Jones was convinced he could be a future star, and offered the young driver the test and reserve slot at his newly reformed RoLFS team as the series was resurrected for 2014. Van Rijkens immediately accepted, and moved to England as a result, testing frequently at Silverstone as well as attending each race with the team.

The season didn't go well however, with the team struggling to even score points, something that was partly attributed by some to the inexperience of van Rijkens as a test and development driver. Most of the team's budget was spent on improving the spec chassis which they were required to use - van Rijkens had described it as too cumbersome and heavy, but it brought little benefit. A lack of spending on the stock Judd engine meant the team were frequently one of the slowest on the grid. Following the Kyoto Ring weekend however, Jones had had enough of Josh Carlisle and sacked the Englishman, replacing him immediately with van Rijkens, who would be competing for the first time in a professional open-wheel racing series.

In the poor car, Danny performed to a reasonable standard, and in only his second event, the Westhill Sprint race, he finished a superb third and sealed Jones' team's first podium of the season. The points weren't enough to prevent the team finishing bottom of the championship, but the result announced van Rijkens' intent. On the back of this performance, Jones renewed his deal with Danny, ensuring the South African had a full-time deal for 2015.

Van Rijkens driving the 2015 Scaven S15 for Jones Racing in the Rejects of LFS series.

The following year saw the Jones Racing team struggling for funds as Castrol reduced their commitment to the team after 2014's poor results. Therefore to partner Danny, Irishman Connor O'Heagan was signed, bringing with him a significant deal with the shady Shannon Group which would ensure the team would stay afloat. Immediately it was clear that the two drivers would get far more out of the car than in 2014, with both solidly within the tight midfield pack. In the first race of the season, Danny finished a strong third in the heat races, but could only manage 14th overall in the main feature race. Things would change dramatically at the next round though, van Rijkens avoided chaos in the feature race to emerge victorious, sealing Jones Racing's first win in the RoLFS since it's previous incarnation in 2011, and the first ever victory for an African driver in the series.

The result attracted the attention of other team bosses, and as the victory ensured he was eligible for a Reject Licence, the Tropico Grand Prix F1RWRS team offered Danny the chance to race for them as the team struggled for funds at the back of the grid. Eager to take the chance, Danny left Jones Racing to join the big boys in the top tier of motorsport, tasked with getting the Tropico car out of pre-qualifying and back on to the grid.

Results

Complete F1RWRS Results

Year Entrant Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 DC Points
2015 Tropico Grand Prix Tropico TGP002 Gillet GV10 TAS AUS MED MON MEX USA CAN GBR GER
Ret
BEL
Ret
AUT
Ret
ITA
Ret
NED
Ret
CHN
6
JPN
Ret
BRA
8
25th 1
2016 CR Motorsport CR PP-A Holden LSF1-16 AUS
DNPQ
NSW
9
GBR
DNPQ
ITA
Ret
AUT
DNPQ
CAN
DNPQ
USS
DNPQ
USN
Ret
GER
DNPQ
NED
DNPQ
MON BEL MEX ARG CHN JPN 31st* 0*

Complete Rejects of LFS Results

Year Team Chassis Engine 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 DC Pts
2014 Jones Racing Scaven S11B Judd 3.0 V8 BLA
FEA
BLA
SPR
SOU
FEA
SOU
SPR
FER
FEA
FER
SPR
KYO
FEA
KYO
SPR
WES
FEA
13
WES
SPR
3
AST
FEA
11
AST
SPR
18
21st 2
2015 Jones Racing Scaven S15 Judd 3.0 V8 BLA
HEA
3
BLA
FEA
14
WES
HEA
6
WES
FEA
1
FER
HEA
FER
FEA
SOU
HEA
SOU
FEA
AST
HEA
AST
FEA
KYO
HEA
KYO
FEA
KYO
300
11th 12
  • * denotes a season currently in progress.