Vaughn Gittin Jr.

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Canada

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10. Fredric Aasbo Locks in the 3peat
Fredric Aasbo is now 15-0 at Autodrome St. DeSmash which is a pretty insane record for anyone at any track. He has taken on all comers and is now the most winning Formula Drift driver in history with 10 passing Sam Hubinette and Vaughn Gittin who both have 9 victories. His insane record at this track is a big part of that with 3o% of his career wins. Could he 4peat next year?
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9. Give Marc Landerville Some Budget so he can run a full season

Marc Landerville really entertains me on the track and I wish his sponsors would pony him up for a real program run. Maybe FD can look at least letting him run Jersey and some other close events? We know the space is available in Top 32. His run with Aasbo was awesome and I agree with Andy Yen who wanted the OMT on that battle. Keep up the hard work Marc and figure out how to do more FD events in 2018.

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10 Things I Learned From Formula Drift Long Beach

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10. Have We Watched Matt Coffman Grow Up Before Our Eyes?
One of the most impressive improvements I saw at Long Beach was Matt Coffman. I’ve always found he had talent but really lacked on the mental side of the game. He would be amazing in practice and then fall apart in Top 32 or over commit and put himself in a bad spot. He was a smooth operator this weekend, finishing in sixth place overall, between Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg. That is some good company. If he can keep that up I would watch out for this dark horse.

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9. Matt Field – My Biggest Disappointment of the Weekend
His car probably deserves the middle finger…. or whatever mess of a disaster happened this weekend for him hopefully can be forgotten real quick. He is sitting in 12th place right now but I had expectations he could really be a front runner in 2017. I hope he didn’t leave his good driving behind in with that customary yellow livery. He needs to turn things around quick if he wants to be relevant in 2017.

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8. Alex Heilbrunn is Where the Hype Should Be
When Alex Heilbrunn got done dominating Pro 2 everyone thought he would arrive in Formula Drift and win all seven rounds at the time. Reality proved to be way more difficult, but Alex has been fighting and fighting his way through the field. My guess is now he is ready to make a big swing for the fences and keep it together for seven more rounds. He landed on the podium last year in New Jersey and looked great in Orlando so another repeat of that performance and he can have a good jump in the standings early.

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2017 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. makes an insane 97 point qualifying run to steal the show on the Streets of Long Beach kicking off the 2017 season. This amazing qualifying run earns him a bye into the Top 16. The Irish wonder James Deane was just a point behind putting down a 96 in his Silvia on this streets course as well. New cars, new problems, and some crashes wrapped up the Friday of Long Beach. Three drivers were unable to get a qualifying point including Kyle Mohan, Charles Ng, and Faruk Kugay.

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (97)
2. James Deane (96/91)
3. Ryan Tuerck (96/90)
4. Fredric Aasbo (91/82)
5. Alex Heilbrunn (91/68)
6. Matt Coffman (90)
7. Chris Forsberg (89/87)
8. Odi Bakchis (89/86)
9. Piotr Wiecek (87)
10. Ken Gushi (86)
11. Matt Field (85)
12. Juha Rintanen (83)
13. Kristaps Bluss (81/0)
14. Justin Pawlak (81/0)
15. Michael Essa (81/0)
16. Dean Kearney (80/71)
17. Jhonnathan Castro (78/77)
18. Dai Yoshihara (78/0)
19. Pat Goodin (78/0)
20. Robbie Nishida (77/72)
21. Jeff Jones (77/71)
22. Nate Hamilton (75)
23. Gocha Chivchyan (73)
24. Chelsea DeNofa (72)
25. Cameron Moore (68)
26. Alec Hohnadell (67)
27. Dan Burkett (60)
28. Kyle Mohan (0)
29. Charles Ng (0)
30. Faruk Kugay (0)

Top 32 Bracket
(LEFT)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs BYE
Dean Kearney vs. J Castro
Odi Bakchis vs. Cameron Moore
Piotr Wiekcek vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Kristaps Bluss vs. Robbie Nishida
Alex Heilbrunn vs. BYE
Juha Rintanen vs. Jeff Jones

(RIGHT)
James Deane vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara
Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Ken Gushi vs. G Chivchyan
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Justin Pawlak vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Coffman vs. Dan Burkett
Matt Field vs. Nate Hamilton

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


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.

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10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Irwindale

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10. Mad Mike Should Be Furious
The deal with Mad Mike was a mess. Ken Gushi was at fault for an accident and Mad Mike was limited to a ridiculous 10 minutes to fix his car and then a competition timeout to have his car running. I think the series needs to push for a “10 minute minimum time to fix car” this way we aren’t holding up the show for a final battle but if we have a 90 minute break. Let the damn guy fix his car, run, and entertain the fans paying a ridiculous amount of cash to watch drifting. Poor Ryan Tuerck fans got to see him run ONE tandem battle all weekend and he landed on the podium (more on that later). Anyway, Mad Mike threw his steering wheel out of his car on the Livestream and fair play to the guy. He should be beyond pissed off that the series made this ridiculous rule preventing him from running in the first place. A terrible way for him to wrap up a season of bad luck. He did release an awesome video of him drifting in South Africa today which seems much better than the fact that someone also stole his HARO BMX bike.

