Vaughn Gittin Jr at Formula Drift Long Beach Debuts 2016 Competition-Spec Mustang RTR

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Ford Performance/Roush Yates Racing V8 2016 Mustang RTR VP Racing Fuel C85

Powered by a 436 cubic-inch Ford Performance/Roush Yates Racing V8, the 2016 Mustang RTR gained over 100 horsepower by switching to VP Racing Fuel’s C85 product.

After “The Diago effect” in 2012, the horsepower wars began in Formula Drift. Competition accelerated at an astronomical rate, and with that increase in horsepower came the need for more grip and more angle. Vaughn Gittin Jr., 2010 Formula Drift champion, has been a top competitor in Formula Drift for over a decade and is one of the sport’s most iconic drivers. He has been piloting a Ford Mustang for almost his entire drifting career and, because of that long relationship, had the solid-axel S197 chassis Mustang dialed in.

2016 Mustang RTR 2016 Ford Mustang chassis independent rear suspension

The 2016 Mustang RTR is built on the all-new 2016 Ford Mustang chassis, including the new independent rear suspension setup.

2016 provided a platform for innovation for Vaughn and the RTR team with the release of the new 50th-anniversary Ford Mustang. This sixth generation of the Mustang is the first to offer independent rear suspension (IRS), a new opportunity for JR and his team to take handling to the next level and make use of his high-horsepower V8.

The 2016 Mustang RTR will be sporting sticky Nitto NT05 tires, making the IRS setup work hard to get the power down from the over 900 horsepower, 436 cubic-inch Ford Performance/Roush Yates engine under the hood. Spinning to over 9000 rpm, this pony’s heart gained over 100 horsepower just from swapping to the VP Racing Fuel C85 blend. Protecting this huge V8 is a pair of K&N high-flow air filters. Vaughn relied on K&N to protect the engine in his previous Mustang and shared in the success of his 2010 championship. With a new filter setup on his 2016 Mustang, K&N is again helping Vaughn protect his 900 horsepower machine from the smoke and tire debris on the track this year.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. Long Beach first round of 2016 Formula Drift

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is prepped and ready to hit the streets of Long Beach for the first round of the 2016 Formula Drift season

New chassis, new suspension, over 900 horsepower and a vehicle weighing less than 3,000 pounds means Vaughn and the 2016 Mustang RTR are poised for a strong podium run in the 2016 Formula Drift season. After just 1 year of development, the results were impressive to say the least. In a flat-out drag race, Vaughn’s new 2016 RTR left his 2014 Mustang in the dust!

“I was a bit nervous about where we would end up initially,” says Vaughn, “as we have had over 10 years of development of the previous generation S197 Mustang and it was dialed. But following the final tests, that nervousness has turned into confidence.”

Mark your calendars. The 2016 Formula Drift season starts this weekend, April 8 and 9, on the streets of Long Beach which never cease to disappoint. The 2015 season began with dramatic crashes and one-more-time battles for the ages. Vaughn qualified 4th at Long Beach in 2015 and with the confidence-inspiring, all-new Mustang RTR, the podium is in sight for Vaughn Gittin Jr. Be sure to check back throughout the 2016 Formula D season to see how Vaughn and his K&N-sponsored Mustang are performing!


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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 50 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit