The guys at Formula Drift came forward and released an official statement following the largest penalty in Formula Drift history issued to 2010 champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. based on a 9mm difference in his upper link. Here is the official issued statement from the sanctioning body Formula Drift:
Formula DRIFT has received various inquiries regarding the nature of the recent penalty handed down to Vaughn Gittin Jr. The following is a brief synopsis of the events that transpired and the ending result.
During Round 5 at Evergreen Speedway, we conducted standard technical inspection on the #25 car and found a part that was deemed to be out of compliance with 4.3 of the Formula DRIFT Technical Regulations. Following the event, we conducted a thorough investigation into the part (third link mount) that we deemed to be out of compliance. Vaughn Gittin Jr. was involved in the investigation and complied with our requests. We were able to determine through the investigation, that the part was indeed out of compliance. Factory Ford tolerances are the standard in which third link mounts must be within to be compliant on this chassis. The part in question was found to be an after-market part, that while made for the chassis in question, did not meet the factory tolerances and thus out of compliance. The penalty assessed is in no way an indictment of Vaughn Gittin Jr. or his team as cheaters. Our investigation did not reveal any evidence as such. Our investigation did not reveal any evidence that the part in question would create a competitive advantage. It stands that the team made a mistake. Drifting, by nature is a subjective sport, however, the technical regulations implemented by Formula DRIFT are black and white and so therefore must be administered in that way. To that end, the five (5) member panel of the Disciplinary Committee convened and returned a majority vote of the penalty that is currently listed on our website.
We hope the information we provided helps give additional clarity to the situation. Please contact our office for any further questions.