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)
They say that the best creative people are always reinventing themselves. Despite producing things that might be loved by millions, the creators are always thinking about doing something new. Ken Block is one such individual. The popular rally driver who helped give a whole new meaning to “gymkhana” had easily one of the most flashy presences in WRC or in GRC. His bright white, black, and bright green “paint drip” livery was always the easiest car to spot at any event. However, despite his livery being a favorite among fans, the design was about two years old and Mr. Block wanted a change. Not just in livery but for the whole “look” of his brand.
As such he has re-launched his team. Starting with the team name it has now changed from the “Monster World Rally Team” to “Hoonigan Racing Division” giving top billing to his Hoonigan clothing line over Monster Energy Drink (which still remains a sponsor). Ken has also revealed an all new team HQ near his home in Park City, Utah which features state of the art facilities despite being constructed mostly from recycled shipping containers. Block wanted to use shipping containers as a way to be not only environmentally friendly but to keep everything completely modular and somewhat portable. If Ken ever had to move locations, he could literally put his HQ on the back of a semi-truck and drive it away then set it up again somewhere else. Pretty cool huh?
Obviously, the new headquarters is not the only part of the re-launch. Ken has completely re-done the liveries on both his Gymkhana car and his GRC/WRC car. Replacing the dominant “Monster Energy green” color is a bright blue color. Also, instead of the “paint drip” look there is an all new scheme inspired by 90′s skateboard graphics. All together, it looks like Ken Block will remain the favorite car to look at for the 2013 season. If you want to see more pics and learn more about the team relaunch just visit HooniganRacing.com
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.
Vaughn Gittin Jr. nearly pulled the comeback of all comebacks this year in Formula Drift and nearly won the championship. However, things did not go his way at the final battle in Irwindale and Daigo Saito took advantage to get win the title. Ever since the announcement that Falken and ASD (the engineering team that built nearly all of Vaughn’s Ford Mustang drift cars) were parting ways there have been rumors of Vaughn’s future with the massive Falken Tire team. Would he stay with Falken Tire? Or would he go where ASD goes since he knows they can build him a winning car? That buzz swelled even more when Vaughn’s name was left off FalkenTire’s 2013 drift team roster in a press release sent out during SEMA 2012. This was pretty shocking to most as Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Falken Tire go together like shake ‘n bake.
Vaughn brought major attention to Falken and to Ford when he was the first American to win a D1 event and the first driver to win in an American car at a D1 event when he captured the victory at the D1: Japan vs USA event in Irwindale several years ago. He then brought a huge shot of sponsorship dollars to the team when he signed a personal sponsorship deal with Monster Energy drink who also sponsored his car and crew. The same year that Monster Energy came on board he brought Falken Tire their first Formula Drift championship. Vaughn and Falken Tire’s relationship is one of the longest in Formula Drift as Falken is the only team Vaughn has ever driven for since becoming a professional drifter. Could they really be “breaking up”?
Well yesterday I heard from a few personal sources that Vaughn has signed a deal with Nitto Tire. Later that same day, Wrecked Magazine reported rumors that Vaughn was spotted with the ASD team testing on Nitto tires at an unknown location.
So far there has been no “official” word from Vaughn, Falken Tire, or Nitto Tire so for now this story remains in the “rumor” category; However, think we will hear from one of the parties involved soon.
Ever since Ken Block started releasing his famous Gymkhana videos many started to wonder just how good Mr. Block would be at drifting. Many think that he would probably suck because he is used to AWD cars which many believe save you from just about any slide which is true to a certain extent. Others think his skill set would be perfectly suited for drifting because above all drifting requires high car control and a low sense of self preservation instincts which pretty much describes Ken Block to a T.
Well Ken got together with his Hoonigans film crew to at least try to answer the eternal question as he attempted to drift his AWD Ford Fiesta HFHV (Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle) around Irwindale Speedway AKA “The House Of Drift” following the same course that Formula Drift drivers did in the final round (pics coming soon).
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!
We told you a short while ago that Ken Block’s next Gymkhana video would take place on the streets of San Francisco. Well, juding by this new teaser it looks like things may kick off in the open ocean! Check out this Gymkhana FIVE teaser with Mr. KB doing smokey donuts on a floating barge during rush hour on the Golden Gate bridge! If the teaser makes you hungry for more then just stay tuned for the official release of Gymkhana FIVE on July 9th.
The ultimate hoon, Ken Block has just put the world on notice that Gymkhana FIVE is coming and he is going to take this one to the streets! For the next Gymkhana video Block wants to return to the pure hard-driving, hoonage roots of the Gymkhana THREE video and he wants to do it on the steep streets of San Francisco. Since the presenting sponsor of the next Gymkhana video will be the new Ford Focus ST, I am predicting at some point there will be some type of homage to the movie, Bullit (they even mention the movie in the press release below). I for one am looking forward to seeing what Block manages to do on public streets and I am also wondering how he will be able to pull this off (if he hasn’t filmed the spot already) without any by-standers shooting and leaking video from the set! This is the first time Ken Block as done a Gymkhana video on public streets so I am sure it will prove to be a challenge.
DC also promises that within the video world records will be broken and there will also be a mystery special guest. Interest piqued yet? I thought so. Well we have to wait until July 9th 2012 at 10am EST to see the finished product.
