Vaughn Gittin Jr. Brings the Fun in 2016
The Professional Fun-Haver finished King of the Hammers, puts smiles on faces at the St. Louis Auto-Show, debuts all-new competition car and wins Formula Drift Atlanta.
The first event of 2016 was a series of demos at the St. Louis Auto Show on January 29th-30th. Vaughn brought out his 2016 Demo-Spec Ford Mustang RTR and the Mustang RTR Spec-2 to put smiles on faces and give ride-alongs to some lucky fans.
About a week after the St. Louis Auto Show, Vaughn headed to Johnson Valley, California, to compete with Nitto Tire in one of the toughest off-road races in the world; The King Of The Hammers. With an average of 80% of competitors not making it to the finish line, just making it back in one piece is an accomplishment within itself.
Considering that no other “crossover” athlete has ever even finished the event on their first try, the fact that Vaughn Gittin Jr. finished 10th in class and 14th overall out of hundreds of vehicles is an incredible feat. Nitto Tire put together a recap video you can find here:
Vaughn had this to say about the event, “KOH was the most insane event I have ever endured. Being that this was all new to me I really had no idea what to expect as videos and photos just do not do it justice. Just about every climb and every obstacle was intimidating. The feeling of conquering those obstacles and going places you’re not supposed to go in a vehicle felt amazing! I am pretty pumped on how I adapted and how all of my driving experience up until this point lent itself so well to the challenges of Ultra 4 Racing. Just finishing the race was the #1 goal and would have been “success” in my eyes but finishing 10th in class and 14th overall out of 100 competitors was definitely something I was not expecting.”
Check out the full story on DrivingLine.com
On April 4th, 2016, Vaughn Gittin Jr. unveiled his 2016 Competition-Spec Ford Mustang RTR to the world with a press release, video and photo series just days before its debut at the first round of the Formula Drift Championship in Long Beach, CA. The new model introduced Ford’s Independent Rear Suspension system which presented some new and positive engineering opportunities in comparison to the previous generation’s solid rear axle.
The car is powered by a 436 cubic-inch Ford Performance/Roush Yates Racing engine making over 900 horsepower and utilizes light-weighting processes similar to what Ford is deploying in its production vehicles to bring the weight down to under 3000lbs.
Vaughn had this to say about the new car, “This new Ford Mustang is so much fun to drive in its stock form and with only 1 year of development in our Competition Spec- Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR, my team has really turned it up to 11 by making this the most exciting car I have ever been behind the wheel of. This Mustang RTR is a 900 horsepower, nine-second drag car that can turn left and right on a dime — I feel so re-inspired behind the wheel of this beast.”
Check out the video below:
April 8th/9th marked the first round of the Formula Drift Championship season in not-so-sunny Long Beach, California. A very rainy weekend caused the organizers to forego qualifying and we moved right to the main event. The limited grip on the course was causing everyone to slide around like it was an ice rink. At the end of the day, Vaughn walked away in a 4-way tie for 5th place and a clear idea of what needed to be done at the next round.
“We learned a lot on our maiden voyage here at Formula D Round 1 with our new Ford Mustang RTR. I left a bit on the table which did not get us the results we could have earned this round. I am pumped for the rest of the season.. it’s going to be a great one,” mentioned Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Formula Drift: Atlanta was one of those events in which everything felt and went perfectly. Vaughn qualified first with a dominating run and then proceeded to knock out all of his competitors on his way to his first “perfect event.” The win in Atlanta bumped Vaughn to first place overall in the Championship heading into FD Orlando.
Vaughn had this to say about the event, “Perfect events don’t come easy in Formula Drift. This new Ford Mustang RTR has inspired me to simply just be me behind the wheel. That fact combined with my team’s hard work and all the support from the Ford Performance team throughout our development over the last year is why we are on this top step. It feels so good to bring home a win for everyone that has worked so hard and supported our goals out here!”
Vaughn went into the Orlando round leading the championship and, again, earned the first place qualifying spot. The weekend ended with a 9th place finish leaving the Professional Fun-haver just twelve points off of first place heading into Round 4.
Heading into Formula Drift: New Jersey this weekend, Vaughn is looking forward to having fun and taking back the championship lead!
For the 2016 season, Vaughn is working with Ford Performance to produce a series of Tech Videos from each round of the Formula Drift Championship. These videos will highlight different features of Vaughn’s Competition-Spec Ford Mustang RTR and he will explain how these features affect the performance of the car. Check out the “Under the Hood” video from Atlanta and the “Light-Weighting” video from Orlando!
Also new for the 2016 season is the introduction of 360 videos from Driving Line of Vaughn slaying each track in the series with walk-through audio. Keep an eye out on Vaughn’s socials for the next one!
As with every new season, Vaughn has released his 2016 line of team gear available exclusively in the online store below: