American Vaughn Gittin Jr. is Highest Ranked Drifter in the World

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“I am so happy to put myself, Team Falken, K&N Engineering and the USA on top of the podium in the World Championship,” said 2007 D1 Grand Prix World Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., “It feels awesome to win.”

Vaughn Gittin Jr. uses K&N products
Vaughn Gittin Jr. uses K&N products
Vaughn Gittin Jr. wins the D1 World Championship
Vaughn Gittin Jr. wins the D1 World Championship
After several days and nights of celebration Gittin, known as JR to his friends is still living his dream. “It’s hard to explain my level of happiness,” he said. “If happiness was a mountain and Mount Fuji was on top of the world, I’d be on top of that now.”
Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Irwindale Speedway
Vaughn Gittin Jr. at Irwindale Speedway
Vaughn Gittin Jr. at K&N Engineering
Vaughn Gittin Jr at K&N Engineering

The D1 Grand Prix World Championship consisted of 26 of the world’s best drifters from the USA, Japan, Sweden, Malaysia, Thailand, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Canada, Vietnam and France. JR body slammed his competition at Irwindale Speedway.

His first battle was against Jayitr Sritongkham from Thailand. On their first run Sritongkham put his Skyline into the wall as JR maneuvered around him on the inside line barely missing him. Sritongkham was forced to forfeit the second run because of damage to his car.

JR moved on to battle Japan’s Toshiki Yoshioka. Yoshioka’s engine blew in his AE86 Corolla just prior to the run and he forfeited. “I was disappointed about his unfortunate situation,” said JR. “He is a great, fast, technical driver and I was looking forward to running with him.”

The third match for JR was against Ken Nomura, one of Japan’s star drivers. The first battle was even and the judges called for a “One More Time.” In the next run, JR stepped it up a notch and stayed on the back of Nomura’s bumper to earn the immediate advantage. When it was JR’s turn to lead, Nomura tried to copy JR’s line and angle, but ended up hitting the wall. This moved JR to the finals.

Japan’s 2006 champion, Nobushige Kumakubo, paired up with JR for the finals. The first two runs were too close to call, and the judges called for a third battle. JR led the first run and quickly pulled away after the bank. The large gap forced Kumakubo to overdrive and speed up. He hit JR and both drivers spun. The judges gave JR the advantage 10-0.

With high marks, JR had the win in the bag and could have taken the easy way out. Instead, he drifted the Falken Tires Mustang to its limits to make it clear to the judges and the crowd that he won the battle and the World Championship.

“We have a new naturally aspirated five liter V8 engine with individual throttle body fuel injection on the Mustang,” said JR. “The only thing protecting the individual throttle bodies from sucking in all the dirt particles from the track is our K&N Engineering air filter. There was a part in the race day where I had to run eight consecutive laps behind cars. Despite all the debris and smoke I had all the confidence in the world with my K&N air filter.”

JR plans to build another Mustang in 2008. “It will be bigger, badder, faster and lighter,” he said. “K&N was there the first time I won the World Championship in 2005, and K&N will be there in 2008 on my new Mustang when I hope carry the momentum and win next year’s World Championship.”

Also check out the World Champion Drifter Vaughn Gittin video.

Follow JR's progress throughout the racing season at the K&N news site. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering, Inc., with headquarters in Riverside, California, has been the world's leader in performance filter technology since 1969, serving the needs of the automotive, motorcycle, marine, industrial and military markets. K&N is heavily involved in nearly every form of motorsports from off-road and powersports to drag racing, stock cars and road racing. For more information about K&N Filters, please contact K&N Engineering, Inc., P.O. Box 1329, Riverside, CA 92502-1329, (800) 213-4182 for a dealer near you, (800) 858-3333 for technical service/questions, (951) 826-4001 Fax, e-mail, or visit