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Vaughn Gittin Jr. Earns Formula Drift Victory in The Gauntlet at Wall Stadium

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"The Gauntlet" at Wall Stadium was accurately named as the racing was edge-of-the-seat thrilling all weekend.
"The Gauntlet" at Wall Stadium was accurately named as the racing was edge-of-the-seat thrilling all weekend.
"Winning this event feels awesome, We have been working very hard to claw our way back up to the top, and to do it so close to home, with so many friends and family in the audience is just awesome," remarked Vaughn Gittin Jr. "This win speaks volumes about our team's attitude and commitment to never give up, no matter what, and we plan to carry this momentum throughout the rest of the year. It is our goal that when the smoke clears this season - we will have had one of the best comebacks from a rough start to the season this sport has ever seen!"
Vaughn Gittin Jr. was sweeping the bank and scraping the wall, leaving his rear bumper in the blue tire smoke on route to victory.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. was sweeping the bank and scraping the wall, leaving his rear bumper in the blue tire smoke on route to victory.


Gittin's understandable confidence stems from his Round 4 Formula Drift win last weekend at Wall Stadium in New Jersey. The event was fittingly referred to as "The Gauntlet." In Medieval times throwing down the gauntlet was the knight's method of choice for challenging another knight to a duel. Picking the gauntlet up was the signal that the challenge had been accepted. Looking to restore order in his camp after a shaky start, and collect some crucial points in the chase for the FD Championship, Gittin got medieval on the competition. After numerous extremely tough battles against fierce competitors, the K&N sponsored driver drove his Mustang RTR all the way to first place.
To reach the top of the podium Gittin needed to get by teammate, Daijiro Yoshihara, the only competitor he's never defeated after numerous attempts.
To reach the top of the podium Gittin needed to get by teammate, Daijiro Yoshihara, the only competitor he's never defeated after numerous attempts.


Wall Stadium is only a few clicks from where Gittin and the rest of Drift Alliance in fact began to hone their drifting skills back in 2002. A decade later, Gittin has a Formula Drift Championship, with multiple wins and podiums trips inked in the record books. Accomplishments he once only dreamed about. Round 4 saw yet another sold-out crowd and the live Drift Stream saw over 200,000 total views in a 24-hour period. Even with Friday's semi-wet track conditions, Gittin was able to perform a near-perfect run that earned him a score of 96 and the second place qualifying spot.

During Saturday's main event, Gittin fought his way to the semi-finals after beating out Miro Ovcharik in his battle of the top 32, Robbie Nishida in the top 16, and then Matt Powers in the top-eight. He met with his Drift Alliance brother and good friend, Chris Forsberg in the semi-finals. This was a highly anticipated match-up as these two are known for holding nothing back when lined up against each other. As billed it was a thoroughly exciting battle that disappointed no one.
Pardon me, but do these K&N air filters make my Ford Mustang look phat?
Pardon me, but do these K&N air filters make my Ford Mustang look phat?


Gittin took the lead position first, sweeping the bank and scraping the wall, leaving his rear bumper in the blue tire smoke pluming from behind. He continued to blast through the course undeterred with maximum angle and put his car exactly where it needed to be as defined by the Formula Drift judges. When it came time to give chase, Gittin followed Forsberg into the bank and remained glued to him throughout the entire run. With a better lead run and closer proximity on the chase run, Gittin earned a trip to the finals, where he faced his arch nemesis and Falken Tire teammate, Daijiro Yoshihara.

Yoshihara was the only competitor that Vaughn Gittin Jr. had faced numerous times and had never defeated. So, in addition to his desire for the top-tier of the podium, Gittin desperately wanted this win against his rival. Gittin once more took the lead first and threw down the gauntlet with an amazing run, while Yoshihara pushed just to stay close. Yoshihara, feeling the pressure pushed a tad too hard, causing him to straighten up which gave Gittin the advantage.
The Round 4 Formula Drift win and 2nd place qualifying moves Gittin into 4th place overall in the championship.
The Round 4 Formula Drift win and 2nd place qualifying moves Gittin into 4th place overall in the championship.


Then it was Gittin's turn to give chase and he never let up once, dialing up the pressure to eleven and sticking to his competitor's door like white on rice. When the engine echoes faded and the smoke lifted, Gittin was crowned the victor of the final battle and 1st place winner overall of Formula Drift Round 4.

"It took me a little longer than expected to harness this brand new 2013 Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang," said Gittin after the event. "But we overcame the challenges and got back on the podium and it feels amazing!"

With the points earned from his 1st place finish and 2nd place qualifying, Gittin moves up to 4th place overall in the Formula Drift Championship. Next up on the FD circuit is Round 5, July 21 at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington.

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