Vaughn Gittin Jr.

2015 Formula Drift Championship [RESULTS]


The 2015 championship is a wrap! Fredric Aasbo followed up his second place finish last year with a championship in 2015. Ken Gushi was right on his heels the whole way in what wound up a Scion dominated season. The Scion brand finished 1,2, and 4 during this Formula Drift season which is unparalleled by any OEM in this sports history. Chris Forsberg took his Nissan 370z with a respectable 3rd place season finish to follow up with his 14 championship run. Here is how the Top 20 finished up for 2015 –

1. Fredric Aasbo – 530
2. Ken Gushi – 431
3. Chris Forsberg – 382
4. Ryan Tuerck – 367
5. Odi Bakchis – 363
6. Masashi Yokoi – 324
7. Justin Pawlak – 287
8. Forrest Wang – 285
9. Matt Field – 282
10. Alec Hohnadell – 272
11. Kenneth Moen – 247
12. Daigo Saito – 238
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr – 226
14. Dean Kearney – 220
15. Chelsea DeNofa – 212
15. Tyler McQuarrie – 212
17. Pat Mordaunt – 211
18. Pat Goodin – 207
19. Mad Mike Whiddett – 192
20. Charles Ng – 191

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is Going to Miss Irwindale speedway


Well, Vaughn Gittin Jr. has made the news official that he won’t be making Irwindale Speedway next month per his FB. This leaves just Dai Yoshihara, Ken Gushi, and Chris Forsberg as the three drivers to compete in every Formula Drift event in history to date. It will be an odd thing to not see Vaughn Gittin Jr. turn a wheel at the House of Drift coming up next month. His backup car is currently on the way to Japan to compete in the D1GP Odaiba weekend. Here is a look at his crash from Texas Motor Speedway in case you missed it. He will probably fall to around 15th in the championship with a no show at Irwindale. He is reportedly in the process of building a new S550 chassis for Formula Drift 2016 now.

Prodrift Academy expands their operations to Saudi Arabia


The ProDrift academy, which was started in Ireland by the same team who founded the Prodrift Irish Championship drifting series, announced this week that they will be expanding their operations to Saudi Arabia. The Prodrift Academy helped train 15 year old Jack Shanahan, who is the 2015 British Drift Championships champion, and several current Irish Drift Championship drivers have been guest instructors during the off season. This year marks the third year that the Prodrift Academy has been in UAE, and sixth overall year of operation. Saudi Arabia’s car culture has been exploding recently, and Vaughn Gittin Jr. has even made a few trips to help promote the Ford Mustang over there.

Prodrift Academy has setup a new Facebook page for the new location, and should be hosting students in the next month or so. Looks like students will be driving a Mustang RTR in Saudi Arabia, which seems like a great car to learn in!

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is D1 Grand Prix Bound


It was almost 10 years ago when Vaughn Gittin Jr. defeated all the D1GP comers in the D1 Vs. the World event at Irwindale Speedway back in 2005. Vaughn was kind enough to upload his road to victory on YouTube (you can watch below if you can stomach 10 year old crappy drifting).

This sheds quite a bit of light on his announcement where he hints he will be missing Irwindale Speedway which we broke earlier this week. The backup car he would normally use to replace his 2014 Formula Drift competition car is on its way to Japan for D1GP! He will be attending the final round in Tokyo on October 24th/25th. Here are the details from his PR –

“Since winning the D1GP USA vs. Japan in 2005, I have wanted to take my Ford Mustang RTR and my team to compete in Japan where drifting started,” says Champion drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. “I am pumped that ten years later, the dream has become reality and I will be joining the Monster Energy Japan crew in downtown Tokyo for the final round October 24-25th. I am very excited to meet a lot of my Japanese fans for the first time, and I look forward to some epic battles with the great drivers in Japan’s D1GP series.”

