Vaughn Gittin Jr. battled through weather and tough opponents to come out on top at Formula Drift Round 2: Road to the Championship.
Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., a leading manufacturer of off-road and street performance tires, scored its first win of the season in the Formula Drift Championship Series at Road Atlanta this past weekend. Driver Vaughn Gittin Jr. stayed on top through challenging conditions and tough competition to emerge victorious - moving himself into second place in the driver standings and Nitto Tire into second place in the Tire Championship Standings.
“This weekend’s Formula DRIFT race at Road Atlanta demonstrated the wide-ranging capabilities of our NT05 tire and showed why it is the choice of champions like Vaughn Gittin Jr.,” said Harry Kong, Brand Publishing and Social Media Strategist for Nitto Tire. “Vaughn’s ability to push his Mustang and maintain absolute control in both wet and dry conditions played a critical role in his win at Atlanta.”
The race began under extremely wet conditions for Friday’s practice and qualifying sessions as rain poured down over the track. Despite the tricky conditions, Vaughn grabbed a respectable third place during qualifying, showing that even a torrential downpour wasn’t going to be enough to shake his focus. Saturday’s competition may have been free of rain, but the storm of competitors battling it out in the Top 32 would prove to be unrelenting and push Gittin and his Nitto NT05 tires to their limits. As the tire smoke cleared after five grueling rounds of competition, it was Vaughn Gittin Jr. that emerged victorious, taking down heavyweight Fredric Asabo in the final round.
“Winning tonight feels amazing and what feels even more incredible is the way that we won,” said Gittin in a post-race interview. “We drove our hearts out. We fought as hard as we possibly could and I can’t thank my team enough. I can’t thank Ford enough for making an amazing Ford Mustang and Nitto Tire for the unbelievable tires that clearly separated us from the rest of the field.”
With this victory at Road Atlanta, Vaughn Gittin Jr. has moved into second place in the Formula DRIFT Professional Championship Presented by GoPro driver standings, less than 30 points away from leader Chris Forsberg. This win has also brought Nitto Tire into second place in the Tire Championship Standings.
Bob Ulrich was named Modern Tire Dealer editor in August 2000. He joined the magazine in 1985 as assistant editor, and has been responsible for gathering statistical information for MTD's "Facts Issue" since 1993.