Vaughn Gittin Jr. Announces Nitto Tire Deal for 2013 [CONFIRMED]

Other than Michael Essa’s new E46 chassis for 2013 this has to be the biggest news of the 2013 off-season to date. Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Falken Tire have one of the longest standing partnerships in Formula Drift history until the end of the 2012 season. We reported just after the 2012 SEMA Show that Vaughn Gittin Jr. was seen testing the Nitto NT05 tire and it now seems to be a complete deal. This is quite exciting news for Nitto Tire and we are curious if this will result in them dropping some other drivers in 2013 to make budget. The one last question I think everyone has on our mind is what will Falken Tire do with all this spare cash on hand for 2013?

Vaughn was missing from the 2012 SEMA team release so we are guessing this was a planned move before the season fired up. I wish they would put Walker Wilkerson or Danny George in a great teal/blue ride instead of taking all that money over into ALMS or Supercross. Vaughn will debut on the Nitto NT05 tire at the St. Louis Auto Show at the end of January and keep moving through 2013 with his new partnership. Below is the press release fired out this afternoon.

 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is

excited to announce that he has joined forces with Nitto Tire. Fueled by passion and
innovation, Nitto Tire is a perfect match for Vaughn and his always forward-thinking
team. Vaughn, who is undeniably one of drifting’s most iconic drivers, will represent
Nitto Tire and showcase their max-performance tire’s superior performance and
capability through competing in the Formula Drift Championship and China’s WDS
Series. He will also be performing exhibitions and experiential events all over the
world, where many will have the opportunity to ride shotgun in his Monster Energy
Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR.

From Vaughn: “I am pumped to be working with Nitto Tire! As I enter this new
chapter of my career, it feels great to be aligned with a brand that is committed
to winning and progression, just as I am. I have always been focused on working
just as hard off the track as I do on it, and Nitto’s innovative marketing efforts and
awesome tires will compliment that well. It is very clear that our overall passion
and future goals align perfectly, and I could not be happier with what the future has
to offer surrounding this partnership.”


  1. Garrett Grout says:

    I agree with putting Walker Wilkerson in a Teal/Blue. He has the raw talent of what it takes to win but just lacks the funding. I guarentee if he had a more competitive car and strong team behind him he’d really be giving these top guys a real run for their money.

  2. someguy says:


  3. SamuraiSam says:

    Hopefully they drop Bergenholtz and not Essa or Powers. Bergenholtz seems like a waste of money especially with JR on board

  4. LOLjustwait says:

    I cant wait til they release the other news about FD. People’s heads will explode !

  5. SamuraiSam says:

    Hopefully Nitto drops Bergenholtz. That team has been pretty worthless overall.

  6. RapperDan says:

    Awesome for Vaughn, cant wait to see some NITTO smoke from that mustang!!

  7. Mike Peters says:

    How does Falken lose the best thing they ever had?

    HUGE pickup for Nitto. This is the biggest recruitment possibly since ever. Daigo was fair game and a great pickup for Achilles in the community, but JR is by far the #1 most marketable driver in the industry.

    Huge huge huge pickup for Nitto, go them.

  8. Mike Peters says:

    Also, this makes me want to pound an energy drink and get some nittbro tires for my brostang.

    I can’t wait to play with this paint job on Forza. #realtalk

  9. RICHG says:

    It bugs me to see that somebody would say the B’Holtz team is worthless. If thats what you think you are sadly mistaken. Maybe they haven’t caught the breaks that some of the other teams have caught, but they have employed top teir drivers and have produced amazing machines over the years in FD, as well as drag racing. I would go as far to say that there are a few certain sponsors who may not have even taken drifting seriously without their presence. I believe they deserve way more credit, and respect then they have been given. Quite possibly the most underrated FD team on the market, and I take pride in calling them our west coast family! Dont sleep on them…
    On the other hand, on behalf of our family and the shop congrats to VGJ for making BIG things happen on the scene! Keep smoking those tires!

  10. Sam Corson says:

    I’m not too sure about this deal, what’s happening with his car for 2013? What about his partnership with Ford? Will Nitto be settling it up this year?

    So many un awnsered questions, if they let him, he can do wonders for the brand

  11. petite pounder says:

    JTP v. JR is gonna be some epic battles for this year. for more reasons than just mustang-bros.

  12. unobtanium says:

    @mike peters

    It was less Falken letting JR walk away and was more JR choosing the independence of going with ASD. I’m sure Falken would have loved to keep JR but when ASD and Falken split JR chose to go with ASD. Can’t wait to see how the car works with a different tire.

  13. Slider S15 says:

    Interesting news, especially as Nitto isn’t one of the top suppliers in FD (I’d rank Falken, Achilles and even Hankook above them on terms of results over recent years)

    As for Falken’s potential new found budget, I’d LOVE to see them use it to bring back James Deane whos still on their driver roster here in Europe.

    If not him then Danny George with some Falken money and knowhow in his MX5 he could be a force to be reckoned with…

  14. Statistician says:

    james dean is badass wtf is this danny george shit

  15. Danny George says:

    Ian and the ASD guys will make ANY tire work.

