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Drifting’s International Ambassador Vaughn Gittin Jr. Wins World Drift Series Event in China

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The WDS fans at Luoyang New District Stadium in China showed their sincere appreciation for Vaughn Gittin Jr - Photo by Larry Chen
The WDS fans at Luoyang New District Stadium in China showed their sincere appreciation for Vaughn Gittin Jr - Photo by Larry Chen
"I am pumped to win our second event in a row at WDS in China," remarked Vaughn Gittin Jr. after his victory in the World Drift Series event in Luoyang. His assertive, pedal-to-the-metal, big smoke assault on tracks is legendary, and it's what has made him one of the sport's most iconic worldwide figures. The World Drift Series event was held in the Luoyang New District Stadium with over 20,000 fans in attendance and it was broadcasted live on CCTV, China's major TV network.
The iconic K&N sponsored Ford Mustang RTR shares the worldwide drifting limelight with Gittin - Photo by Larry Chen
The iconic K&N sponsored Ford Mustang RTR shares the worldwide drifting limelight with Gittin - Photo by Larry Chen


After China, the RTR Drift Team and Gittin continued in his role as international ambassador for drifting, entertaining over 200,000 spectators lined along the streets of Rotterdam, Holland. Then it was off to Loheac, France to drift on the European Rallycross track in front of over 60,000 diehard rally fans. And, next on his European tour, Gittin made his way to Lausitzring, Germany for the Gymkhana Grid, where he gave rides to multiple European media outlets and performed demos on the track to entertain the fans in between the Gymkhana battles.

The week before his international tour, Gittin and his famed K&N sponsored, Monster Energy, Nitto Tire Ford Mustang and the RTR Drift Team were at Texas Motor Speedway for Formula Drift Series round 6, where he qualified 1st and finished 5th place. Before leaving Texas, Gittin and the team headed to Fort Hood to host one of their signature "Smoke Shows", putting smiles on faces and giving rides to the troops. "The events we are doing for the military are my favorite events of the year without question," stated Gittin. We caught up with the very busy Vaughn Gittin Jr. to get his take on why drifting continues to capture the world's imagination.

What do you feel is the common thread running through drifting's worldwide popularity, and how much bigger do you expect it's going to get?
Gittin is recognized around the world for his aggressive, big smoke, driving style - Photo by Larry Chen
Gittin is recognized around the world for his aggressive, big smoke, driving style - Photo by Larry Chen


"Drifting is a very fast paced, fun action motorsport you can't take your eyes off of as a spectator, and it is extremely challenging and fun for drivers. It essentially is a product that sells itself because of the excitement that surrounds it. You don't have to try to make it cool. Drifting is pretty much contagious and that is why we are seeing it continue to spread and grow globally so fast year after year. While the globe offers many different languages, cultures, styles and outlooks on life - everyone is starting to speak the language of drifting, and no matter where you are, the drivers and fans passion for the sport is incredible. There is still more work to do, but as we all know, passion is one of the strongest forces in the world. I truly feel that the sky is the limit for Drifting, and we are heading in the right direction."

We've been hearing more about "clipping points," can you enlighten us with what they are and what the issue was between you and Pat Mordaunt during the top 8 in Texas?

"Clipping points are what our judges use to define our course. These are exact points, or zone's, that we must get our car within inches of, in order to be running the proper line. When chasing Pat in our top 8 battle, he made a mistake between Clipping point 1 and Clipping point 2, taking him offline. I made an adjustment to avoid hitting him which caused me to straighten. Initially the judges awarded me the win, but following a protest the judges overturned the call and gave Pat the win. I fully disagree with the decision, but I have no choice except to roll with it."
The win in Luoyang was the RTR Drift Team's second event in a row at WDS in China - Photo by Larry Chen
The win in Luoyang was the RTR Drift Team's second event in a row at WDS in China - Photo by Larry Chen


Would it be safe to assume you're a big star when you go race the World Drift Series in China. Also, how drift savvy are the fans and how does the competition stack up overall?

"I hate thinking of myself as a 'big star' (ha-ha). But yes, my popularity is a bit crazy for sure. The fans are learning for sure too, they love the action, and now they are starting to learn the finer details of the sport. The drivers are progressing crazy fast, the competition is not as stiff as Formula Drift all the way through the bracket, but starting in the top 8, it starts to feel like FD. The final 4 and finals always are hard core battles. They really have only been competing for a few years. I am there to help the progression, put on a good show, and to enjoy the battles with the top drivers."

You seem to be having a ball with your drifting ambassador status, realistically though how tough is it to travel about and to be away from home?

"I am no doubt living my dream, and it is a lot of work, but this is my life and I would not change it for the world. I am achieving my short term goals and doing things for the sport, and the lifestyle that I love for the long term. All the effort is a win win and it's very rewarding in that respect. I don't even count how many days I am gone, I just go and do what I do, and when I get a chance to chill on my couch with my wife and our dog, I enjoy it to the fullest! I won't be getting a break until December, and at that point I will look forward to enjoying some time home and taking a couple snowboard trips."

Related K&N News Articles about Vaughn Gittin Jr.: RTR Drift Team & Vaughn Gittin Jr. Gain Formula Drift Championship Points at Joint Base Lewis-McChord; Vaughn Gittin Jr. Takes Second in North American Professional Drifting Season Opener in Long Beach; Formula Drift Driver Matt Field Challenges Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Evergreen Speedway; Video - Vaughn Gittin Jr. Chases RC Drift Car Through K&N Factory.
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