Under the gleaming lights of Toyota Speedway in Irwindale, California, Team Falken Tire/Monster Energy driver, Vaughn Gittin, Jr., won his first Formula Drift Championship during the series’ Round 7: Title Fight finale.
<;p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;" class="MsoNormal">Going into the "House of Drift" last week, Gittin, Jr. had the championship all but secured, needing only to progress past the initial Top 32 round to clinch his spot in the record books. After a few heated "battles," he took the title and continued to knock out opponents until the final round.
<;p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;" class="MsoNormal">Two-time FD champ and Top Gear host Tanner Foust in his Rockstar Energy Scion tC proved too skillful that night, defeating Gittin after two judged side-by-side bouts. But with a second place finish, the Mustang racer was more than pleased with the final result.
<;p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;" class="MsoNormal">"This is just simply unbelievable," Gittin, Jr. said to reporters. "This has been a dream of mine for the past seven years. It is a true accomplishment for my team and a testament to their commitment to the sport."
<;p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;" class="MsoNormal">Irwindale was Gittin's sixth podium out of the seven national events -- an impressive feat given tough competition from the likes of Rhys Millen, Tyler McQuarrie, Dai Yoshihara, and Chris Forsberg, among many others. It was also Team Falken Tire’s seventh podium in as many rounds.
<;p style="margin: 0in 0in 10pt;" class="MsoNormal">Although Gittin, Jr. and Falken Tire took the overall series win, Foust had plenty to celebrate himself. His Round 7 first place finish pushed him past Gittin, Jr. to win the Tires.com Triple Crown competition and a bonus check of $10,000. To win the bonus, Foust earned the most points in three key stages at Road Atlanta, Evergreen Speedway, and Toyota Speedway.
Here are the official results:
Formula DRIFT Professional Championship 2010 Point Standings
1. Gittin, Vaughn -- Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang -- 632 Points 2. Foust, Tanner -- Rockstar Energy Scion TC -- 568.50 Points 3. Tuerck, Ryan -- Mobil 1 / Maxxis Tire / Gardella Racing Pontiac Solstice -- 515 Points 4. Yoshihara, Daijiro -- Discount Tire / Falken Tire Nissan S13 -- 514 Points 5. McNamara, Darren -- Falken Tire Saturn Sky -- 477.50 Points 6. Forsberg, Chris -- NOS Energy Drink / CFR Nissan 350Z -- 439 Points 7. Millen, Rhys -- RMR / Red Bull Hyundai Genesis Coupe -- 417 Points 8. McQuarrie, Tyler -- Falken Tire Nissan 350Z -- 396.50 Points 9. Takatori, Michihiro -- BF Goodrich / Exedy Nissan S13 -- 374 Points 10. Hubinette, Samuel -- SHR-Dodge / BF Goodrich Dodge Challenger -- 357 Points 11. Pawlak, Justin -- Ford Racing / Falken Tire Ford Mustang -- 354.50 Points 12. Grunewald, Conrad -- Hankook Tire Chevy Camaro -- 295 Points 13. Aasbo, Fredric -- Japan Auto Toyota Supra -- 279.50 Points 14. Maeng, Joon -- Full Tilt Poker / Nitto Tire Mazda RX-8 -- 271.25 Points 15. Gushi, Ken -- Scion Racing / RS*R Scion TC -- 252.50 Points 16. Powers, Matt -- Need for Speed / Nitto Tire Nissan 240 -- 238 Points
Round 7: Title Fight Event Results 1. Foust, Tanner -- Rockstar Energy Scion TC 2. Gittin, Vaughn -- Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang 3. Takatori, Michihiro -- BF Goodrich / Exedy Nissan S13
Tires.com Triple Crown Final Standings 1. Foust, Tanner -- Rockstar Energy Scion TC -- 273 Points 2. Gittin, Vaughn -- Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang -- 249 Points 3. McNamara, Darren -- Falken Tire Saturn Sky -- 228 Points