Formula Drift Driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. Off to Fast Start in New Ford Mustang

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. giving the fans some three wheeled action in his K&N Filters equipped Ford Mustang

In his K&N Filters backed Ford Mustang, Vaughn Gittin Jr. won the Formula Drift event at Road Atlanta and moved into first place in the Pro standings. He lead was short-lived after the Formula Drift event at Orlando Speedworld, in Florida, but Gittin Jr. is off to a good start. His team has a new car and it didn't take long for Gittin Jr. to find his comfort zone and the first-place spot on the podium.


Dominant in Atlanta, Gittin Jr. left all of his competitors in a haze of smoke as he slid into first place for his first win of the 2016 season.

"This year we debuted our new Mustang," Gittin Jr. said. "We've been developing and building this car all last year. It's a new S550 Mustang. Atlanta was just our second event with it following testing and development. I was feeling really good and connected with the car. It was just amazing."

Gittin Jr. had a successful run at Road Atlanta, in Georgia, in May. He won all four of his rounds including against Daijiro Yoshihara in the final. Gittin Jr. won in the first round against Geoff Stoneback. He beat Tyler McQuarrie in the quarterfinals and Chris Forsberg in the semifinals. He said his run against Forsberg was the most competitive.

"I already knew we were on the podium," Gittin Jr. said. "I had just beaten Chris Forsberg, who I was positive it was going to be my hardest battle of the night. I was just in that zone. I knew immediately that Dai was not going to be able to beat me. I had that feeling. When we have that feeling, we're pretty tough to beat."

Gittin Jr. called Yoshihara one of his biggest rivals. The two have been racing against each since 2004 in Formula Drift.

"Without a doubt we were the dominant force that weekend," Gittin Jr. said. "Honestly, we hope to have more of those this year."


According to Vaughn, the most important aspect to an engine is air and fuel. K&N Filters helps him on the air side of things.

In Round 3 of the Formula Drift season in Orlando, on June 4, Gittin Jr. was off to a similar start. He was the number 1 seed and he said his Ford Mustang was running as good as it did in Atlanta. But his team didn't have the right tire strategy for the Orlando track and it caused him to run into problems during his runs.

"We were pretty dominant in Orlando early on," Gittin Jr. said. "We qualified first again. I was thinking to myself, man could this be a repeat? I was feeling really good, I was driving pretty fast."

But the length of the course caused severe tire wear. Gittin Jr. miscalculated how the track was wearing on his tires and he lost traction during his second-round run. He lost to Jhonnattan Castro, the number 17 seed, in the quarterfinals. Gittin Jr. admitted that he probably drove the car harder than he should have during his runs.


With a fast car, good lines, and a great team Gittin Jr. was able to take his first victory of the season at Road Atlanta, in Georgia.

"Tire wear was a real big challenge for all the teams because of how long the course was, how aggressive you had to drive it," Gittin Jr. said. "I had basically used up all my tire. When I went to drive the car off-bank, it just wouldn't go. I saved the car from going off course, but my competitor, he opened up a nice gap. I just wasn't able to close it."

The next stop on the Formula Drift schedule is at Wall Speedway, in New Jersey, starting on June 17. Gittin Jr. enters the event in second place and 12 points behind Fredric Aasbo, the leader in the Formula Drift Pro standings. Aasbo took over the lead in the standings after winning the Formula Drift event in Orlando.

"We're definitely in a really, really good place at this point in the season and I am feeling pretty awesome," Gittin Jr. said.

He added that K&N Air Filters have played a big role in his team's success, especially in the team's new car. Gittin Jr. doesn't only use K&N products in his race cars, but other vehicles he has.

"I put them on everything," Gittin Jr. said. "The thing with our sport is your constantly driving and your engine is essentially sucking in rubber. We use the best air filters in the world for a reason. We make sure there is clean air going in our engines at all times. Air and fuel are the most important things in the engine. K&N has been a big part in our success any time our car starts up."


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