Vaughn Gittin Jr. and the Monster Energy Falken Tire 2013 Ford Mustang RTR came to Formula Drift Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington with hopes of another podium finish just as he had done at the previous round in Wall, New Jersey. Not only did Vaughn achieve this goal, but he took the top spot (again) upon the podium and also gained crucial points by qualifying first, allowing him to surge into the 1st place position overall in the Formula Drift Championship standings.
On Saturday’s main event, Evergreen Speedway was home to a sold-out and enthusiastic crowd. Fans came from all over to see their favorite drivers compete on this high-speed, exciting drift course. The track consisted of a fast entry into a long bank, with a quick transition into the technical “power ally”. Watch this VIDEO from Vaughn’s 1st place qualifying run to see what the judges were looking for from the Formula Drift drivers.
Vaughn fought his way through Miro Ovcharik in the top 32, and then Michael Essa in the top 16, to find himself matched with Matt Powers in the Great Eight. Vaughn would lead first and ride the bank high, while Powers would push to keep close to Vaughn, only able to close the gap in the final turn. Vaughn would give chase next, and followed Powers’ line into the infield. Powers ended up spinning while Vaughn managed to slide past him, even with the close proximity of the cars, but in doing so had to adjust his line to avoid contact and resulted in a spin for him as well. With his advantage in the first run, Vaughn was awarded the win and would move on to the semi-finals.
Vaughn met 2005 Formula Drift Champion Rhys Millen in the Final Four. Vaughn led first and blasted the bank high on the wall until the transition into the “power ally” while Millen tried to stay close. Vaughn next gave chase and stuck to his competitor’s door on the bank and into the infield, while Millen, feeling the pressure, dropped a tire off course. Vaughn was deemed the winner of the battle and would move on to the finals!
In the finals, Vaughn would battle his Drift Alliance teammate Ryan Tuerck for the top spot upon the coveted podium. Vaughn led first, initiating early and maintaining a high line on the bank. He transitioned into the infield and hit the outer clipping zone and last two clipping points on target, while Tuerck pushed to keep up to the Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang RTR. Vaughn gave chase next, and kept close to his competitor, who was unable to put down a lead run such as Vaughn’s. The judges announced Vaughn the winner of the final battle, and would therefore be named the winner of Formula Drift Round Five!
With the points earned from his 1st place finish and 1st place qualifying, Vaughn moves up to 1st place overall in the Formula Drift Championship! Watch Ford Racing’s VIDEO recap of the event at Evergreen Speedway.
“It is a true testament to the hard work and passion of my team and myself that we are here now in first place overall after a not so ideal start to the season,” says Vaughn. “The Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang RTR was on fire tonight, and I can’t wait till Las Vegas to keep this momentum going!”
Next up for Vaughn on the FD circuit is Round 6 August 21 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. He plans to continue pushing hard in hopes of another podium finish and to maintain his lead in the FD points chase. For more information, please visit Vaughn’s Facebook Page or VaughnGittin.com.