Vaughn Gittin JR and Chelsea DeNofa Team Up for the 2017 Formula DRIFT Season

Posted on Mar 20, 2017 In Chelsea DeNofa Formula D Vaughn Gittin Jr.

As we approach Round 1 of the 2017 Formula DRIFT season in just a couple weeks, it looks like this relatively slow off season may finally start getting a lot more announcements between now and then. Kicking this Monday off is 2010 Formula DRIFT Champion Vaughn Gittin JR and his RTR Motorsports team officially announcing the addition of Chelsea DeNofa as a teammate. DeNofa will be in a brand new 2017 Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D while Gittin will return in his Mustang RTR with an updated look.

Both the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Vaughn and BC Racing Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-D driven by Chelsea are powered by brand new Ford Performance/Roush Yates Engines RY45 motors, producing 2,000 combined horsepower with a 9,000-rpm redline. The RY45 builds on the continued relationship with Ford Performance and Roush Yates in developing competition based motors specifically for the RTR Motorsports Formula Drift program. A proprietary BC Racing coilover suspension system allows both Vaughn and Chelsea to perfectly tune the dynamics of their RTRs, with sticky Nitto NT05s putting all that power to the ground.

2017-Gittin-RTR 2017-DeNofa-RTR 2017-RTR-Mustangs


Brian Eggert

Judge at Formula DRIFT/Event Director at USDrift/Lookout, LLC
I was first introduced to drifting in 1998 by one of best friends, Mike Schneider. After several years running as Lookout, we stumbled upon Hyperfest, the first sanctioned drifting competition in the United States hosted by USDrift in 2002. Shortly after that we began working alongside USDrift and eventually taking ownership. We then began helping others across the country set up and host their own drifting events. Working with Drift Association in 2005, we helped create the PRO/AM series that continues to develop and progress the next level of drivers to Formula DRIFT.


  1. ToLiveNDieInNJ says:

    Ride height looks terrible, but I can’t argue with proper suspension geometry. Can’t wait to see Chelsea shred in this car.

  2. Justin Yamashiro says:

    Hey would you look at that. KPA called it back on January 3rd, but no one took notice.
    Maybe one of those things when the community gives you a hat tip to consider instead of waiting.
    Example, a statement has yet be addressed in regards to Nishida going back to a GT-R.

  3. doozer says:

    Hell yeah. And back on Nittos!

  4. Nick D. says:

    Makes a lot of sense. Vaughn Gittin’s cars tend to be pretty robust. DeNofa can drive but was typically held back by his BMW’s reliability that was subpar at best.

  5. lolramen says:

    Sweet titty-fucking Christ I’m so pumped for this.

  6. is300 says:

    wrecked is always trailing with the “Breaking Drift News”

  7. FalkenDriftBoyz says:

    Very exciting. Vag JR will show him how to get r(choke)esults.

  8. kpa says:

    WOW! For real? No way! Sucks when the internet gets as slow as paper copy to break old news. Where are the days when they would drop livery’s before the teams would? Is this out of respect or laziness?

    This new team should be interesting. Good to see Chelsea not trying to be the Crew Chief, Tuner, Mechanic, PR man and driver and be able to focus on just driving part. Hope the program is solid out of the gate and that he adapts to the mustang and bring less “trucking driving” and more of his own style.

    Seem like JR is going for the less Douchie Douche Bag thing by teaming up with a guy with a strong grass roots following and hopes to gain new follower for the team. Not a bad move. Will be interesting when these guys line up to see if there are team orders or will Chelsea just monster truck the monster truck driver?

  9. Brian Eggert says:

    I simply chose to wait until the official announcement out of respect, plus it came with pics and a video. Working for FD, I don’t think it would be ethical for me to release news beforehand, however other people may not be in that same position and be able to do so.

  10. kpa says:

    @ Brian Eggert

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. Seems like you are the only one that doing any posting. What happened to everyone eles ?

  11. Brian Eggert says:

    @kpa, Joey and the others are still working on this, I just think they haven’t been posting as much rumor mill content as previous years. Things should pick up now that Round 1 is approaching.

  12. Justin Yamashiro says:

    I do oddly miss the rumor mill run of shit as it just brought suspense to what could be. I still feel that the Robbie Nishida in a GT-R this year kinda went unheard of or at least skipped. Same with Pat Goodin’s NASCAR livery this year.

  13. Brian Eggert says:

    @Justin, I feel like Pat’s livery wasn’t too much of a surprise after the huge yellow Pennzoil hood he sported last year, but maybe that’s just me. Besides, diversity is good. If everyone had similar livery styles, it would look essentially be the same as NASCAR whether or not they were NASCAR themed or not. I feel like there is a pretty good mix in Formula DRIFT, and everyone isn’t going to like everything.

  14. kpa says:

    @ Justin

    The rumor mill is a critical part of building some preseason hype to the sport. Fans want to know whats really up behind the scene. Not sure where else you would even go to find out that info but here.

    Drivers FB pages are pretty one sided with only the news they want you to hear. “Testing went prefect” even though they blew up 3 motors and only got 20 minutes on the skip pad or “Can’t wait to get to LBC” even though the car is not close to being done with 4 days left before it needs to be on a trailer.

    On another note, where has Doof been this preseason?

  15. kpa says:

    @ Brian

    I’d hope to see more chassis diversity this year. Seems like FD will look like Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race with everyone in a FRS.

  16. Blaze1 says:

    Vaughn has been outshined in his own car before. Won’t be surprised if this happens again. Chelsea is more aggressive than JR and JTP.

  17. Cody says:

    This has nothing to do with this post but since Wrecked is behind on things, for those who don’t already know Tyler McQuarrie and Geoff Stoneback aren’t returning to FD this year.

  18. Nick D. says:

    @Cody, damn sucks to hear about McQuarrie. Last season he was looking strong early on, holding as high as 5th place. Even when he lost he always seemed make whoever beat him work for it,

    Any word on what Aasbo is driving? I thought they were talking about retiring the tC for something new.

  19. Cody says:

    @Nick D, they haven’t officially announced whats replacing the tc, but I’m almost certain that it’s going to be an frs/86

  20. kpa says:

    So, Not returning list is adding up. Feel free to add or correct me if wrong.

    Forest Wang

  21. Dustin says:

    Ryan Literal not returning also.

  22. Brian says:

    Andy grey not returning, also Aasbo did officially retire the tc for an frs

  23. Mike Peters says:


    Just to be clear, you DO or DO NOT like NASCAR?

    There is a correct and incorrect answer here.


    Mike Peters – Wrecked Magazine

  24. Ant says:

    @ Brian Eggert so it’s official then- Wrecked has turned into a sportscenter for FD? If so, that’s quite disappointing. Keeping up with drifting globally was awesome, but now I only see FD coverage. Not the coolest, since FD isn’t even all’lat.

    @KPA there isn’t anything wrong with an FRS/BRZ chassis, let it rockkkk. ‘Specially the ones with the JZ swaps. I was excited to hear Aasbø was retiring the TC bc that was supposed to mean he was bringing the FRS in, that he slayed with at Brüze in 2013. And I know I’m making this comment shway later, but we now see what he’s driving for 2017 and the FRS would of been a million times better than the 5 door contrapment lol

  25. kpa says:

    @ Ant

    The FRS chassis compared to chassis like S, BMW, Mustang and says 3/4 of the field it a “bag of dicks”

    Teams make it work but, if you know a little about chassis set-up its hard to find a good point on the FRS.