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Holland's K&N Team Brabo Lights Up the 2012 NL Dutch Drift Series

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It would be interesting to know just how many tires a season Team Brabo blows through.
It would be interesting to know just how many tires a season Team Brabo blows through.
In Holland as throughout most of Europe drifting continues to be one of the fastest growing of all motorsports, and one of the hottest new teams lighting up the Dutch Drift Series is K&N's Team Brabo. The team competes in a totally rebuilt-specific 1989 BMW E34 M5 powered by a 5.0 liter V8 from an E39 M5. Dennis van der Prijt is the driver and team owner. Van der Prijt also owns Brabo Rolls-Royce and Bentley Specialist in Holland, and as the name infers they specialize in Rolls Royce and Bentley motor cars.
2012 is the first season that Team Brabo has been sponsored by K&N and they are already looking forward to continuing that relationship into next season.
2012 is the first season that Team Brabo has been sponsored by K&N and they are already looking forward to continuing that relationship into next season.


"I started drifting as a hobby together with a friend three years ago," said van der Prijt. "We drove a drift course at Circuit Park Zandvoort. He drove a Mercedes and I drove my BMW."

Circuit Park Zandvoort is a motorsport track in Burgemeester van Alphenstraat, located in dunes north of the town of Zandvoort in the Netherlands, along the coastline of the North Sea. Shortly after that initial introduction into drifting van der Prijt was hooked.

"After about two years of playing around with drifting I wanted more and I started with the twin-drift battles in the NL Drift series," explains van der Prijt. "The first season I managed to climb up in the top-10, out of a total of 50 teams. This season we are currently in fourth place in the series' championship with three more events to go."
Team Brabo slows to take a few pictures - can you say Reypenaer artisanal cheese?
Team Brabo slows to take a few pictures - can you say Reypenaer artisanal cheese?


The automotive finesse art of sliding and spinning a highly powered car on the brink of chaos through a controlled course immediately captured the imagination of van der Prijt, as it does with anyone watching or within audible range. Folklore attributes the technique of drifting to Kunimitsu Takahashi, a former professional motorcyclist who would integrate the technique into races to throw off his opponents and block their racing line during the 1970's. Then in 1980's a young man by the name of Keiichi Tsuchiya began developing Takahashi's technique into what we know as drifting today. Although deeply rooted Japanese culture where it originated, the drifting talent pool didn't really begin to fill until it reached the street culture in the United States, and tire manufacturers have been smiling ear-to-ear ever since.
Dennis van der Prijt and five other teams entertained over 600,000 fans at the Rotterdam City Racing Drift Show.
Dennis van der Prijt and five other teams entertained over 600,000 fans at the Rotterdam City Racing Drift Show.


Although early on it was called "drift racing," racing doesn't really come into play, and to be absolutely clear, it's also not power sliding. The key distinction between a power slide and a drift is that a power slide is initiated with brute force and kinetic energy, whereas a drift is instigated with varying techniques involving the shift of weight in the car and the shift of power between the wheels. This is one of the reasons why a limited slip differential and a rear wheel drive car such as the BMW van der Prijt's drives are essential to drifting.

Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula Drift, North America's foremost drift championship series is quoted as saying. "Drifting is a judged sport. It's not about crossing a finish line, as in drag racing, but about performance, style and technique."
Up in smoke - that's how K&N's Dennis van der Prijt and his 1989 BMW E34 M5 rolled through the mean streets of Rotterdam.
Up in smoke - that's how K&N's Dennis van der Prijt and his 1989 BMW E34 M5 rolled through the mean streets of Rotterdam.


In competition drifters are judged on speed, line and angle, and more subjectively on overall impression. Drifters need keen steering, braking, shifting and accelerating skills to control the car as it drifts around turns, and van der Prijt has displayed a highly refined and instinctive talent for the sport.

"We compete in five or six event a year and we do a lot of training whenever we get the chance," adds van der Prijt's. We also do some demonstrations like the Rotterdam City Racing Drift Show. It's a very popular event watched by over 600,000 people lining the streets and on Dutch national TV. This year we did two, fifteen-minute runs through the city of Rotterdam, along with five other drifters and people on the street where cheering the entire time."

Team Brabo will be back competing at Circuit Park Zandvoort on September 9th.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.