One of the biggest shake ups of the Formula Drift off-season was that Vaughn Gittin Jr. would be leaving Falken Tire (the only pro-team he had ever known prior) to join Forces with Nitto Tire for the 2013 Formula Drift season. The “why” and “what for” are kind of irrelevant at this point but the one thing that everyone clung onto in this news was what his new Falken-less livery would look like. Today we got our answer with a slew of pics from Vaughn and a press release detailing his new 2013 program.
The biggest news in the release is that now Vaughn is officially driving for himself! Yes, Mr. Gittin is running the show with Nitto acting as a major sponsor and tire backer rather than team owner and ASD acting as the official build and support team for Vaughn’s RTR Ford Mustang drift car. As you can see in the picture Monster Energy remains on board for 2013 as well.
To keep his sponsors visible Vaughn Gittin Jr. is taking on a monster (no pun inten-oh what the hell sure lets pun it up!) schedule which, beyond the full 2013 Formula Drift season, includes several events in China, and even drift demos on military bases! With all the traveling, competition, and Vaughn taking on both driver and team owner duties, 2013 is going to be a busy year!
For all the pics of the new livery click the thumbnails below. You can also see the new car in action in the official reveal video and check out Vaughn’s 2013 schedule and the detailed specs of the Monster Energy/Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR
BALTIMORE, Md. (March 26, 2013) – Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is excited to announce the formation of the RTR Drift Team, their tentative 2013 worldwide schedule, and the reveal of his Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR livery. This year marks the beginning of a new era for Vaughn coming into his tenth season of professional drifting with the formation of the RTR Drift Team. He is focused on his duties as RTR Team owner and driver, and is also taking full advantage of the freedoms that come along with being a team owner – as portrayed by his unique new livery. Check out the official VIDEO revealing the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR.
“I’m really pumped on this years’ livery and overall aesthetics surrounding our efforts,” says Vaughn. “For the first time in my career, I have been able to start from a clean slate and get a bit crazy with the look of my car that I will be using for battle. Being that the Mustang is my weapon of choice out there on the track, the base of the livery was inspired from old battle ships that were covered with ‘dazzle camo’. From there, we added my XX5 (#25) logo and flag elements, along with some of my favorite colors and a little rock n’ roll to get a livery that I feel really portrays me. I look forward to giving it some real battle scars!”
Vaughn will be piloting a brand new 2014 Ford Mustang RTR built by Autosport Dynamics and will make its first competition debut at Formula Drift Round 1 in Long Beach, California April 12-13. Having worked side by side with Vaughn since 2007, ASD will supply their valued support yet again for the 2013 season. Combining the superior knowledge and car building skills of the ASD crew, with the proven driving ability and aggressiveness behind the wheel of 2010 Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., there is no doubt that the RTR Drift Team will be a serious force on the track. Check out the DETAILED SPECS of the Monster Energy Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR.
“I couldn’t be happier to continue working with the team at ASD,” says Vaughn. “We have had great success over the past 5 years together and the word ‘team’ as I know it has been redefined around our new focused effort. ”
While Vaughn’s number one priority is to chase down the Formula Drift Championship, he will also be taking his global efforts to the next level in 2013. Vaughn will once again head to China to compete in the World Drift Series, as well as participate in select competition and demonstration events in Europe. Just as years past, Vaughn will continue to perform at select demo and experiential events in the USA. Thanks to Monster Energy and Ford Motor Company, this year he will be heading to select military bases surrounding the Formula Drift Championship on Sundays after competition, to provide demos and ride-alongs for some of America’s finest men and women. See the 2013 TENTATIVE SCHEDULE.
“It is really crazy for me to look at my schedule for this year and realize all of the awesome that is about to go down all over the world behind the wheel of some badass Ford Mustangs,” adds Vaughn. “While I am pumped on all of the events we have chosen to participate in this year, I am especially excited about the opportunity to go visit some military bases and put smiles on the men and women’s faces that make me living my dream possible!”
Monster Energy/Nitto Tire 2014 Ford Mustang RTR Specs:
MONSTER ENERGY NITTO TIRE 2014 FORD MUSTANG RTR
Roush Yates Racing Engines/Ford Racing Aluminum V8 (845HP)
Weight – 2900 LBS
4 Speed Dog Box Transmission
MoTeC M84 Engine Management and Dash Display/Logger (CDL-3)
St. Patricks day weekend was cause for celebration for many people all over the country but it was also a big weekend for motorsport freaks like us. In addition to Sebring the past weekend also saw the return of Formula One. I decided to kick the weekend off by paying a visit to one of my favorite meets: Cars & Coffee in Irvine.
It was the first time I had been to the meet since the start of the year so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see an even more eclectic mix of cars than I was used to. There was everything from million-dollar exotics to a few rare classics. I even saw a crazy turbo-diesel zombie apocalypse truck! (more on that in a later post).
However, I would have to say the meet’s biggest attention getter was a genuine Bugatti Veyron brought by Symbolic Motor Cars of San Diego. As jaded as I am these days even I am still impressed with a Veyron sighting. I have only been in the presence of Bugatti’s hyper-car four times and only two of which (counting the weekend) were “wild” sightings.
All in all it was a great trip. If you haven’t been to Cars & Coffee I would highly recommend checking it out. If you’re saying to yourself: “Hey jerk, I don’t live in Southern California!” I would say “don’t interrupt me while I’m talking!” See, the cool thing about Cars & Coffee is that it is something of an organization now so there are meets in several places all across America; even in Europe! Just head to CarsAndCoffeeOnline.com to find the closest meet to you.
