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Vaughn Gittin Jr. opens Formula Drift season with second-place finish
Vaughn Gittin Jr proved he was ready to rock when he posted an podium finish at the first Formula Drift event of the season. Check out the official words on JR's solid start after the jump...
BALTIMORE, Md.– Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the RTR Drift team slid into the Streets of Long Beach over the weekend with the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR ready to rock and battle it out for a podium finish. Drift fans traveled from near and far to help Formula D kick off their 10th season at this sold-out and bigger-than-ever event. After five epic battles with some fierce competition, Vaughn Gittin Jr. landed himself on the podium in 2nd place overall.
“I am so pumped!” says Vaughn. “For us to walk away with a second place finish – especially with the launch my new team and our brand new car – is amazing! It really shows the passion and hard work of everyone supporting the RTR Drift team and I am so grateful to have such a strong crew.”
This event marks the first time that Vaughn has not only competed as a driver, but as a team owner as well. The RTR Drift Team came to this round with huge momentum, on and off the track. The RTR Drift Team compound was the “hot spot” for the fans all day; they came by to use the Ready to Rock Free WiFi, charge their mobile devices from the charging station, pick up the latest Vaughn Gittin Jr., Drift Alliance, Speedhunters, Electric Visual, and Mustang RTR gear, check out the Mothers Ford Mustang RTR Spec 3 that was on display, take a picture with the beautiful Monster Models Ana Cheri and Ashley Michaelson, get an autograph from Vaughn, or to listen to the musical styling’s of DJ Ahuf that were jamming on the speakers.
Back to the action on track, after qualifying in 6th place out of over 50 drivers, Vaughn went on to defeat Pat Goodin the top 32 round, Pat Mordaunt in the top 16, and then a Formula D veteran like himself – Ken Gushi – in the top eight.
In the semi-finals, Vaughn met his Drift Alliance teammate and fellow Formula Drift “Iron Man” (drivers who have competed in every Formula D event since the series’ establishment in 2004) – Chris Forsberg. Vaughn blasted through the course on his lead run, displaying the power of the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR that was built and is supported by ASD Motorsports out of Charlotte, North Carolina. During his chase run, Vaughn stuck to Forsberg’s door through the course, leaving a bellowing trail of Nitto NT05 tire smoke behind him. Vaughn was awarded the win and would move on to the finals, securing a spot on the podium.
In the final battle of the day, Vaughn faced one of his known rivals on the track – Daijiro Yoshihara – for the 1st place position. Vaughn gave chase first, following Yoshihara with tight proximity, but cut the final clip a little too close while following all the way into the hairpin. Vaughn next threw down an amazing lead run, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the small error in the first battle. Vaughn would finish the event in 2nd place, and is also now 2nd place in points overall in the Formula Drift Championship heading into Round 2 at Road Atlanta.
Next up on the competition schedule, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the RTR Drift Team are bringing the heat to Atlanta May 10th and 11th, where they will be fighting for another podium finish.