SEMA is not just the time of year to see all the new parts and goodies that you’ll soon be able to buy for your car but it is also the time when new race cars and liveries debut. This is especially true when it comes to new Formula Drift cars. It looks like the first new drift car debut out of the gate is Vaughn Gittin Jr.’s 2016 Ford Mustang RTR Sponsored by Monster Energy Drink and Nitto Tire. Built on a 2016 Ford Mustang, Gittin’s competition spec drift car went on a major diet with the help of carbon fiber body panels which brings the car’s weight down to 2,800 lbs wet with 50/50 weight distribution.
Up front is a Ford Performance/Roush-Yates built 900HP 436ci V8 engine that will redline at 9,000RPMs thanks to some serious tuning and individual throttle bodies. Outside the livery is similar to what Vaughn designed for 2015 but with new shape motifs and a bit more color thrown in for extra contrast. Take a closer look at Vaughn’s new car by clicking any of the thumbnails below. For more info you can read the official press release below the pictures. What do you think of Vaughn’s new ride? Do you like the new look or not? Do you think this car will help Vaughn earn his second championship in 2016? Let us know in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
Las Vegas, NV – World Champion Drifter and Professional Funhaver, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Performance, unveiled the competition-spec 2016 Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR drift car today at Ford Motor Company’s annual press conference at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.
In January 2015, Vaughn debuted his prototype competition car, which his team used all year as a platform to meticulously develop the new competition-spec drift car for the 2016 Formula Drift season.
The competition car, built on the globally-available 2016 Ford Mustang platform and prepared at the RTR special projects lab in Charlotte, North Carolina, will utilize the confidence-inspiring independent suspension design featured in the all-new Ford Mustang, coupled with the sticky Nitto NT05 to ensure Vaughn will have the traction that he needs to drive in excess of 100mph sideways on any track put in front of him.
“It’s incredible to see how much drifting has progressed on all fronts in the last 10 years, It’s just crazy, the things we are doing on the track these days and I am pumped to have such an awesome car that will enable us to continue pushing the envelope,” mentions Vaughn. Consistent with Ford’s internal initiatives, the RTR team utilized modern light-weighting technology by using composites and other light metal alloys to drop the car to a near 2,800lbs wet with a 50/50 weight distribution.
Under the hood is a 436 cubic-inch Ford Performance/Roush Yates-built engine that revs to 9000 RPM and makes over 900 horsepower via individual throttle body injection breathing through K&N Performance Air Filters. Vaughn shares his excitement on the car, “It’s crazy to think that I’m driving the equivalent of a 9-second drag racing car…. sideways. Needless to say, I’m pumped to get out there and have some fun!”
All the fun starts on Wednesday at SEMA when the Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR will be at the Ford Out Front experience giving rides and putting on a show for fans and convention attendees all week long. This is the first time a competition car has been unveiled inside and then brought out to flex its muscles.
The car will make its competition debut in April at the first round of the Formula Drift Championship in Long Beach, CA. Although the competition car won’t be available to the public, the new Mustang RTR will be available at select Ford dealers in the USA and Europe in the spring of 2016.
This year at Formula Drift Irwindale we wanted to do more than the typical gallery and wrap up coverage that we’re all used to. We wanted to do something different but we weren’t sure what exactly that would be. Then we saw an article from our friends at SpeedHunters titled “Drifting Is Not A Motorsport” and it reminded us of the question of Drifting’s identity which has been controversial since Formula Drift gained popularity.
Is drifting a motorsport? Is it not a motorsport? Does the label help or hurt drifting? We figured there was no right or wrong answer but there are answers. We thought the best people to pose this question to are Formula Drift drivers. How would someone who’s life revolves around drifting see it? Check out the video below to see what a few Formula Drift drivers such as Ken Gushi, Tyler McQuarrie, and Dai Yoshihara think about labeling drifting as a motorsport.
After watching the video let us know what you think! Do you think drifting is a motorsport? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments or tweet to us at @MotorworldHype.
