Thanks to our incredibly well-connected world, even if you have just a passing interest in the sport of drifting, you probably know that Speedhunters driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. had a serious crash at last weekend’s Texas round of Formula D. It was a brutal hit; the sort of car-meets-wall moment that makes you stop and say, ‘sh*t, I hope he’s going to walk away from this one.’ He did, thankfully.
We needed to know the whats, the whys and the hows, so after giving just enough time for the dust to settle, we sat down with Vaughn (virtually) and talked about the incident, the aftermath and what happens next.
Formula Drift slid into Texas Motor Speedway for the sixth stop of the Formula Drift USA championship, the seventh of the Formula Drift World championship and the third on the Pro 2 championship schedule. Making its third visit to the track (which sits just a few miles outside of Dallas, Texas), the layout from previous years was flipped into a reverse configuration, leveling the playing field for all drivers. With the new layout, drivers enter the track after a short 300-foot run-up, initiating sideways around 60 to 65mph into a long, right-hand sweeper. Judges will be looking for the drivers to hit an outside zone early in the turn, with a single inside clipping point near the exit of the turn. Accelerating in front of both the judges and the main grandstands through a ‘power alley’, drivers will transition to an inside clipping point before transitioning again to rub the rear bumper on a k-rail wall, finishing the course in another right-hand sweeper with an inside clip at the apex of the turn. Unlike many of the courses on the Formula Drift circuit, drivers see faster speeds in the latter half of the course than the first turn.
A misjudged line on a super-aggressive chase run put an end to Mad Mike Whiddett’s chance of a high-ranking result at the sixth round of the Formula Drift Pro Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, over the weekend.
After what was perhaps the longest Formula Drift Top 16 on record – a total of nine One More Time calls pushing the battles out to nearly four hours – Masashi Yokoi has taken the top podium spot at Texas Motor Speedway behind the wheel of his 2JZ-powered D-MAX S15 Silvia.
Crick Filippi earned his Formula Drift PRO2 license last year in a qualifying series here in the San Francisco Bay area. Since then, Crick has been working hard to find the financing necessary to set off on his dream of becoming a professional driver in the world’s most competitive drift series. Getting the license is hard enough. Getting a professional program put together on a shoestring, blue collar budget is an entirely different challenge altogether. Unfortunately, Crick wasn’t able to make the first PRO2 event of the season, on the far side of the country in Orlando, from where Crick resides. But Seattle seemed manageable. The one thing keeping him from his goal now was a car.