Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
December 14, 2015
Photos By: Courtesy Of Roush Performance, TEN Archives

Drifting is a big part of Ford Performance’s youth marketing and association, and has been a major sponsor for many years. While to some drifting looks like nothing more than a semi-controlled burnout, it is a lot more than that. Drifting is actually more about grip than slip (or spinning) and takes a talented driver with some serious hardware to pull it off appropriately. There are several domestic cars in competition, but the two Mustang driving ballers in the arena are Justin Pawlak and Vaughn Gittin Jr. They’ve both achieved much success in the Formula Drift series, with Vaughn taking the 2010 championship. We encourage you to get out and hit a Formula Drift event to see what everyone is talking about now that Formula Drift has announced its 2016 event schedule.

The 2016 schedule include World Championship, Pro Championship, and PRO 2 events. In addition, both Formula Drift Japan and the inaugural Formula Drift Canada will have their own respective four event schedules. Entering the thirteenth year of competition, Formula Drift will expand the Pro Championship to eight rounds of competition by including the Montreal round. This is the first event outside of the United States to be included in the Pro Championship in the history of the Series. The World Championship will consist of eight Pro Championship rounds and two Japan rounds of competition. The PRO 2 Series will consist of four rounds of competition with a new stand-alone PRO 2 and Pro Am event on September 30th-October 1st, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Justin “JTP” Pawlak, left, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. (right) both carry the Mustang flag into battle in the Formula Drift PRO series.

“With the continued success of our international presence, we look forward to growing the Sport domestically and internationally this upcoming season,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula Drift. “In 2015, Formula Drift continued to be the global leader in millennial motorsports with 29 competitions held under the Formula Drift brand that resulted in three billion media impressions.”

The Pro Series will continue to be broadcasted on CBS Sports and distributed globally by IMG Media with a reach of 360 million homes. Each of the Series will be live streamed globally and was viewed by over two million people internationally in 2015. For more information on Formula Drift Canada and Formula Drift Japan please visit: and

While Pawlak’s Mustang is based off of a 2014 Mustang body, for 2016 competition Gittin’s new ride will be based off of the S550 Mustang body.
NASCAR isn’t the only motorsports that looks awesome under the lights at night. Many of the Formula Drift events feature final rounds late into the evening.

2016 Formula DRIFT Schedule
April 8-9 World Championship, Pro Championship Long Beach, CA
April 15-16 Invitational Long Beach, CA
May 6-7 World Championship, Pro Championship, PRO 2 Atlanta, GA
May / June World Championship, Japan Championship Ebisu, Japan
June 3-4 World Championship, Pro Championship, PRO 2 Orlando, FL
June 17-18 World Championship, Pro Championship Wall, NJ
July 15-16 World Championship, Pro Championship Montreal, Canada
August 5-6 World Championship, Pro Championship Monroe, WA
Sept 9-10 World Championship, Pro Championship, PRO 2 Fort Worth, TX
September World Championship, Japan Championship Okayama, Japan
Sept 30-Oct 1 PRO 2, Pro Am Phoenix, AZ
Oct 7-8 World Championship, Pro Championship Irwindale, CA