Vaughn Gittin Jr.

10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Road Atlanta

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10. Is Dai Yoshihara Finally Back?
Watching Dai Yoshihara in qualifying I felt he was looking really good and finally putting some runs together. I looked over at Chelsea DeNofa’s spotter in fact (and told him that Dai Yoshihara would win the event during practice). Sadly, Vaughn Gittin Jr. spoiled my prediction but Dai Yoshihara is starting to look back to his old self. He has been a driver looking really short on confidence so perhaps the return to the podium will help him remember what winning feels like. This was his first podium since Long Beach in 2013. His car has looked far behind the other 86/BRZ chassis in the sport but maybe this was the start of his comeback tour!

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9.Alec Hohnadell Will Win An Event This Year
Alec Hohnadell has grown and developed faster than almost any drifter I have seen. The kid is world class and knows how to win things. His progression in Formula Drift is clear and I think he got a bad call in his Final Four battle with Dai Yoshihara (and actually won). Watching the battle more and more, it really seems like Alec Hohnadell should of been in the finals. I don’t think he should lose sleep over this at all however. Sometimes calls will go your way and sometimes they won’t go in your favor. I do think across these next six rounds he will score his first event victory. He currently sits 10th in the championship after his fourth place finish this weekend.

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8. Road Atlanta Highlights Pro 2 Behind the Curve
Pro 2 was ugly and borderline unwatchable this weekend. Drifters couldn’t enter right, couldn’t stop spinning, and also couldn’t manage to tandem. I almost want to pretend the new Pro 2 season didn’t start this weekend. Jeff Jones, Marc Landerville, and Ryan Litteral all had solid performances but that is about where it stopped for me. The event was slow and especially hard to watch as a fan. Perhaps, the need for a perfect line to run Road Atlanta well was just too much for these younger drifters. My vote is to remove Road Atlanta from the 2017 Pro 2 calendar and pretend this event never happened. I am hoping for vast improvements at Orlando Speed World.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 2 Atlanta – OEM MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP [STANDINGS]

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A top 8 appearance from Michael Essa helped BMW maintain the lead in the OEM championship, while Ford moved up from third to second thanks to the win from Vaughn Gittin Jr. Scion dropped to third after all four Scion cars lost in the round of 32. We now have 10 manufacturers competing for the OEM championship after Toyota earned the first points of the season behind Andy Gray.

Here are the standings in the OEM Manufacturer championship after 2 of 8 rounds:

1. BMW  – 202 points
2. Ford – 191 points
3. Scion – 185 points
4. Nissan – 151 points
5. Mazda–101 points
6. Chevy – 83 points
7. Dodge – 51 points
8. Infiniti – 49 points
9. Lexus – 34 points
10. Toyota – 18 points

2016 Formula Drift Championship Standings – Round 2 Atlanta [STANDINGS]

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After recording the second “perfect weekend” of his career, Vaughn Gittin Jr. used the Top Qualifier / Event Win combination to vault himself into first place for the 2016 Formula Drift standings. All three podium finishers from Long Beach lost in the top 32 round in Atlanta, which really shook up the points. As the only driver to place in the top 8 at the first two events, Gittin Jr. holds a fairly substantial 36 point lead over Long Beach winner Chelsea Denofa. However, with an additional round this year compared to previous years, there’s plenty of time to make up those points.

Here’s a look at the top 22 drivers in the points standings so far:

1 Vaughn Gittin Jr. 155 points
2 Chelsea Denofa 119 points
3 Odi Bakchis 116 points
4 Fredric Aasbo 102 points
T5 Chris Forsberg 100 points
T5 Dai Yoshihara 100 points
T7 Forrest Wang 83 points
T7 Michael Essa 83 points
T7 Tyler McQuarrie 83 points
T10 Ken Gushi 82 points
T10 Alec Hohnadell 82 points
12 Matt Field 69 points
T13 Ryan Tuerck 67 points
T13 “Mad” Mike Whiddett 67 points
15 Jeff Jones 66 points
T16 Dean Kearney 51 points
T16 Geoff Stoneback 51 points
T18 Kristaps Bluss 50 points
T18 Faruk Kugay 50 points
T18 Kenneth Moen 50 points
T18 Pat Mordaunt 50 points
T18 Juha Rintanen 50 points

