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.
When Formula Drift driver Justin Pawlak was planning his engine build for the 2015 season, he took a different route than the typical pushrod “Sprint Car” engine he ran in the past.
Pawlak liked the idea of the high RPMs and the supercharger power compatibility that the Ford Performance 5.0L Coyote Aluminator engine offered. During the offseason he worked with the engineers at Ford Performance and Roush Performance to build a Aluminator-based 800+ horsepower bullet.
While he experienced a few tuning issues during the first two rounds of the season, Pawlak enjoyed a breakthrough at the most recent Formula Drift event in Monroe, Wash., and scored a third-place finish.
The Ford Performance Aluminator Short Blocks serve as a strong foundation for the enthusiast that wants to spec and finish a Coyote build to their particular application and needs.
Aluminator Short Blocks feature stronger Manley® H-Beam connecting rods and Mahle® hard anodized forged pistons to support serious power. And every Ford Performance Aluminator Short Block is precision internal balanced and hand assembled in the U.S. with performance clearances.
Ford Performance offers a number of components to finish the build, including the simple-to-install Controls Pack to get it up and running in just about any vehicle from Late Model Mustangs to resto-rods to classic muscle cars to street rods.
Coyote 5.0L Aluminator Short Blocks Specs
• 5.0L – 302 cubic inches
• Compression ratios: Aluminator A50NA – 11.0:1 compression ratio (nominal) Aluminator A50SC – 9.5:1 compression ratio (nominal)
• Mahle® hard anodized forged pistons with Graphal® low friction coating
• Manley® H-beam connecting rods with ARP2000® bolts
• Production aluminum cylinder block features cross-bolted main bearing caps and thick main bearing bulkheads for bottom-end strength
• Ford Racing M-6600-50CJ High Performance billet steel gerotor oil pump and Pickup tube
Formula DRIFT Round 5: Throwdown Results;
Fredric Aasbo Takes the Victory and the Lead in the Standings
Long Beach, Calif. – July 25, 2015 – Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro returned to Evergreen Speedway for Round 5: Throwdown. Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion tC takes the victory and lead in both the Pro Championship and World Championship standings.
Round 5: Throwdown provided plenty of on-track action and excitement for the capacity crowd at Evergreen Speedway. With shifting weather conditions, the drivers had to make constant adjustments throughout the weekend making for a technical competition. Over 330,000 fans tuned into the Driftstream over the weekend to see the action unfold.
“This was quite an event as we witnessed the consistency of Aasbo to take the victory and see the talents of a young driver in Alec Hohnadell to reach his first podium,” said Jim Liaw, President of Formula DRIFT. “This event saw a shakeup in the Pro Championship standings, which will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out.”
The semi-finals saw Alec Hohnadell in the 11 Racing Nissan S14 go against veteran Justin Pawlak in the Roush Performance / Car Crafters Ford Mustang. Hohnadell advanced to the Finals with both drivers receiving a double zero on the second run of their battle and having the advantage on the first run. Pat Goodin in the Enjuku Racing / Falken Tire Nissan S13 lost out to the consistent driving of Fredric Aasbo. Pawlak finished in third place with the higher qualifying position than Goodin. The rain began to pour into the Finals and Aasbo proved that he can handle the wet conditions taking his second consecutive victory and his third victory of the season. Aasbo moves into the top position in both the Pro Championship and World Championship standings. Hohnadell earned second place for his first career Pro Championship podium.
“What a wild rollercoaster of an event,” said Fredric Aasbo, winner of Round 5: Throwdown. “It was wet, it was dry, it was intermediate and I think growing up on the snowy, frozen lakes of Norway was a huge advantage. We kept it cool and ended up with the win and are exactly where we want to be leading the points championship.”
The 2015 Formula DRIFT season will continue to Round 6: Showdown on August 21-22 at Texas Motor Speedway. For more information visit: www.formuladrift.com and find Formula DRIFT on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Tune into Formula DRIFT on CBS Sports and check your local listings for airtimes.
Round 5: Throwdown Event Results
1. Aasbo, Fredric
Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion tC
2. Hohnadell, Alec
11 Racing Nissan S14
3. Pawlak, Justin
Roush Performance / Car Crafters Ford Mustang
4. Goodin, Pat
Enjuku Racing / Falken Tire Nissan S13
5. Field, Matt
CX Racing / Yokohama Nissan S14
6. Saito, Daigo
Achilles Radial Nissan GT-R
7. McQuarrie, Tyler
Mobile 1 / GoPro Chevrolet Camaro
8. Gittin, Vaughn
Monster Energy / Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR
9. Moen, Kenny
Bridges Racing / Achilles / Gatebil Nissan S14
10. Gushi, Ken
GReddy Racing / Hankook Tire Scion Racing FR-S
11. Forsberg, Chris
NOS Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z
12. Denofa, Chelsea
BC Racing / Chelsea DeNofa Motorsports / GT Radial BMW
13. Essa, Michael
SLP Performance / Yokohama Tire Chevy Camaro
14. Whiddett, Mike
RedBull / Mobil 1 Mazda “Radbul”
15. Coffman, Matt
Coffman Racing Nissan S13
16. Stoneback, Geoff
Achilles Radial / Parts Shop Max / Enkei Nissan S14
2015 Formula DRIFT Championship Presented by GoPro Top 3 Standings After Five Rounds