For most car guys, one of the best ways to waste time online is to visit a customizer tool for the car of their choice and play around with the hundreds, sometimes thousands of possibilities for a custom spec’d ride. As of late OEMshave caught onto this and to their credit have made steps to make customizers even more entertaining to play with. Ford has been at the forefront of this movement with their latest 2013 Mustang customizer that actually gives users points depending on how they spec out their model; essentially turning the configuration experience into a game. Well, rumor has it that Ford is going to take yet another step in that direction by making the 2013 Mustang customizer available on Xbox Live tomorrow.
Users will be able to spec out their model using a controller instead of a mouse and it is said that the customizer Xbox app will even come with items for your Xbox Live avatar like a Mustang racing suit, hats, and shirts. Even though I am not the biggest Mustang fan, even I have to admit I am kind of looking forward to playing with the app. In the meantime you can still play around with the official customizer online right now.
SEMA 2012 is just a week away and the renderings keep pouring in from all over. Today we bring you another rendering from the extremely talented (and busy) Jon Sibal. In between all the other projects he was tapped to do, he found time to design a Ford Focus ST for European Car Magazine. Kind of weird that European Car would be building a Ford is it not? Well, the Focus ST has been around in Europe for a little while so I supposed it makes sense if you squint your eyes a bit.
Logical or not, the concept that Sibal came up with looks great, and will look even better in person.
Last Saturday morning I decided to once again torture myself for you by waking up earlier than time itself to make the trek to Mazda North American HQ in Irvine, CA for the weekly Cars & Coffee meet. OK, so maybe I did not wake up quite as early as I should have but it was still early! I still managed to get there with enough time to snap some shots of the nicer cars at the show and there were some nice rides indeed. A Ferrari Enzo made an appearance as well as few Audi R8′s and a nice Lamborghini that I will show you in depth later. For now you can check out a few pics below and then head to our Facebook gallery to see the full set.
These days Tanner Foust is a pretty well known guy in gear head circles and even a little beyond that. He gets recognized on the streets, signs autographs, and rumor has it has done well enough to buy himself a few toys. I knew him back when he was drifting a humble 240SX for McKinney Motorsports back in the early years of Formula Drift. He has definitely come a long way since those days and deservedly so. If there is one thing about Tanner that has never changed since the early days is that he always has a lot of F’ing jobs. If I did not know what he looked like and someone told me about all the jobs he had I would think he was Jamaican (note: I am Jamaican, I can make that joke).
If he is not hosting Top Gear USA, he is racing rally cross on the other side of the planet, if he is not doing that then he is stunt driving for a Hollywood blockbuster, if not that he is risking his life for the sake of the challenge. “Busy” is a major understatement when it comes to Mr. Foust. So, to help his fans get some inside perspective on Tanner’s career, he got together with Rockstar Energy Drink to produce a web series called “Life In The Foust Lane”. In this series cameras follow Foust on all his adventures and all the while we get some insight from the man himself about what he is up to.
In this first episode Tanner takes us behind the scenes of his role in Ford’s Octane Academy, we also learn his philosophy on rental cars and their abuse therein. It is a pretty entertaining way to spend eight and half minutes! Watch for yourself below.
I will make this short. I saw Gymkhana FIVE already during X Games weekend and it is f**king awesome! You are about to watch Ken Block hoon the hell out of San Francisco, consequently having your mind blown. Now scroll down and watch below!
Yesterday I made the arduous trek to downtown Los Angeles to pick up my credentials for X Games 18 this weekend. When I got there I saw two things that caught my interest. The first being a giant life-sized bright orange Hot Wheels looped track and the second was a very jet-lagged Tanner Foust who was fresh off a short break from his European Rallycross tour. I knew somewhere between the two was an interview. Since the Hot Wheels track is an inanimate object and likely would not talk back, I decided to interview Tanner instead. I talked to him about his progress in Europe, what possessed him to try this crazy Hot Wheels stunt, and what will be on his mind going into the Rallycross race this weekend at X Games. Watch below!
American manufacturers have a history of underrating the horsepower figures on their muscle cars. It is a practice that has been going on since the 60s and continues today. Take Ford and their new 2013 Shelby GT500 Mustang. If you ask Ford, they will tell you that the new GT500 makes 650hp at the crank when in reality it will make that much at the wheels, suggesting a crank figure that is closer to 700hp. With stock numbers like that most would suspect there is much more power on tap with a little tinkering under the hood; which is exactly what Evolution Performance did once they got their hands on Ford’s new pony car.
They decided to see how much more the GT500 would breathe with a few basic bolt-ons (intake, exhaust, drag tires) and unleaded race fuel. The result was a 9.95 quarter mile time at 142mph! Pretty impressive for a car that has an MSRP of just under $55k is it not?! If you are finding this claim hard to believe just scroll down and watch the drag video for yourself!
I was starting to get some serious car show withdrawal so you can imagine my excitement when it came time for Motion Auto Show to come back to our home town of Long Beach and fill our convention center with rows and rows of top notch rides. One of the reasons I really like the Motion Auto Show is because the producers of the show Pro-Motion and the shows architect Mike Morita go out of their way to create an experience that is a lot like the car shows we were used to from the early days of the scene and so far they have always gotten it right! I also commend Pro-Motion and Morita-san for pre-screening all the cars that register for the show. Back in the day I hated spending my cash on a car show ticket only to find the show full of cars that were damn near stock!
Between the cars, the dance contest, models, and vendors the attendees of this years Motion Auto Show in Long Beach definitely got their money’s worth. If you didn’t get a chance to make it out to the show this year I highly reccomend going next year. In the meantime check out some pictures below and see our full gallery on our Facebook page.