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9. Odi Bakchis Makes the Stand Up Move
Odi Bakchis finished this season in fourth place which was one better place than 2015 when he finished in fifth. During his battle with Forrest Wang his 240sx broke on entry on what was sent to be one of the best battles of the night. In fact, Odi Bakchis asked his spotter to tell the judges/FD staff that the contact was his fault because his car broke. An interesting and respectable move considering he could of finished third for the season by beating Forrest Wang in that battle.

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8. The Occassion Finally Got to Aasbo
Fredric Aasbo drifts lap after lap at track after track all year round at such a consistent level you could probably put a baby to sleep in his passenger seat. However, at Irwindale Speedway he made a huge error battling Matt Field that I cannot remember ever seeing before. He surged into Matt Field in tandem resulting in them having an accident that Aasbo was at fault for. This just shows how hard a back to back championship run can be.

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7. Tyler McQuarrie Hit More
Tyler McQuarrie was hit more this weekend in his poor Camaro but he didn’t have the Irwindale podium performance I hoped was coming. He has done a ton of driving this year in various motorsports and maybe it has hurt him more than helped him? I wonder if he has started to develop a little of a unique drifting style from his other driving skills that has resulted in him being hit over and over and over again. Not really sure but I want to see Tyler McQuarrie back in his super focused form next season with the Camaro. Did anybody count how many times this car got hit this season? Geez

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2016 Formula Drift Irwindale Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Dai Yoshihara laid down an amazing first qualifying run in his car scoring an 89 and backing it up with a 86 for his second pass on the day. The championship chase basically eliminated Odi Bakchis with the other three qualifying for championship news. Chelsea DeNofa stops drifting inches before the finish line giving him a zero and really adding to the end of a terrible season after his Long Beach victory. Here is how they finished:

1. Dai Yoshihara 89
2. Ryan Tuerck 88
3. Forrest Wang 86
4. Chris Forsberg 85
5. Justin Pawlak 84
6. Matt Field 83 (83)
7. Tyler McQuarrie 83 (81)
8. Michael Essa 82 (80)
9. Matt Coffman 82 (80)
10. Charles Ng 81 (76)
11. Fredric Aasbo 81 (76)
12. Alex Heilbrunn 80 (73)
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 80 (72)
14. Odi Bakchis 79 (78)
15. Ken Gushi 79 (70)
16. Geoff Stoneback 78
17. Robbie Nishida 77
18. Mad Mike Whiddett 75
19. Pat Goodin 73
20. Pat Mordaunt 73
21. Kyle Mohan 72
22. Dean Kearney 70
23. J Castro 69
24. Juha Rintanen 65
25. Kristaps Bluss 64
26. Cameron Moore 63 (50)
27. Kenneth Moen 63 (0)
28. Alec Hohnadell 61
29. Faruk Kugay 42
30. Jeff Jones 0
31. Chelsea DeNofa 0

RIGHT BRACKET
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE RUN
Geoff Stoneback vs. Robbie Nishida
Michael Essa vs. Kristaps Bluss
Matt Coffman vs. Juha Rintanen
Chris Forsberg vs. Faruk Kugay
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Alec Hohnadell
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Kyle Mohan

LEFT BRACKET
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE RUN
Ken Gushi vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Cameron Moore
Charles Ng vs. J Castro
Forrest Wang vs. BYE
Odi Bakchis vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Field vs. Kenneth Moen
Fredric Aasbo vs. Dean Kearney

2016 Formula Drift Round 7 in Texas – Qualifying [RESULTS]

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The qualifying session today was pretty insane with several drivers scoring a 96 and then down the chart tons of drivers matched scores as well putting the second qualifying run into play as a tie-breaker. The track flows well in qualifying but I will be interested to see how it plays out in tandem. Here is qualifying results.

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 96 (93)
2. Ryan Tuerck 96 (91)
3. Fredric Aasbo 96 (90)
4. Ken Gushi 96 (85)
5. Odi Bakchis 94
6. Chris Forsberg 92 (92)
7. Tyler McQuarrie 92 (91)
8. Dai Yoshihara 92 (0)
9. Forrest Wang 91 (84)
10. Mad Mike Whiddett 91 (84)
11. Justin Pawlak 91 (84)
12. Matt Coffman 91 (84)
13. Jeff Jones 90 (84)
14. Geoff Stoneback 90 (83)
15. Charles Ng 88
16. Matt Field 87 (86)
17. Tanner Foust 87 (78)
18. Alec Hohnadell 87 (0)
19. Alex Heilbrunn 86 (84)
20. Kristaps Bluss 86 (83)
21. Michael Essa 86 (80)
22. Pat Goodin 84 (83)
23. Cameron Moore 84 (0)
24. J Castro 81
25. Juha Rintanen 80 (80)
26. Dean Kearney 80 (71)
27. Pat Mordaunt 78 (72)
28. Chelsea DeNofa 78 (71)
29. Andrew Gray 75
30. Faruk Kugay 71
31. Kyle Mohan 70
32. Robbie Nishida 0

