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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
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