Our first gallery from Formula Drift Irwindale is here! In this gallery we take a look at the best cars from the Fatlace Offset Kings showcase. Admittedly there wasn’t as many cars as usual. I figure the show organizers are getting more strict about the cars they let in. To balance things out this gallery also includes some of the sweet vendor cars and a few shots from the on track pit area. It is all below so scroll down and enjoy!
After a long season of drifting all across the country and the world the 2015 Formula Drift season officially came to a close at the place where American drifting pretty much began. Not only did the final round of the season take place over the weekend but quite possibly the last drifting event to ever be held at Irwindale Speedway or “The House Of Drift” as it came to be known. If you saw our live stream post you probably read all the reasons why this was likely one of the most important weekends of drifting ever.
Fredric Aasbo came into the weekend with an incredibly comfortable lead in both the Pro Championship and the (first ever) World Championship. In fact all Aasbo needed to do was qualify and win in his first battle of the top 32 and he would be a mathematical lock for both titles. In case you are wondering why Aasbo would be able to lock in the World Championship at Irwindale, it was a direct result of Formula Drift having to cancel the final World Championship round originally to take place in China. With that round off the schedule Irwindale became the final World Championship round. To make a long story short Aasbo qualified (5th) and won his first top 32 battle against Kristaps Bluss to win both titles. However, as joyous as that was for Fredric it was hardly the most exciting part of the weekend.
There were several pretty shocking and surprising moments and developments that transpired over just Saturday. First was Fredric Aasbo driving like a man possessed. I completely expected Aasbo to do what he needed to do to win his Championships. However, I didn’t expect him to really go beyond that as he was slated to face Daigo Saito in the Top 16. For context, Saito has won at Irwindale every year since he has entered the series back in 2012. The man has simply never lost a battle at The House Of Drift… That is until this weekend. Yes, fresh after winning two championships Aasbo ended Daigo’s Irwindale win streak! This blew my expectations for the event wide open. I had Saito as the winner of Irwindale pegged but it was not to be.
Aasbo went on to win the round, thus putting a stamp on is stellar season. Although the evening’s battles showed the sold out crowd what they could expect for the 2016 season as several drivers really came into their own at Irwindale since most of them had nothing to lose. Matt Field has been killing it all season but he really became a force to be reckoned with at Irwindale. He battled so hard against Odi Bakchis in the top 16 that his tires literally caught fire! He was ok though but it was a spectacular sight.
Ken Gushi put on quite an impressive performance as well as he fought hard (even through some contact) to make it all the way to the final battle against the 2015 champ, Aasbo. Gushi put up a respectable fight but was having some car issues which prevented him from giving it his all. Gushi fought Aasbo for the Pro championship all year and nearly had it were it not for a less than stellar performance in Long Beach. Even Aasbo himself pegged Gushi to win the 2016 championship. After watching Gushi’s performance all year, especially his Irwindale run, I am inclined to agree with Aasbo. Rounding out the top 3 with the 3rd podium spot was the always impressive Forrest Wang.
Well there you have it. Aasbo is your 2015 Formula Drift Pro and World Champion and Gushi is literally “the future”. Stay tuned for our official gallery and a few more stories from Irwindale!
This weekend is likely to be one of the most significant weekends of drifting in a very long time. Allow me to list the reasons why:
1. This is officially the last round of the season. With China event cancelled, Irwindale is the last round of the Pro and World Championship
2. Since China was canceled and Irwindale is the final round for both Championships its worth DOUBLE POINTS!
3. Sadly, this could very well be the last Formula Drift event to happen at Irwindale Speedway as it is very likely that its going to be demolished to build a outlet mall.
So, if you can’t be there in person I really feel for you but you can still watch live via the stream below! We’ll keep this post pinned to the top of the site all day Friday and Saturday for your viewing pleasure. So scroll down and enjoy! It is going to be one heck of a weekend.