Photo Credit: Formula Drift

2016 Formula Drift Round 2 [RESULTS]

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An exhausting long day put Vaughn Gittin Jr. back in the record books with a victory in his new S550 Mustang. This photograph from amazing local photographer Andrew Mesa shows you just how crazy his new setup is. The last time a driver qualified first and won the event was back in 2014 in Seattle. Darren McNamara did the double in his S14 while beating Irish compatriot Dean Kearney in the finals. Another interesting fact is this the exact same podium as Wall Speedway back in 2012. What a throwback? Alec Hohnadell just missed his first podium with a fourth place finish. With the added eight round and the top three in championship points going home in Top 32 – the championship is looking the most wide open in Formula Drift history! Here is how they finished –

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
2. Dai Yoshihara
3. Chris Forsberg
4. Alec Hohnadell

2016 Formula Drift – Round 2 Atlanta – QUALIFYING [RESULTS]

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. laid down a fantastic qualifying run, earning the top spot on Friday in Atlanta. Due to only 31 drivers earning a score in qualifying, Gittin Jr. will have a bye in the first round of tandem. Andy Gray and Tanner Foust made their season debuts in Atlanta, while Robbie Nishida and ShengJun Zhang missed the round. Charles Ng drove in practice, but had electrical issues on both qualifying runs and did not earn a score.

Here’s a look at how qualifying finished up at Road Atlanta:

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr.
2. Fredric Aasbo
3. Matt Field
4. Chris Forsberg
5. Odi Backhis
6. Dai Yoshihara
7. Tanner Foust
8. Justin Pawlak
9. Tyler McQuarrie
10. Chelsea DeNofa
11. Mad Mike Whiddett
12. Forrest Wang
13. Dean Kearney
14. Michael Essa
15. Ryan Tuerck
16. Geoff Stoneback
17. Matt Coffman
18.  Alec Hohnadell
19. Ken Gushi
20. Pat Mordaunt
21. Jhonnattan Castro
22. Alex Heilbrunn
23. Kenneth Moen
24. Kristaps Bluss
25. Juha Rintanen
26. Kyle Mohan
27. Pat Goodin
28. Cameron Moore
29. Andy Gray
30. Faruk Kugay
31. Jeff Jones

Here’s the tandem ladder, for those following at home:

Vaughn Gittin Jr (bye)
Geoff Stoneback vs Matt Coffman
Justin Pawlak vs Juha Rintanen
Tyler McQuarrie vs Kristaps Bluss

Chris Forsberg vs Andy Gray
Dean Kearney vs Pat Mordaunt
Odi Bakchis vs Cameron Moore
Forrest Wang vs Jhonnattan Castro

Fredric Aasbo vs Jeff Jones
Ryan Tuerck vs Alec Hohnadell
Tanner Foust vs Kyle Mohan
Chelsea Denofa vs Kenneth Moen

Matt Field vs Faruk Kugay
Michael Essa vs Ken Gushi
Dai Yoshihara vs Pat Goodin
Mad Mike Whiddett vs Alex Heilbrunn

Matt Madrigali – Formula Drift Pro 2 Driver [INTERVIEW]

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Wrecked Magazine: Who are you and how did you get your Pro 2 license?

Matt Madrigali: My name is Matt Madrigali and I’ve been drifting in Northern California for about 12 years. I have been competing in the Golden Gate Drift ProAm series where I won the championship in 2015 and earned my 2016 Formula Drift Pro2 License.

WM. Can you give us a break down of your car and what sponsors you have on board?

Matt Madrigali: My car is the same car I’ve been driving for 9 years now with a host of upgrades to make it safer and more competitive for Formula D. It’s your standard S13 240sx with a Chevy LS3 which I pulled out of Rapper Dan Savage’s Sikky truck back in 2013. I’ve switched to Wisefab front and rear suspension this year as well. Transmission and diff have been upgraded to a GSR 4 speed and a Winters quick change unit for 2016. The car is underpowered for professional drifting, but reliable. I currently have a fantastic group of sponsors who have helped me rebuild the car for 2016. Car N Bike Moto is a body shop based in Vallejo California. Alfred and his team did a complete color change to my car with exceptional quality under a very tight schedule. I have always had my car painted there and their quality and attention to detail is second to none. Exedy Clutch has been another huge supporter of my program. Their products are simply the best and I’m happy to have them be a part of my team as reliability is the main focus of my build. Cosmis Racing Wheels bring style and performance to the car. I currently run their MR2 and SR5 wheels with a 17/18 stagger. D-Magic was the brains behind the new look for 2016. The time Michael spent making my ideas reality really shows in the detail and style that the car has. I couldn’t be happier with the new look. It brings something a little different, a Japanese style to Formula D. Nitto Tire has stepped up and helped me with tires for this season as well. Very excited to be running such a high end tire, and I’ve very excited to be a part of the Nitto team. Sikky Manufacturing has been a big part of my program even before taking an interest in my team. I have their full engine swap mount kit, heads and Winters quick change subframe setup in my car currently. The quality of their parts is unsurpassed in the industry and I’m happy to be working with them for the 2016 season. Finally, Fineline tuning has been a big help with dyno time and build advice for my program. Miles and his crew are based out of Santa Rosa, California and focus mainly on Subaru performance, though they do have a big hand in the drifting community. They work with some local friends from Drift Team Animal Style, keeping their cars all running perfectly.