KEN BLOCK AND DC SHOES ANNOUNCE THE UPCOMING RELEASE OF GYMKHANA FIVE, PRESENTED BY THE FORD FOCUS STJUNE 18th, 2012 – Huntington Beach, California – After much anticipation, Ken Block and DC Shoes are proud to announce the coming of Gymkhana FIVE, which will debut globally on Monday, July 9th at 10 AM EST via the DC ShoesYouTube channel. Filmed on the streets of San Francisco, California, Gymkhana FIVE builds on the previous successes of the Gymkhana viral video series and it’s 140+ million views.
“My idea for Gymkhana FIVE was simple,” said Block. “I wanted to build on the ultimate playground concept from Gymkhana THREE, and bring the franchise back to that raw and fast feel that the earlier videos had. I’ve always wanted to film a Gymkhana video in a city and there are few places as unique and iconic with such amazing topography as San Francisco. While movies like Bullit and various chase scenes have tried to use San Francisco to the fullest, I’m pretty confident that I’ve proven there was a lot left to be done on those amazing streets!”
Without question, the streets of San Francisco make Gymkhana FIVE the most unique project to date in the franchise’s history. And for good measure, a few world records and a surprise guest have been thrown in too. Making a return for the second year in a row is Block’s Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. racecar, which can be seen slaying its tires on the streets of San Francisco globally on the July 9th release date. For select media and action sport VIPs, DC will premiere the video on Friday, June 29th during Summer X Games 18.
Today Codemasters revealed the first official trailer for their new addition to the DiRT series “DiRT Showdown“. At first I thought this was the sequel to DiRT3 but Codemasters will be the first to tell you that a sequel this is not! Instead DiRT Showdown is an “extension” of the DiRT series that provides a different experience than the first three DiRT games. How do they do this? Well from what I see DiRT Showdown is a mash-up of rally, demolition derby, gymkhana, and a little modern warfare 3 thrown in for flavor. DiRT Showdown is all about “full-contact, combative racing”. You are encouraged to ram your rivals off the road if it means winning! There are other game modes such as demolition derby (self-explanatory), and “Hoonigan Events” which looks to be a new version of Gymkhana mode but, well, bigger. DiRT Showdown will also be the official video game debut of Ken Blocks Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V. used in Gymkhana FOUR. In addition to new cars there will also be new locals such as Tokyo, San Francisco, and Miami. Expect to see DiRT Showdown hit stores in May 2012. For now check out some screen shots, the official trailer, and press release below.
All-action Trailer Now Showing at www.dirtgame.com Reveals a Brand new and explosive extension of the DiRT series coming May 2012
Los Angeles, Calif. – Dec. 12, 2011 – Set to deliver a brand new dive-in-and-drive rush of speed, style and destruction, today Codemasters® announced that DiRT Showdown, an action packed extension of the award-winning DiRT series, will debut May 2012 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and PC.
In DiRT Showdown, players will jump into a new world of competitive and combative racing, boosting, tricking and smashing their way to “Showdown” finals on a chaotic tour of motorised mayhem. The first trailer capturing the unique atmosphere and high-octane thrills of DiRT Showdown is now playing at www.dirtgame.com.
“DiRT Showdown is not the sequel to the authentic rally-centric DiRT 3, but a brand new experience from the DiRT team,” said Julian Widdows, VP, development. “We’re building on Codemasters Racing Studio’s world-class strengths in track design, graphics, AI, damage and online to create a new theatre of racing with the emphasis on accessibility and fun from race one.”
“DiRT Showdown charges into the arcade racing space with a uniquely Codemasters feel,” said Mike Chapman, senior games designer. “Whether players are using nitrous to boost, smashing into their opponents or pulling off stunts, DiRT Showdown’s fresh handling system and super-charged damage engine embed excitement into every event.”
There are three broad categories to DiRT Showdown’s action-sport racing. Players will use nitrous to blast past rivals and negotiate courses filled with ramps, multiple routes and obstacles in full-contact Racing events. Gaming’s most advanced damage engine is unleashed in Demolition Derby themed events where players smash and crash their way to victory in bone-jarring style. Finally, in Hoonigan events, gamers will send fans wild in huge stunt parks where accessible new controls offer every player the chance to become a freestyle driving hero.
From San Francisco to Miami and London to Tokyo, players will dominate their rivals and wow the crowds. Pyrotechnics, lasers and thousands of fans give each venue a sports entertainment atmosphere, becoming the perfect stage for players to perform. Over 50 different events across four championships will challenge gamers in a variety of conditions – sun, snow and rain – through the day and under the floodlights at night.
DiRT Showdown will feature an exciting new line up of off-road machines. Ken Block’s all new Gymkhana FOUR H.F.H.V. Ford Fiesta debuts alongside an eclectic mix of vehicles across a range of classes. From saloons and muscle cars to pick-up-trucks, hearses and vans, players have a wide selection of custom cars to trick, race and destroy.
DiRT Showdown will be Codemasters’ most connected game ever – split-screen multiplayer, eight-player online racing, on and off-line quick-fire party games and YouTube integration all come as standard. Players will also be able to issue “Showdown” Challenges’ to compete with friends whether they are online or not.
Powered by the award-winning EGO Game Technology Platform, DiRT Showdown will be uncaged May 2012 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and PC.
X Games 17 Rally has come and gone but we were on site to bring you as much of the action as possible. We are starting off by answering the question “What do the rally cars do the night before X Games?” The answer: They jump! A special jump session was set up to test out the 50 foot gap jump made entirely from dirt and gravel. We were there to take a few shots and we even compiled a short video of all the jump action. You can see a few pics and the video below. For a full photo gallery just visit our Facebook fan page.