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R.I.P Bram de Pijper

On Friday evening, we have received the shocking news about the death of super stock competitor Bram de Pijper from Vierpolders, in the Netherlands. Bram passed away on Thursday, November 7th, 2019 after a long battle against a illness. He was just 59 years old. Bram was the owner and driver of the Case IH Optum 300 CVX component super stock tractor called ''European Maid''.
In this little story, we're watching back about his time in the tractor pulling sport.
Bram, together with Johan van Oorschot started with tractor pulling in the 1980s with a Ford 7000 called ''Woody Woodpecker'' in the 4.4t super stock class. Later he decided to go his own way and purchased an IH 833 which became later the basis of the first European Maid. He debuted with the new super stock in Eext (NL) in 1983.
During the winter of 1988 and 1989, he worked on a completely new European Maid with an IH 3688 hood and a 6 cylinder IH engine with 3 turbos and Sigma fuel pump. The tractor was a success, he finished with his team at the EC on the Flevohof (NL) in runner up position in the 3.4t super stock class and in 3rd place in the 4.4t super stock class. Like at the EC, he also achieved the same positions in both classes in the 1989 Dutch Championship.
In 1995, Bram decided to switch from diesel to alcohol fuel. He and his Team built a completely new V8 engine with 3 turbos on alcohol for the tractor.
With the V8 alcohol powered tractor, he had one of his scariest moments at the Dutch Championship round on the Flevohof (NL) in 1997, when his tractor lost the balance and the safety harness of his seat snapped and he almost hurled of his European Maid, but luckily he remained unhurt during this wild ride.
After a break, Bram and his team started to build a new super stock tractor in 2007. The IH 3688 sheet metal remained but the old V8 engine was replaced by a new 6 cylinder IH inline engine on alcohol fuel with a billet aluminum head and 3 turbos. During the building process, he was supported by Rob van der Waal the owner of Van der Waal Pulling Parts and the super stock tractor called ''Maximum Risk''.
He made his maiden run with the new tractor in Putten, the Netherlands in 2007.
2008 and 2009 was an expensive period with lots of big damages. In Made 2008 and Wierden 2009 the 6 cylinder engine blew up 2 times in a big fireball. Because of the huge damages, they couldn't drive for the rest of the seasons.
After that expensive time, Bram decided to build a completely new component super stock. But due to private circumstances, the building of this machine took a while. The tractor received again an IH 3688 hood, a much lighter chassis and a new better engine with lots of improvements and changes. The machine debuted at the Made's Powerweekend (NL) in 2012.
After 5 years with the tractor, Bram and his team decided to build again a completely new component super stock for the 35th anniversary of the European Maid Pulling Team. This time the tractor received a new homemade chrome-moly tube frame with a new lighter cage, a further improved engine with a new 4 turbochargers setup and a new Case IH Optum 300 CVX hood. It was the first super stock tractor worldwide which has a new Case IH Optum hood. Under the whole super stock tractors, the Case IH is one of the nicest machines in the super stock class in Europe.
Bram made its maiden voyage with the new European Maid at the 2018 Dutch Championship event in Loerbeek, the Netherlands. The new ride ran in its first season pretty good, but not 100% problem-free.
The 2019 season was one of the best seasons that they ever had with a alcohol powered super stock.
Bram could win the Dutch Championship season opener in Loerbeek (NL) and his son Joey won the round in Putten (NL). Bram and the whole Team had the chance to win the 2019 Dutch Championship but in the end, it shouldn't be enough. They finished the championship in runner up position 4 points behind Zeinstra New Born Deere. That was another proud moment for Bram and his Team.
They also competed in the Euro Cup again this year. The best results were the 2nd place at the Beachpull in Putten (NL) and a 3rd place at the Made's Powerweekend (NL). In the end, he and his son Joey finished in 5th place in Euro Cup point standings.
His last and final competition had Bram at the European Championship in Brande, Denmark this September.
After he ran out of bounds in his only qualifying attempt, he got the chance from the ETPC officials to make a run outside of the valuation in the finals. And it was a very strong pass by Bram de Pijper, he was only a few cm behind the later European Champion Naomi Kools with Interaction 2.0.
Bram, the Team and the spectators celebrated that pass like the win of a title.
The runner up position in 2019 Dutch Championship and the last pass at the 2019 EC in Brande (DK) were probably one of the last memorable and nicest moments of his life.
One is sure the tractor pulling sport has lost a great man, ambassador, and fair competitor. He always had an open ear to the pulling fans in the pits and never lost, despite his long illness the fun at his life and his hobby.
The competitors, organizers and the fans of the pulling sport will definitely sorely miss him in the future. Bram will always in the mind of the people and will never be forgotten.

Our thoughts are with the whole family and the European Maid Pulling Team.
We wish his son Joey, his daughter Naomi and the whole family and Team a lot of strength to cope with this terrible loss!

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