Keeping it straight - Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. Takes on Trans Am
August 27, 2015
Car control is one of the most important ingredients in the recipe that makes up a driver, and other than the two or three people on the planet still unfamiliar with drifting, few would dare attempt to argue that Formula Drift drivers don’t have this talent on lock (literally)! But how does a Formula Drift Champion’s undisputed mastery of car – and throttle – control apply to a 100MPH Trans Am race with 70+ other competitors clogging a challenging and historic 4-mile natural terrain road course? We’ll find out this weekend, when Formula Drift Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. joins Loshak/Stark Racing and runs a Mike Cope Race Cars-built Monster Energy/Gumout/Optima Batteries/Seven Marine/ETE Reman TA2 Ford Mustang in the Next Dimension 100 at Road America.
“Months ago, when Peter Stark began convincing me to do this, all he had to say ‘600-horsepower Mustang Trans Am car’ and I was in!” said Gittin. “In addition to drifting all over the world, I’ve done some Time Attack, Mustang Challenge, and one NASCAR road racing event, but testing the Trans Am TA2 car was actually the first time that road racing ‘clicked’ for me. I have some internal brain programming and instincts to adjust - like not reaching for the hand brake at corner entry - but the car control I have learned from drifting seems to translate very well to road racing, especially in a Trans Am car.”
“I am super-pumped to be participating in my first Trans Am race this weekend.” Vaughn continued. “Big thanks to everybody at Loshak and Stark Racing for the opportunity, Mike Cope Race Cars for building such fast TA2 cars, and all my partners for supporting me on my Trans Am debut.”
The 2010 Formula Drift Champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr., has been racing and/or committing vehicular crimes against physics for nearly 20 years. Starting as an amateur motocross racer in the Northeast, before transitioning to drifting in a self-built turbocharged Nissan and then a Ford Mustang - a decade-long alliance that has played a major role in growing the sport and its commercial profile - Gittin has had the pleasure of driving many cars in many race series, and his decision to participate in the radically-reborn and fast-growing Trans Am Series is a big deal for all parties involved.
“Words cannot express the level of excitement for the opportunity to be working with Vaughn Gittin Jr.,” said Gittin’s teammate this weekend, Lawrence Loshak (#5 Raybestos Powertrain TA2 Mustang). “I have a very high level of respect not just for the talent it takes to drift a car at triple digit speeds, but for his entire program. Vaughn’s truly amazing, on- and off-track, and none of us on the team could imagine a better way to launch our newly-renamed Loshak/Stark Racing.”
Enjoying a growth in average field sizes of between 300-400% in the past three seasons, Trans Am Racing has come thundering back to a place of prominence in the professional motorsports landscape, and 2015 has been a case study in explosive growth, with 70+ cars fields at many races, and a radically expanded TV package on CBS Sports. “All of us at Trans Am are thrilled and honored to have Vaughn Gittin Jr. and his impressive roster of sponsor-partners join us this weekend at Road America," said Trans Am President, John Clagett. "Vaughn brings a massive audience of young, diverse enthusiasts to everything he does, so his participation is huge for the Series. We are excited to have this opportunity to showcase the Trans Am Series to so many performance enthusiasts, many of whom might not currently know about our racing.”
The Trans Am Next Dimension 100 is Round 8 of the 2015 Trans Am Series Championship, and is part of the NASCAR Xfinity/Trans Am “Fired Up by Johnsonsville weekend at Road America (August 27-29, 2015). Follow live via the Race Monitor app, then catch it Saturday Sept 12 on CBS Sports (10am ET).