Ten years ago at Irwindale Speedway, Vaughn battled the best-of-the-best Japanese drivers in order to win the D1GP USA vs. Japan event, becoming not only the first American to win a D1GP event, but by piloting his Ford Mustang, this was the first time in the series that an American car dominated against drifting’s traditional Japanese vehicles. This monumental win of Vaughn’s was heard around the world and undoubtedly put American drifting on the map, in a Japanese-originated and dominated sport. Here is a VIDEO summary of Vaughn’s 2005 D1GP win.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. Warns He Could Be Missing Irwindale Speedway


According to an interview conducted by Larry Chen at, it appears that Vaughn Gittin Jr. is very likely to miss Round 7 of the Formula Drift championship at Irwindale Speedway in October. This is due to his horrifying crash in Texas. The S197 chassis Ford Mustang is totaled after the hard hit with the k-rail at Texas Motor Speedway. (video)


The backup car he has is now on a crate heading to Japan, we are told, which eliminates its use for the Irwindale Speedway weekend. His new S550 demo chassis seen at events like Street Driven Tour X Hyperfest this year is a demo car and not built to Formula Drift legal specs eliminating another option for him. A tough break to end his 2015 season. He is also only one of three drivers left to run every single Formula Drift event since inception. He would be removed from the list if he fails to attend Irwindale Speedway later this year. Below is an exact recount of what he said. What are your thoughts on this?

Screen Capture of Important Part of Speedhunters Interview – Full Interview Found Here

Screenshot 2015-08-28 13.58.25

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 6 Texas

10. New Track Layout is Huge Success 
The old track was a bag of crap with a single entertaining element when some of the guys would do wild entries into the sweeper (see Odi from 2014 above). The new track layout is a huge improvement, so I would like to applaud Formula Drift for making this switch. Texas still managed to bring more controversy than other rounds of the series even though it was ran in reverse. Even though this track produced the longest Top 16 in series history, I do like running this layout way more. The complexity of this layout really separates the men from the boys.

9. Two Painful Championship Slips
Screenshot 2015-08-22 13.53.33
Watching Odi Bakchis and Matt Field fall out of the championship due to random mechanical failures was a tough one to watch. Odi Bakchis lost his wheel studs in the Dean Kearney Top 32 battle which all but removed him from any championship hope. This coming after he produced at a high level throughout the last five rounds of the season. This mishap also really hurts him in the World Championship race where him and Aasbo are the two major contenders to win it all.

Matt Field earlier in the weekend suffered engine issues and rushed to qualify which didn’t workout so well and he got a 0. Sad to see these guys dominate all season and fall short towards the end of the 7 round series. You do need a decent amount of points from each event to win making it a marathon instead of a sprint.

8. Formula Drift Safety is Solid

While most fans have been harping on the negatives of this weekend I would like to point out that the safety in this series is phenomenal. The biggest fear I see in drifting is the potential of hitting the car at an odd angle into a wall or breaking on a bank and flying into the wall. Most accidents that look tame to the naked eye cause the worst results due to all the force and impact being put onto the drivers body from one point of impact. If you see an accident that looks wild with spinnings and multiple contact points, the driver tends to be in good shape. This crash with Vaughn was another testament to HANS and the team who built his car. Video of crash on FB. A look over at Indy this weekend shows the true dangers of motorsports and how lucky Vaughn is to be in great shape.

Read More…

Dean Kearney and Vaughn Gittin Jr. to demo at Formula Drift Canada Round 3 this weekend


Formula Drift Canada announced today via Facebook (in French, but luckily we were able to translate via BING) that Dean Kearney and Vaughn Gittin Jr. will be present to do some drifting demos at the event which also features round 7 of the World Rallycross Championships (known as RX in Europe), featuring some of the top drivers from all over Europe. The weekend will also feature the third round of the Formula Drift Canada series, with the points leaders after this round being invited to the finals in September that are part of the Formula Drift World Championship in September.


All of this is part of the Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres motorsports festival, which features World Rallycross and NASCAR Canada as the headline series. This was the same motorsports festival that got Gittin Jr. behind the wheel of a Canadian NASCAR car last year.

