Vaughn Gittin Jr. to Debut All-New Competition-Spec Ford Mustang RTR at Round One of Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach

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On April 9th, 2016, World Champion drifter and Professional Fun-Haver, Vaughn Gittin Jr, will debut his new 2016 Competition-Spec Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR at the first round of the Formula Drift Championship in Long Beach, California.

Vaughn had this to say about the 2016 season, “I cannot wait to battle it out with the world’s best at Formula Drift with my brand new competition-spec 2016 Ford Mustang RTR. The new Ford Mustang is so much fun to drive in its stock form and with only 1 year of development in the new car, my team has really turned it up to 11 by making this the most exciting car I have ever been behind the wheel of. This Mustang RTR is a 900 horsepower, nine-second drag car that can turn left and right on a dime — who wouldn’t have fun behind the wheel of it?”

In late 2014, Ford started shipping the globally-available and new-from-the-ground-up Mustang. Aside from the fresh body, the Mustang received a new suspension configuration that includes Independent Rear Suspension (IRS). The introduction of the IRS in the 2016 Ford Mustang presented the team with some new positive engineering opportunities in comparison to the previous generation’s solid rear axle.
Power-wise, the Ford Mustang RTR is utilizing a 436 cubic-inch Ford Performance/Roush Yates Racing engine making over 900 horsepower. The team gained about 100 horsepower over previous years by simply switching to  VP Racing Fuels C85 product.
In addition to increasing horsepower and optimizing the all-new suspension to utilize the massive grip provided by Nitto NT05 Tires, shedding pounds was a big focus for the team to maximize performance. Utilizing light-weighting processes similar to what Ford is deploying in its production vehicles, the RTR Drift Team utilized composites as well as stronger and lighter alloys throughout the build allowing it to weigh in at under 3000lbs.
After just one year of development, a recent test at NCCAR was the first real opportunity for the team to open the car up and stretch its legs with long sweepers and technical sections. Following the test, Vaughn and the RTR Drift Team had huge smiles on their faces as it seemed all the long nights and hard work had paid off.
“I was a bit nervous about where we would end up initially,” says Vaughn, “as we have had over 10 years of development of the previous generation S197 Mustang and it was dialed. But following this final test, that nervousness has turned into confidence.”
April 9th marks the first round of the Formula Drift 2016 Championship in the streets of downtown Long Beach California. Vaughn and the RTR team are pumped to get back into competition mode with their eyes set on a podium finish.
“We know we are going to continue learning and adapting to what this new Mustang likes out on the track,” says Vaughn. “I feel very good about where we are after only 1 year of development and we just cannot wait to battle it out with the world’s best and leave it all on the track. We are Ready to Rock!”

If you can make it out to the Formula Drift event, swing by the RTR Drift Team booth to slap Vaughn a high-five and check out the car in person. If you can’t make it out, follow along on Vaughn’s social media (links below) or watch the Formula Drift live stream HERE.

Top 32 Play-by-Play: Formula Drift Rd 7 Irwindale Speedway By DrivingLine

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FD2015-RD7-IRWINDALE--2

Irwindale Speedway has become hallowed ground for the sport of drifting. Home to the first professional competition in the US back in 2003, the track has hosted the season finale for Formula Drift for all 12 seasons to date. Unfortunately, the land that the track currently leases was sold a few years back, and this may be the last year before the track is demolished in favor of a shopping mall. While talk of demolition has been occurring almost annually since the sale was made in 2012, the permit changes necessary to move forward with the demolition finally happened earlier this year and have essentially paved the way for this season to be the final season of motorsports at the House of Drift.

For 2015, Formula Drift altered the layout slightly to encourage a longer wall-ride on the ‘inner bank’. Drivers start near the exit of burn 2 in the traditional oval track layout, heading counter clockwise around the ½-mile bank, initiating into drift just before turn 3 in the traditional layout. Continuing around the big bank, drivers come off the bank at the exit of turn 4 and transition in front of the main grand stands for a clip on the traditional start/finish line facing the crowd. From there, the drivers transition again and continue the course through the inner 3/8-mile bank again in the counter clockwise orientation. Historically, drivers only drifted around half of the inner bank before sliding through the infield, but this season’s layout extends the course through the entirety of the inner bank along the wall then sliding through a decreasing radius turn into the infield in the same portion of the track, with one final inner clip before the finish line. This layout was enough of a change to force the drivers to re-learn what the judges were asking for, particularly after the switch-back across the traditional start/finish line.

Continue reading Top 32 Play-by-Play: Formula Drift Rd 7 Irwindale Speedway By DrivingLine