Like a book with many chapters, for Doug Van Den Brink, Drifting is just the latest form of motorsport that he has competed in. After spending many years learning how not to slide when competing and winning championships in many forms of racing, Doug transitioned to a sport that's all about looking through the side window.
"Drifting was a tough transition for me. I don't know if I've ever had more fun while driving a car but making the move from racing to drifting was a big challenge. I've really enjoyed learning how to be as proficient at it as I was going straight & fast." Doug said in a recent interview.
To date, Doug has spent the majority of his drifting career in his venerable D'Vanz Motorsports Mustang. The car has gone through many updates and has really pushed the development of this chassis in a direction it was never intended. There's a reason these 79-04 cars never did anything but drag race, it's really all they're good at in mostly-stock form. What we have done at DVM is develop parts that before we came along, never existed. Now guys that want to autocross or drift their Mustang have a place to go and find parts that allow their cars to actually turn. It's been fun learning about these cars and figuring out ways to allow them to compete with the more common drift-chassis like Nissan 240's.
For 2014, Doug will be competing in the new FD Pro-2 category. With the Pro category growing in popularity, it's also growing in costs to stay competitive and without corporate sponsorship, Doug and his DVM team have decided to shoot for the front of the Pro-2 category.
While focus will again be on the teams still under construction updated 2004 Mustang, Doug will start off his Pro-2 championship bid in the DeNofa Motorsports BMW. It's a completely new set of surroundings for the North Carolina driver but he is excited about taking on the challenge.
Doug is extremely optimistic about the new Pro-2 category, It's something that FD has needed for some time. Having won the Pro-Am National Championship, the South East Pro-Am championship and competing in a handful of FD Pro events, I can tell you that there is a ton of difference between the cars and driver experience levels when going from grassroots Pro-Am level to FD Pro. When a grassroots level guy pulls up to the starting line against a Forsberg, Gittin, Saito or Essa, it's a whole other world. Those cats are so fast, it's hard to even get your head around it and it's really hard to move your program forward if you can't match their budgets, seat-time and engineering capabilities. I think Pro-2 is going to give guys a good look at what it simply means to be a Pro and it's going to give teams that don't have massive-budgets a place to shine, so that they can build their programs into something that will someday enable them to be competitive with the elite teams in this sport.
For more info on Doug and his team, please go to his website: www.DougVanDenBrink.com