Vaughn kicks off the ’09 season with a sixth place finish

The 2009 Formula Drift season kicked off this past weekend with Round One at the Streets of Long Beach. Vaughn Gittin Jr., along with his 2010 Falken Tire Ford Mustang equipped with Azenis RT615 tires, was geared up to battle. Friday’s practice went great for both car and driver; Vaughn looked amazing on the track and the Mustang was working impeccably.

Vaughn was set to jump directly into some tandem battles and get down to business on Saturday. After defeating Drift Alliance brother Joon Maeng in the top 32, and then Yasu Kondo in the top 16, Vaughn was matched to battle against his biggest Formula Drift rival, Samuel Hubinette.

After a clean pair of runs, the judges decided they wanted to see Vaughn and Sam run a “One More Time”. The competitors lined up again with Vaughn following on the first run. He came into the first corner with huge angle and stuck as close as possibly to Sam’s door throughout the entire course.

Going into the transition right before the hairpin, Sam abruptly slowed down causing Vaughn to give him a little tap – ultimately causing Sam to spin. Vaughn continued around the hairpin in full drift and finished out his run.

In the next run of the One More Time, Vaughn laid down a perfect run with tons of speed and angle, but the win was given to Sam due to the contact made in the prior run.

“We had a great, clean first set of battles,” says Vaughn, “and for some reason I guess Sam felt the need to throw me off by hitting the breaks on a very unusual part of the course – leaving me no choice other then to spin or to hit him.”

Vaughn finished the event in 6th place – the same position that he ranked for the current overall Formula Drift standings.

“While we didn’t take home first place,” says Vaughn, “we were still victorious in my and my team’s eyes. We have an extremely capable car and I am looking forward to proving that once again in Atlanta.”

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