WM. What track are you most excited about and most nervous to tackle this season?

Matt Madrigali: Road Atlanta. Road Atlanta. ROAD ATLANTA! Easily my favorite track on the calendar.

WM: Can you name one drifter you really want to see in a battle in Pro 2 this year?

I always love driving with the local guys. I would have to say that I’m most excited to drive with Joe Tardiff. We have been driving together in ProAm for a few years now. We would go back in fourth on qualifying 1-2 and finishing 1-2 all year last year. I relished our battles and I look forward to throwing down on the biggest stage with one of the best!

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WM: Who is your favorite drifter in the world and who to you derive driving inspiration from?

Matt Madrigali: Favorite drifter has to be Vaughn. He’s consistent and aggressive at the same time. I remember watching during his championship year and knowing that he was on another level that year. I just see him as someone I would like to emulate on and off the track.

WM: Who do you think will win the Formula Drift Pro Championship this season?

Matt Madrigali: It’s going to be tight. I think Odi could put a good championship run together. From a car build standpoint Odi is my spirit animal. With my car being underpowered compared to some of the vehicles coming to the championship, I look to examples like Odi for inspiration. Chassis setup and grip are just as important as raw numbers and I think he has all the tools and talent necessary to take home the biggest prize in drifting.

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WM: What is one hurdle or headache you ran into during the off-season gearing up for Pro 2? I can only choose one?

Matt Madrigali: It’s basically been everything, the whole process. Getting the car ready in my garage with limited funding, and also working full time builds a lot of pressure. I can’t forget to thank Golden Gate Drift’s organizer Luke Crowell and Red Baron Racing’s Donovan Brockway for all their help. Without them this wouldn’t be possible.

WM: What advice can you give to the upcoming Pro 2 drivers who are currently in Pro Am?

Matt Madrigali: Regardless of budget be ready to dedicate everything to this. Professional motorsports take dedication.

Street Driven Tour’s Best of Drifting in 2015 [VIDEO]

The Street Driven Tour is about to be in full swing for the 2016 season with its collaboration event with Hyperfest at Virginia International Raceway. This video is a compilation of the best drifting action the event saw in 2015. From multi-car tandem battles to drift soccer this event is a fun day of sliding for everyone. The 2016 schedule is out and tickets are for sale right now for the upcoming events in Virginia, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Las Vegas!

 

Vaughn Gittin Jr. Drag Races his Competition Cars [VIDEO]

Vaughn Gittin Jr. took his two competition cars out for a good old fashioned drag race! His new 2016 Competition-Spec Ford Mustang RTR sure looks like a fast machine. That speed won’t matter so much at Long Beach but it seems other drivers will be scrambling to chase him at rounds such as Road Atlanta. This race is essentially 10 years of development in the old car with a straight axle in the rear versus one year of development in the new car with the Ford Mustang’s all new Independent Rear Suspension. Vaughn is set to debut his new car at the Streets of Long Beach for the opening round of Formula Drift on April 9th.

Battle Drift is Here [VIDEO]

Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Daigo Saito tear up an abandoned Russian village in Japan for your viewing pleasure. Daigo Saito is in his Lamborghini and Vaughn Gittin Jr. is in Mustang RTR. Enjoy!

2016 Street Driven Tour is Here [SCHEDULE]

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The Street Driven Tour just released a solid 2016 schedule found above and below. The series attracted some of the best drifters in America over 2015 including Vaughn Gittin Jr., Ryan Tuerck, Chris Forsberg, Matt Powers, Forrest Wang, Odi Bakchis, Geoff Stoneback and many more! The four venues are VIRginia International Raceway, Gateway Motorsports Park, Atlanta Motor Speedway, and Las Vegas Motor Speedway to round out the new season. Below is a video of Street Driven Las Vegas!

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