I asked Ryan L. (Formula Drift judge) to come and provide some commentary about his calls. This is his ruling on the Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Alex Heilbrunn Final Four OMT battle.
Gittin leading: Gittin initiates really well and stays up high on OZ1, rubbing his bumper on the guardrail. Slight lack of proximity on imitation from Hailbrunn, he is lower on OZ1 with less angle. He gains proximity by mid OZ1, joins with Gittin as he comes off of OZ1. Vaughn does a great job on OZ1, Heilbrunn straightens just before he comes off of the bank, and does a slight shimmy on the flat just before IC1, before gaining angle again before IC1. Heilbrunn with low angle passing by IC1, regains proximity by OZ2. Gittin fills OZ2 with angle and hits both IC2 and IC3. Heilbrunn with good proximity through infield to finish, Gittin does a good job of attaining IC4.
Heilbrunn leading: Good initiation from Heilbrunn, but he is lower on OZ1 than Gittin was, and Gittin has better proximity through OZ1 on the same line as Heilbrunn. Heilbrunn comes off of OZ1 early and passes by IC1 with low angle. Gittin loses proximity exiting OZ1 and by IC1. Heilbrunn with good angle through OZ2, puts one tire up on the bank (1wheel off). Heilbrunn misses IC1 (beyond all 3 hash marks at the clip), misses IC3 (looks like he’s beyond the 3 hash marks as well) with low angle. Gittin has very low proximity at this point. Heilbrunn does a good job of reaching the T&G but is slightly off of IC4. Gittin with somewhat better proximity than through the infield, but still low.
Judge Ryan L Verdict: I chose Gittin for a few reasons. First of all, Gittin’s lead run was very, very good. Probably the best line and angle combo on OZ1 during all of Top 32. He did what we asked by running as close to a 100 point qualifying lap, which we repeatedly said was very important to do in the lead position. Secondly, Heilbrunn straightened exiting OZ1 while chasing Gittin, which I can’t overlook. Thirdly, Heilbrunn gained some distance on Gittin while leading, but he missed 3 critical points with lower angle while doing so: IC2, IC3 and IC4. It looked like an attempt to get away from Gittin, which he did, but he did not fulfill his duties as a lead driver in doing so.
We pulled clips from this video on NetworkA that shows all of Vaughn’s runs to his victory. Sadly Network A doesn’t have embed capabilities and they also didn’t isolate this run from what I could find: