Team Falken's Vaught Gittin, Jr. Emerges Victorious at Formula Drift's Throwdown at Evergreen Speedway
MONROE, WA – In a night fraught with fierce opposition, Team Falken’s Vaughn Gittin, Jr., maintained the strongest stance throughout Formula Drift’s Round 5 “Throwdown” at Evergreen Speedway. “JR” qualified first and exhibited total control while his Falken teammates succumbed to tough competition. It was JR’s second win in a row and moved him into first place in the 2012 Formula D Pro Championship with just two rounds to go. The win was Falken’s second consecutive victory at Evergreen.
Driving the Monster Energy / Falken Tire Ford Mustang, JR and his Ford Mustang and Falken teammate Justin Pawlak took the top two spots in qualifying at Evergreen. Fellow Falken drivers Darren McNamara and Daijiro Yoshihara were 11th and 12th, respectively. Both Yoshihara and JR advanced to the Top 16 Round, but their rivals proved stronger as the action on the track provided a number of close battles and upsets throughout the evening. The capacity crowd clearly enjoyed the event, cheering on JR as he continued his dominating run through the rounds, defeating Rhys Millen in the Top 4 and then Ryan Tuerck in the Final.
“It was a tough night, but I think we worked some magic,” said Gittin, Jr. “I owe this to my team and all my partners.”
“This clearly is the kind of result Team Falken is looking for,” added Nick Fousekis, Falken's Director of Motorsports Marketing and Events. “JR is on a good run with two wins in a row.”
“Evergreen Speedway is a unique environment,” added Jonathan Bradford, Falken’s Drift Team Supervisor. “It’s fairly unpredictable. We won here last year with “Dai” Yoshihara. Using a similar set-up this year with our Falken Azenis tires, everything clicked for JR, but Dai, Justin and Darren were obviously disappointed with their performances. We’ll be stronger at Vegas.”
JR, however, tried to assure his Falken team members they were all on a roll. “I think this win sends a clear message that we’ve gotten everything right and are in a good place as a team as we move to the final rounds,” he added. It feels good having driven my heart out to stand on top of the podium.” Falken invited 180 dealer and guests to its hospitality who cheered on the team.
With the competition as close as it has ever been, Round 6: After Dark is set for August 24-25 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The championship stands with Gittin, Jr., in first at 391 points; Pawlak is third with 376; Yoshihara in fourth with 347 and McNamara in 22nd with 160.
It was a busy weekend for Team Falken, as its ALMS team and its Porsche 911 GT3 RSR took fourth in the GT class at Canada’s Mosport International Raceway on Sunday, July 22.
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