Driver Spotlight: Dylan Lobbestael

Black E46 drifting

Ever wondered who the dude wheeling the clean-ass black E46 coupe around Kil-kare is? If you don’t know already, climb out from under the rusted out s-chassis you must live under and learn a thing or two about one of the midwest's most consistent rippers.

Dylan Lobbestael has long been one of my favorite drivers to watch and photograph, largely because of said insane consistency. Mario Johnston and I used to get super hyped to post up at sunset and snag some bangers of Dylan’s bimmer backlit and spitting smoke through the infield.

Dylan Lobbestael poses for a portrait

Dylan Lobbestael is a 25-year-old drifter from Michigan.

 Dylan kindly took some time out of the Luau to sit down with me for a little interview. Here's some excerpts from our conversation:

What does drifting mean to you? How does it fit into your life?

So I made a Facebook post actually the other day, and I talked about how, like, lucky I am to have a family and have a home and have a truck, have a trailer and have a car like, I guess that's a lot of materialism. But at the same time, drifting has been a huge motivator for me, because I'm like, “Well, I can only get tires if I work. So I can only trailer the car if I work. So I you know, you got to show up to work every day, you’ve got to work hard for something you want. And I found out that like, it's kind of motivated me and just in general in life, to be a more proficient person. You know, on the weekends, I'm usually buying a car and selling a car, because that's how you make side money. Because you know, you're lucky if your day job pays you enough to come drifting every weekend. So I have to make do and it's actually been pretty awesome. It's been pretty supportive of my home and my girlfriend and my baby. So I'm proud of it.


How would you describe your driving style, like what are you thinking about when you’re out there?

Just like everyone I guess. It's go fast, throw a lot of angle, make a lot of smoke and have a good time. I guess that drifting events and events in general I'm really focused on driving where some people are focused on hanging out in the pits you know doing whatever. I'm more focused on being extra on track. I just drove, like I said I'm from Detroit, so I drove four hours to be here. That's a lot of fuel money so I'm here to drive the wheels off the car. So, you know, enter faster, drive with my friends, get better at tandems. Just have a good time basically. And that's what drifting is for.

Black E46 coupe drifting at sunsetSee what I mean about the cool sunset backlighting this car? This was No Star Bash 2020. 

Who's your favorite tandem buddy?

That's a good question! I'm good friends with Cory Misko and Justin Medina. I just did my first tandems with Brendon Greaves. He just moved here from Australia, but I'd probably say Justin just because me and him are really close friends. We've known each other since ninth grade in high school so, I mean, since I was 13. So 12 years now me and Justin have been hanging out and we're super close so it's really cool like getting Justin into the sport and getting to drive with him and I was there, you know, seven years ago when he bought his S2000 and it's cool to see him driving the same car now and now we're driving next to each other. He's probably my favorite tandem buddy.


Favorite Drift Indy Memory?

I love all the fun events but, like, street leagues are the move because that is like the most adrenaline you can have. I remember Street League One Edgar called me and said “You wanna drive this event? We had someone bow out,” and I was like “yeah, I'm down dude!” Like I'm down for anything. Seat time, seat time. And I showed up and had a great time and I think it was the first event I placed like fourth or something and I had to forfeit because my car was overheating. But it was like just that adrenaline rush. Being on grid just never really tandemned before just having to go for it. That's one of my favorite memories here. But just hanging out. Hanging out with everyone is a great time.

A black E46 coupe and a blue 240sx drifting
Dylan leads with Ryan Laverse chasing in an earlier Street League battle.

Who’s your favorite driver to compete against?

Favorite competitor? That's a good question. I had a couple one more times. So like Stu Kelly and Colten Terrell. That was cool. That was 2020. I don't know. That's a good question. Me and Geoff Donati had a good time. He bumped my door last year. And then me and Ryan Laverse had a good time. He kind of bumped my wheel like one run after that. But I don't really know. I don't know if I've got a favorite competitor that I've driven against at least, you know. A lot of good drivers out there, though.

The ride:

Dylan's chariot of choice is a 2002 BMW 330ci. It's powered by a turbo M54 putting down right around 415 horsepower to the wheels through a stock transmission. It's caged but he's managed to hold onto the stock interior and AC.

If banging doors in Bavarian comfort isn't a flex, then I don't know what is.

He runs a Link Engine Management standalone tuned by Brendon Greaves, who works alongside Fresh Produce MFG. Cory Misko did the fab work, including the exhaust manifold, wastegate plumbing, intercooler piping and a full exhaust. He runs Silver's coilovers paired with an SLR angle kit. When he wants to turn the loud pedal off a Seems Legit Garage dual caliper kit helps keep him sliding. 


Black E46 coupe pittedIf it's not on track, you can usually find Dylan's car pitted by the Link tent, and the man himself probably won't be too far away either.