    Much thanks for even putting my name in the article. Who knows what is going to happen next year. We have a lot of work to do. All I do know is whoever jumps on this program full force will be getting a killer bang for the buck. See how it falls into place as we get closer. Amazed you guys out there have so much faith in me. XOXO

  16. random black guy says:

    Hopefully ASD wont add extra “hidden” weight like they did to Dmacs car to run a bigger tire size. cough cough

  17. Random white guy says:

    Achillies is the crapiest tire in the series with the dopest driver, I’m pretty sure they make a “special”batch of tires for their drifting ventures… But Daigo could actually beat everyone on thier crappiest tire. Falken has owned the series lately… Hankook ok has done well, nitto is up there too… Matt powers has done well… But back to JR.. Best thing for falken ever! That dude is the rudest, most cocky and biggest ego in the series… If falken didn’t give him a shot he wouldn’t have jack… I don’t think walker deserves it either… He went on track without his hood pins in for fucs sake!

    I heart low budge teams and privateers

  18. Richard Cranium says:

    @ random black guy:


  19. petite pounder says:

    “That dude is the rudest, most cocky and biggest ego in the series” i think you are talking about the wrong mustang driver.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Great to see him get off the sellout team you call falken

  21. lifer says:

    @Random White Guy

    Nice man. Way to show your love for privateers by sounding like a belligerent, uneducated, arrogant, douchebag. You know nothing about JR, or what it means to show love for anything with the sport of drifting. I’m a privateer, and I want nothing to do with you, and your ignorance.

  22. Steffan says:

    What could Falken do with the extra budget? How about bring the list price of the 615K down so we can buy them? Not everyone can afford $300+ for weekend warrior drifting.

  23. Brian says:

    If Chelsea is kept in the rx8 big things could happen for Bergenholdtz so hopefully Nitro doesn’t drop them. Danny is a super rad dude! don’t get me wrong but I don’t think he shouldn’t get full ride yet and walker, maybe but it would be cool to see a new face from another series. All I know with Diago buying Sam’s old car and now Vaughn switching to Nitro Shit’s gunna get cereal!

  24. Vaughn says:

    Thank you all for the love (and Hate 😉 !!! I am really pumped to be working with the crew at Nitto and 2013 is shaping up to be insane surrounding my program this year!

    For those that are wanting some more information here is some clarification.

    As far as my overall program is concerned NOTHING is changing other then the buisness structure and the tire partner I have chose to work with. I will of course still be working with my same team/crew with ASD, All of my existing partners (Monster,Ford,K&N, HPI, Astars, Electric, Exedy, Magnaflow,) are all still on board and of course I will still be in a Ford Mustang.

    OHHHH and I have some additional bills now that I am a team owner….

    I absolutely appreciate the relationship that Falken and I have had for the last 9 years and all of the good times and history we have made together will be far from forgotten.

    The bottom line is that I felt this opportunity made the most sense to achieve the present and many future goals that we have.

    @ Randomwhiteguy- You obviously have never met me, nice shot though!

    Again thank you all for the support not of just me but our amazing sport in general!

    See you all in Long Beach!!!!!


  25. bigmac says:

    what the fuck does walker not putting his hood pins in have to do with him being eligible for a falken sponsorship? he should definitely be on falkens radar if they want to attempt to fill the spot. danny is also incredibly deserving of a large sponsorship he is extremely talented his choice of chassis just hinders it at times but danny george wouldn’t be danny george in anything other than a miata.

    and for the love of god enough with the jtp bashing get over it!

  26. MikeD says:

    @Vaughn, when are you going to release the new livery? is it going to stay similar or are you doing a complete redesign. Tip of the hat to you good sir, you seem to have a understanding of how the motor-sports game is played. its not just all about winning, its about air time and presence. have you considered other types of motor-sports other than drifting?

    @Random white guy, have you driven on each of those tires and or used them in a competition environment? im just curious as to your comparison of tires, where are you getting your information from?

    @Danny George, your humbleness and spirit do good things for the sport! keep it up!

  27. Tammy Haseley says:

    Did your Christmas gift arrive?

  28. can’t wait to see this new setup in person. go JR!!

  29. Mike Peters says:

    On behalf of all white people, we do NOT endorse ‘random white guy’

    One of you other races can have him, we do not want.

    And take Justin Beiber too. We don’t want him either.

  30. random asian guy says:

    Falken is not going to fund any more money….it seems to me that they even cut the falken cup program for the guys that buy tires in FD……I think they are trying to pull out if you ask me but I could be wrong.

    on a side note Achilles is a good tire soo good that they had to kinda cheat to get the 123s in the program……if you know the rule the tires have to be publicly sold…..and the 123s is almost always back ordered or way over priced….I think the last time I look they were about 300+ for one tire…….its also banned in some drift series because its almost mostly slick compound.

    as for Nitto they are awsome… almost sure someone is going to get dropped or if they decide to keep everyone, then everyone is going to get less money for the season. the only guys I think that would get the boot or lose money support is Matt Powers and Bergenholdtz.

    ………….GO DANNY GEORGE!!!!! hes fucking awsome!!!!!!

  31. Mischief says:

    Haha someone shld make “We Do Not Endorse Random White Guy!” T-shirts for LB !! Tht wld be hilarious.

  32. Mischief says:

    Oh and best of luck to ya Vaughn!! Can’t wait to see the new livery…. Ya know we’re all gonna dying to see it.

  33. that asian dude says:

    Hey what better way for all tire sponsored to go head to head with the DA bros?

    Tony and Chris with Hankook, Tuerck with Maxxis, JTP and D’alessio with Falken, and now Jr. with Nitto.

  34. Real Talk says:

    I’m really shocked after his stellar performances Falken didn’t re-up his contract. I thought the creative take on the Long Beach course was great…4 initiations for the price of 1. Not to mention the cool attempt at a 360 mid-drift following that Apex Lexus at Irwindale.