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)
Welcome to the first big news bit of the year! What was just a “rumor” a little more than a month ago is confirmed news today. Vaughn Gittin Jr. has officially parted ways with Falken Tire and will run Nitto Tires this season and he is bringing ASD and Monster Energy with him. This is pretty big news for the drift set. Vaughn Gittin Jr. is hands down the most marketable driver in all of drifting and has had the most marketing success. Gittin made regular appearances representing both Ford and Falken Tire all over the world, was featured in national Ford advertising campaigns that included network tv advertising, movie theater advertising, and an elaborate online campaigns.
His partnership with Ford even allowed him to create his own branded Mustang dealer performance kit called the “RTR” (Ready To Rock) which has been selling well and is looking to expand even more in the future.
So why would Falken Tire allow someone with so much market potential to walk away? Well, that is pretty much impossible to answer unless you are Vaughn Gittin Jr himself or on the inside of Falken Tire. Although, some have speculated that it may have something to do with the fact that ASD (Autosports Dynamics) the shop that has built pretty much all of Vaughn’s highly competitive cars, announced they were parting ways with Falken towards the end of last season. It is possible that Vaughn didn’t want to deal with the growing pains of a new mechanic crew who would likely be unfamiliar with the Mustang platform. Again, this is just speculation on my part.
Whatever the case, this move has a lot of possible implications for both Falken and Nitto. Without Gittin on the payroll will Falken use the extra dollars to back a fresh face? Or, on the other side of that coin, with Ford and Monster Energy moving their money away from Falken, will that mean they will have to cut corners for their remaining drivers? Then there is the question of what Nitto Tire will do. Will they pull backing from smaller teams like Matt Powers and Burgenholtz racing to help fund an all-in effort for Vaughn Gittin?
Time will tell! For the official word from Vaughn check out his press release below.
BALTIMORE, Md. (January 8, 2013) – Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is excited to announce that he has joined forces with Nitto Tire. Fueled by passion and innovation, Nitto Tire is a perfect match for Vaughn and his always forward-thinking team. Vaughn, who is undeniably one of drifting’s most iconic drivers, will represent Nitto Tire and showcase their max-performance tire’s superior performance and capability through competing in the Formula Drift Championship and China’s WDS Series. He will also be performing exhibitions and experiential events all over the world, where many will have the opportunity to ride shotgun in his Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR.
From Vaughn: “I am pumped to be working with Nitto Tire! As I enter this new chapter of my career, it feels great to be aligned with a brand that is committed to winning and progression, just as I am. I have always been focused on working just as hard off the track as I do on it, and Nitto’s innovative marketing efforts and awesome tires will compliment that well. It is very clear that our overall passion and future goals align perfectly, and I could not be happier with what the future has to offer surrounding this partnership.”
In 2013 Vaughn will continue to be supported by the Autosport Dynamics (ASD) crew – the team behind his 2007 World Championship, 2010 Formula Drift Championship, and 2011 WDS Championship. During the off-season, Vaughn and ASD have thoroughly tested the Nitto NT05 max-performance tire and they are very confident in the competitive edge they will have entering the 2013 season.
Harry Kong, Marketing & Social Media Strategist for Nitto Tire: “Vaughn has proven himself to be an incredible driver and Champion, and Nitto Tire is looking forward to partnering with him for the upcoming 2013 drifting season. The Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR running NT05 tires should be an exciting combination.”
“Through testing, we found the Nitto NT05 offers a high level of consistent grip through all temperature ranges, and that the high quality construction of the tire allows it to handle excessive abuse – both qualities of which are crucial for drifting,” said Vaughn.
Vaughn’s first public event drifting on Nitto’s NT05’s will be January 24-27 at the St. Louis Auto Show where he will be performing demos and hanging out with his fans. Find out how you can win a ride-along by visiting Saintlouisautoshow.com
Stay tuned for more details about the 2013 season, as well as the upcoming release of the fresh look of Vaughn’s brand new Monster Energy Nitto Tire Mustang RTR! For more information, please visit VaughnGittin.com or Facebook.com/OfficialVaughnGittinJr
ABOUT VAUGHN GITTIN JR.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. has become one of drifting’s most iconic figures and his machine, the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Tire Ford Racing Mustang, one of the sport’s most identifiable cars. Vaughn is known best by his aggressive, foot to the floor, big smoke driving style. Being such a fierce competitor, Vaughn is known as the only American to win a D1 Grand Prix event, not once – but twice. In 2005 Vaughn stunned the world when he won the D1GP USA vs. Japan. In 2007, he brought America the gold once more by winning the D1GP World Championship.
In 2010, Vaughn earned his first Formula Drift Championship, becoming the second-ever Champion with a strictly-drifting background. In 2011, Vaughn competed in China’s premier drift series, WDS, and took home the Championship. In 2012, Vaughn was shy just one spot of the Championship, taking second place overall. He has achieved five wins and multiple podiums throughout his Formula Drift career.
ABOUT NITTO TIRE:
Nitto Tire develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in both Japan and the United States – Nitto provides innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding automotive enthusiasts. For more information about Nitto or its products, visit the company’s web site or contact the company directly. Nitto is a registered trademark of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., located at 5665 Plaza Drive, Ste. 250, Cypress, Calif., 90630.
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.
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!