Formula Drift had quite the event in Texas over the weekend. The 6th round of the pro 1 championship and 7th round of the world championship seemed to be riddled with controversy and surprises. We’ll start with some surprises. A few seasoned veterans were taken out early by privateer drivers. For example, Tyler McQuarrie fell to Kristaps Bluss and his V8 powered BMW in the top 32. James Evans in the Sikky 350Z managed to move on past Vaughn Gittin Jr but that was mostly due to Vaughn having an argument with a wall, and losing. Either way, its pretty shocking to see names like McQuarrie and Gittin go out that early.
It was when the top 16 started that things got really crazy. It seems that there was more OMT calls in this event than in any other event in the history of Formula Drift. The guys at Wrecked Magazine are still working out the math on that but safe to stay there was a ton of OMT (One More Time) calls where some felt that there shouldn’t have been. This caused the event to go on much longer than anticipated as the OMT calls continued into the final four which came down to Ken Gushi vs Daigo Saito and Chris Forsberg vs Masashi Yokoi.
Gushi managed to defeat Saito (no easy task) to move on to the final and Yokoi (a new crowd favorite) defeated the reigning champ Chris Forsberg. Gushi and Yokoi battled hard but it was Yokoi who came out on top. Forsberg managed to nab 3rd spot on the podium, landing some decent points.
Fredric Aasbo still has a very comfortable points lead going into the final round at Irwindale in October but he still has more than a few contenders. It should be exciting to see how it all shakes out!
Not in Texas for Formula Drift round 6 this weekend? No worries we got you covered. Just scroll down for the official live stream. We will keep this post pinned to the top of the page for the rest of the day and tomorrow so it will be easy to find. Enjoy!
Did you check out the live stream of Formula Drift Seattle over the weekend? What a crazy event! There was rain on and off making track conditions super unpredictable and the battles were nuts! There was even a fair share of car carnage when Tyler McQuarrie had a literal run in with the wall during a battle with Justin Pawlak. It was all pretty exciting to watch. In the end though, it was Fredric Aasbo who once again made it to the top of the podium by defeating Alec Hohnadell in the final battle. Justin Pawlak’s car held together after his rough battle with McQuarrie and managed a 3rd place podium finish.
Aasbo’s win gives him a pretty big lead in the points, especially considering that his closest competition Ryan Tuerck failed to make it out of Top 32. With only two rounds left Tuerck really needs to step his game up if he wants a shot at the 2015 Pro Championship title. So, to wrap up the podium once more it was Fredric Aasbo getting the win with Alec Hohnadell in second place, and Justin Pawlak taking third.
Here are the top 5 Pro Championship points standings after round 5:
1st: Fredric Aasbo -373 points
2nd: Ryan Tuerck -297 points
3rd: Odi Bakchis -293 points
4th: Ken Gushi -264 points
5th: Chris Forsberg -261 points
The next round in the Formula Drift Championship will be in Fort Worth, Texas at Texas Motor Speedway. Expect any and all challengers for the Championship to go completely HAM as time is running out for the 2015 season!
If you missed the Formula Drift Japan livestream over the weekend we are here to give you the quick results! Formula Drift Japan was the first international points-paying round of the season and the first step for those seeking the Formula Drift World Championship title. A handful of regulars in the American-based “Pro” series made the trip to Japan including Odi Bakchis, Dean Kearney, “Mad” Mike Whiddet, Robbie Nishida, Daigo Saito, Charles Ng, Masashi Yokoi, Matt Field, and Fredric Aasbo.
However it was seasoned driver and Japanese local Masato Kawabata who took the top podium spot. Odi Bakchis managed second place and Tadahiro Fukada nabbed third place.
Kawabata’s win puts him in first place overall for the Formula Drift International title but if he wants to defend that spot he’ll need to make it out to the next two rounds in Canada and China respectively. Odi’s second place finish combined with his consistent results in the American Pro series puts him in the number one points spot for the Formula Drift World Championship running; but he too will also need to have strong showings in Canada and China but also need to stay consistent in the Pro Series rounds as well to keep his World Championship hopes alive.
The next Formula Drift event will be round 5 of the Pro Series in Washington at Evergreen Speedway.