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 5 Seattle

10. Championship Dreams Shattered Left and Right!

This Seattle event marks the first time I watched so many big names and championship hopeful drivers go down for the count so early in the weekend. First, it was Ryan Tuerck going out to Stoneback in the Top 32 with a mechanical failure. Then Vaughn Gittin Jr. defeats Nitto teammate Odi Bakchis in the Top 32 putting the #1/#2 championship drivers out with 16 points + qualifying for the weekend. Then Top 16 swept up Chris Forsberg and Ken Gushi cleaning the slate of all the forward momentum from this season for those four drivers. Fredric Aasbo side stepped all the land mines and took home first place and built a huge gap in the championship for himself leaving the next two rounds a big mystery.

9. Forrest Wang Being Faulted for Inactive Chase, HUH?

Who knew that Mad Mike was that fast or Forrest Wang was that slow? The inactive chase penalty against Forrest Wang seemed beyond harsh to me. The judges need to wake up please! You cannot fault a guy for inactive chase when he is driving his ass off but his car is just beyond slower than another car (see Faruk Kugay vs. Alex Heilbrunn in Pro 2 for same stupid call). The inactive chase was made for the penalization of cupcaking when one driver has a dominant lead and then doesn’t chase. I always recall Jim Guthrie vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Wall Speedway as a perfect utilization for this. You cannot punish people for not building drag car/rocket ships or I guess now you can do just that…. I never got the impression Wang was cup caking around the course. I think it was a tough way to end a great Top 32 battle. Not sure if I have a better answer for this one but it just feels like a bad beat in my gut.

8. Yokoi Is the New Chelsea DeNofa

This guy has the most insane tandem follow runs of this season. I wish drivers would get out of his way so he could keep winning. His first battle with Pat Goodin was wild and I think he edged out Goodin in the end but judges went OMT. His chase on the OMT was just balls deep insane but sadly he made contact with Goodin and lost. Sound like someone else you know? Yes, Chelsea DeNofa who at times performs the best tandem follow runs the world has ever seen but mostly to a detriment in the end. Can Yokoi overcome that issue and continue to put on a show that is entertaining everyone while running clean? I guess time will tell us but he is looking more serious round by round in that chromed out 2JZ powered S15 Silvia.

Read More…

Englishtown Pro Bro Down Post Formula D New Jersey [VIDEO]

Englishtown (former host of Formula Drift New Jersey) hosted a Pro Bro Down post Wall Speedway to have some fun and enjoy the wild course of the famed drift mecca Englishtown. The typical suspects were in attendance with the addition of the HGK Racing builds, Mats Baribeau, Pat Goodin, and Chelsea DeNofa.

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Round 4 New Jersey


10. Dean Kearney – Irish Future with an American V10
In my opinion, if you could throw Dean Kearney in one of these Top 10 Formula Drift builds he could make a run at the championship. He has a car I would argue probably struggles to fall in the Top 20 Formula Drift builds. Now that Darren McNamara has exited stage right it feels Dean Kearney has taken the torch as the top Irish drifter in America. He fell just short of a victory which I feel the weather played a big impact. Since the runs went out of order, he did his Top 4 run in the dry where Aasbo got to run his Top 4 battle in the rain in addition to the Finals. Looking forward, Dean Kearney is in 11th place but is headed to Seattle where he got his first podium in the past.

9. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Needs to Give Up on Season and Debut 2015 Mustang RTR
Vaughn Gittin Jr. hasn’t had a stellar season by his standards at all. While he is only 117 points behind Ryan Tuerck in the lead, I find that with three rounds left he isn’t going to make up the gap at 39 points an event on Tuerck or Bakchis. With that said, I would rather him just retire the old S197 Mustang chassis and debut his S550 (2015 Mustang RTR). I got to see the car drift in person at Street Driven Tour VIR and the car looks and sounds way better than his old chassis. Let’s get the new 2015 on the track competing in Formula Drift!

8. Joon Maeng is the Only Driver to Not Qualify Under New Structure
Joon Maeng had an up and down 2014 season but nothing has prepared him for the disaster that is 2015 with his BMW Z4. With a 39 driver grid this season he is the only driver left to not qualify for an event yet. One good event could bring him safely into the Top 32 since he is only 51 points behind 32nd place as we stand so he still has some hope. He needs to invest in some serious testing time before these next rounds and start getting some points on the board. I would suggest diving in Pro 2 for the next three rounds to try and either defend his Pro position or at least snag some extra practice laps.

Read More…