Right Bracket
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. BYE
Matt Field vs. Tanner Foust
Dai Yoshihara vs. Juha Rintanen
Forrest Wang vs. J Castro
Ken Gushi vs. Andrew Gray
Jeff Jones vs. Kristaps Bluss
Odi Bakchis vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Matt Coffman vs. Michael Essa

Left Bracket
Ryan Tuerck vs. Kyle Mohan
Charles Ng vs. Alec Hohnadell
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Dean Kearney
Mad Mike Whiddett vs. Cameron Moore
Fredric Aasbo vs. Faruk Kugay
Geoff Stoneback vs. Alex Heilbrunn
Chris Forsberg vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Pat Goodin

10 Things I Learned at Formula Drift Seattle Round 6

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10. Fredric Aasbo Falls for a 6-1 Record
It almost seems like beating Fredric Aasbo this year is worthy of a trophy itself. Odi Bakchis all time before this weekend was 0-6 against Fredirc Aasbo. In fact, his most recent loss was last round at Formula Drift Montreal so surely that was fresh on his mind before they met this past weekend. These two drivers faced off against each other in the Great 8 and Odi Bakchis finally got his first career victory over Fredric Aasbo on the seventh attempt. The first time the two met was actually at Evergreen Speedway in 2013. Odi took that victory and momentum of beating Aasbo all the way to his second career victory.

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9. Make Up Your Mind Already Judges
The judges played it way too safe this weekend when it came to making tough calls. Instead of really thinking about a run we got the OMT show. I found myself chanting No More Time towards the end of this event. We had around 10 OMT battles which means 33% of battles got a One More Time call. Sorry guys, the margins are just not that razor thin in this sport. Two battles that didn’t deserve an OMT call off the top of my head if you want a talking point are (Tyler McQuarrie vs. Ken Gushi in Great 8) and (Jhonnattan Castro vs. Tanner Foust Top 16)

VaughnGittinJr.S550Mustang

8. Vaughn Gittin Jr. Beat Dean Kearney in My Eyes
My other “shot” at the judges comes in the form of the Dean Kearney vs. Vaughn Gittin Jr. battle in the Top 16. I was doing a battle by battle recap for Driving Line this weekend and all of my notes favored Vaughn Gittin in this tandem run. I just felt like the overall impact of Vaughn Gittin’s follow run had to carry more weight than just focusing on outer zone one. If OZ1 is so important, why did they bother drifting the rest of the track? This was my big head scratcher of the event and sadly my #JUSTICE4VAUGHN hashtag got no traction. This call really hurt him in his championship chase to make the decision even worse in the big picture of things.

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2016 Formula Drift Round 5 in Canada [GALLERY]

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Don’t miss all of our Formula Drift Canada coverage that was captured by our favorite Canadian photographer Jeremy Glover! He did an awesome job capturing the drama and drinking of Redbull that went down over the event weekend. Don’t miss an image by checking out our complete gallery below.

Full Gallery: http://www.wreckedmagazine.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=473

10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift’s Canada Invasion

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10. Justin PAWLAKKKKK – WOW!
Justin Pawlak’s drifting was on another planet this weekend. He looked to be back to his old insane FC Mazda RX-7 style that everyone just loved so much. Perhaps he is just growing into the S550 Ford Mustang chassis? Either way, if he can keep it together a little more I think he is a serious threat for the remaining part of 2016. Let’s also not forget to mention, he threw in some super insane entry against Vaughn following that didn’t quite work out, then managed to catch up to Vaughn and he tried to punt him off the track. Love it! If you go back into qualifying videos and watch his runs you will be impressed 100%.

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9. Odi Bakchis Has Turned a Hyundai into Gold
After years and years of watching people struggle to drift a Hyundai chassis you really have to tip the hat to Odi Bakchis as a suspension wizard. He makes his Genesis couple look and drift just like his Nissan 240sx and probably needs to receive a couple million dollars of Hyundai marketing money to help continue making their platform look so viable. Odi would be in the championship chase for me this year if he wasn’t just so conservative in his tandem chases sometimes. He needs to break that mental barrier of conservative in his head and find that bit of flair and he could run the whole way. He did really step up the game I felt like this weekend and should be recognized for it.

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8. The Best Commentary Setup in Formula Drift History
Two things made this the best commentated event in Formula Drift history and I just hope Formula Drift can figure out how to keep doing it the future. #1, Ryan L. as a judge explaining things is genius even though I feel like it could pull away from his judging focus. Explanations are great and at least informing people is a huge plus (although I doubt most are listening/paying attention). #2 and more important is that Formula Drift had live commentary for the crowd itself. That means that Ryan Sage and Jarod DeAnda could focus on broadcasting a TV like show over the air and it worked like a charm. Nothing makes everyone want to turn off the Livestream more than when Jarod is asking for people to do the wave at Irwindale and you are sitting in your parents damp basement eating a PBJ sandwich. The overall quality of production just seemed so much better and it was great to hear the crowd randomly roaring up without being prompted in my ear. Just my .02 cents on that.

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