K&N®-Sponsored Drifter Vaughn Gittin Jr. Set for a Strong 2018 Season

Vaughn Gittin Jr. is a drifting powerhouse with a lead foot—and he isn’t ashamed to admit it. Each new season brings new faces and fresh cars to Formula Drift, but Gittin Jr.—a Formula Drift veteran—continues to draw enthusiastic and loyal fans. Watching him compete, it isn’t difficult to see why.

Gittin Jr.'s Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Racing Mustang

Gittin Jr.'s Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Racing Mustang

Gittin Jr. started his Formula Drift career during the series’ inaugural year in 2004, and has been a serious FD contender ever since. He started out racing his personal Nissan S13, but caught the attention of Ford Racing in 2009, which has spawned a long-lasting partnership. In 2010, Ford launched the Mustang RTR—a dealer-installed package that quickly gained popularity—in collaboration with Gittin Jr., who went on to win the Formula Drift Championship that year.

He currently races the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Racing Mustang, which features a 1000-horsepower, 9000-rpm engine built collaboratively by Ford Performance and Roush Yates Engines. The vehicle itself is dramatic and imposing—the vibrant green styling is unmistakable on the track—much like Gittin Jr. himself.

Gittin Jr. at Long Beach in 2018

Gittin Jr. at Long Beach in 2018

The Mustang features a custom K&N® performance filter—which utilizes the same technology as K&N® High-Flow Air Filters™, available online for thousands of makes and models at www.knfilters.com. “I’ve been working with K&N on an official level for fifteen years now,” he commented. “But prior to that, I ran K&N [products] on my first car that I used to race in industrial parks and parking lots. That started my love for K&N. It’s an honor, fifteen years later, to still be working with them.”

Vaughn Gittin Jr. posing with a fan

Gittin Jr. is known for his enthusiasm for Formula Drift fans

Part of the magic of Formula Drift is the intensity—the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat speed—and Gittin Jr. doesn’t hesitate to push the envelope. Hurtling down the track, his speedometer often creeps above the triple digits—while drifting sideways. And yet, while he still references himself as a professional “fun haver”, he has the tightly-honed skill and precision to place his tires exactly where he wants them—careening around turns with exactness at stomach-dropping speeds. It takes nerves of steel, and after fifteen years as a competitor, he has certainly proven his.

Gittin Jr.'s Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Racing Mustang

The custom Mustang is easily recognizable on the track

Gittin Jr. has an impressive list of wins—he has three World Drift Series Championships under his belt (2011, 2012, and 2013), and is the only American to win two D1 Grand Prix events. In 2013, he was dubbed the Formula Drift Ace Driver of the Decade, honoring his participation in all ten seasons of the series and the most tandem victories of any other driver. He also owns RTR Motorsports (for which he races), based in Baltimore, Maryland. Still, after fifteen years as a top competitor, he shows no signs of slowing down. When questioned regarding the future of RTR Motorsports and his racing career, Gittin Jr. was optimistic, and eager to shower praise on his team’s newest member—Chelsea DeNofa, who joined RTR last year.

The Mustang RTR engine bay

The Mustang RTR features a custom K&N performance filter

Gittin Jr. competed in Round 3 of Formula Drift at Road Atlanta this past weekend. “Road Atlanta is one of my favorite tracks—in fact, this is where Formula Drift started in 2004. The crowd’s amazing, and the track is super fast—we’re hitting about 105 mile-an-hour entry speeds here.” In anticipating the rest of the 2018 season, one thing’s certain—he’ll continue to deliver the high-speed, aggressive driving style that has made him a Formula Drift celebrity.

Vaughn Gittin Jr. will be appearing in Round 4 of the Formula Drift Pro Series at Wall Stadium Speedway in Wall Township, New Jersey on June 1-2.