SPOTLIGHT ON RICK VAN GOETHEM

As well as running a 3 car drift team in house Japspeed are proud to partner with independent drifters and teams across the globe. One such driver is Dutch rising star Rick Van Goethem.

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Earning himself Rookie of the year and 11th position overall in the 2014 Nürburging DriftCup, Rick had big plans for 2015. Despite a rocky start with a new build, 2015 has been a phenomenal year for Rick with a number of ups and downs along the way. Here we’ll take a moment to look back at his year drifting across the continent so far.

25 April Drift for Charity Luxembourg

Amid tuning difficulties with his own car, Rick had the opportunity to borrow the Falken BMW M3 for this charity event. Raising 5000 euros through drift taxi laps and demonstrations is not a bad way to start the year!

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15 May Nürburging 24H Drift Demo

Rick and his team enjoyed a fantastic start to 2015 putting on a 1hr long drift demo around the infamous circuit with 30,000 spectators! Not only that their performance was also broadcast live on Sport1 TV across Germany. With the car freshly built and performing well, Rick put on an incredible show, wowing the crowds.

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22/23/24 May Hockenheim Tunergrandprix

Heading into the first competitive event of the year, Rick had a somewhat turbulent time. Suffering some mechanical gremlins, Rick would be forced to go straight into qualifying with minimal practice time! Despite this his experience and skill as a driver saw him qualify in 4th overall and make it all the way to the top 16 where he put up a very close fight against his teammate. By the narrowest of errors Rick’s weekend was over.

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25/26 July King of Europe Pro Series Round 3 Austria

Despite enjoying huge success in competitions across Europe, Rick is consistently seeking a higher standard of drifting to challenge himself against strong opposition. With this in mind he made the journey to the PS Racing Centre in Greinback, Austria.

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Faced with an incredible technical track layout, Rick knew he faced tough competition not only from highly experienced drivers on the grid but with the weather turning sour; an increasingly wet circuit. Despite this he succeeded in qualifying 18th from a grid of 40 drivers!

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Heading into the top 32 Rick had a mountain to climb. Having suffered technical issues earlier in the year he would be pitting his 500bhp Nissan Skyline against a 700bhp opponent. Unfortunately for Rick his vision would be impaired due to his opponent running red coloured tyres however despite the difficulties Rick put in a fantastic performance and gave the judges no choice but to call a One More Time on this battle. At such high level competition it was not to be Rick’s day however this was not going to deter him from a return to King of Europe.

14/15/16 August Nürburgring Driftcup Round 2

Returning to the world famous circuit, Rick was excited for a new event and a new layout. With 4th gear entries over 150km/hr the order of the day, it was going to be a long weekend ahead.

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Following a very positive practice session, qualifying went smoothly placing Rick in 18th position out of 70 drivers! Enjoying success early on in the battles, Rick came out on top in his first 2 battles despite damp conditions. Pushing ever harder to impress and apply pressure to the competition Rick would end up pushing too hard in his 3rd battle and ultimately hand the advantage to his opponent.

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23 August Sport 1 Trackday Show Drift Demonstration

A regular visitor to the Nürburgring, Rick now found himself in the paddock of the world renowned circuit this time for a drift demonstration in front of thousands of gathered spectators. Applying precise car control, Rick wowed the crowds in his 500bhp Skyline.

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While relatively early on in his drifting career, Rick Van Goethem is a phenomenal driver with enormous potential and a successful career ahead of him. Japspeed are proud to support this young driver – watch this space for more from Rick’s activities across Europe.

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