TEAM FALKEN SCORES BIG AT FORMULA DRIFT SEASON OPENER
IN LONG BEACH, CA
4/12/2010 LONG BEACH, CA - The inaugural event in the 2010 Formula Drift season began with a big win for Team Falken where factory driver Vaughn Gittin, Jr., debuting his new 2011 Monster Energy Falken Tire 2011 Ford Mustang on the famed street course of Long Beach. Gittin, Jr., and Team Falken faced a very competitive field of entrants, totaling 53, one of the highest entry counts in the history of Formula D.
Team Falken had a full complement of drivers at the popular track, the fifth year Formula D has visited Long Beach. In addition to Vaughn, rounding out the company's paddock and marketing activation areas were returning team members Daijiro Yoshihara in his rebuilt Discount Tire Nissan 240SX (S13); Tyler McQuarrie with his Nissan 350Z Convertible; and Darren McNamara, with his Saturn Sky in new Falken livery. Adding to the excitement of the weekend was the addition of several new faces to Falken including Justin Pawlak in his 2010 Ford Mustang and Formula D rookie James Deane who shocked the crowd with his aggressive driving in Falken's Nissan S15. Independent drivers on Falken Tires included Ross Petty, John Russakoff, Dean Kearney and Fredric Aasbo. A hard fought Top 32 qualifying placed McQuarrie in second, Gittin, Jr., third, and McNamara fourth. Privateer Fredric Aasbo from Norway using Falken's newest RT-615K tires qualified seventh and Pawlak in ninth place. Falken's own Daijiro Yoshihara landed in twelfth place and looked in great form in his tried and true SPD Metalworks built Nissan 240SX. By Top 16, Gittin, Jr., Deane and Aasbo had all advanced, and in the final, Gittin, Jr., went up against drifting veteran Rhys Millen to secure the win. Aasbo, dubbed the events dark horse and giant killer quickly became a fan favorite and ultimately secured fourth place overall.
"Our team is focused and aiming for the championship in 2010," declared Nick Fousekis, Senior Consumer Marketing Manager, Falken Tire. "And this victory by Vaughn is a testament to his driving skill, our new Azenis RT-615K's strong performance, and ASD's expertise and determination to succeed. We'd like to thank all of our returning sponsors and our newest, Monster Energy for all the support."
It was a busy week for Gittin, Jr., who hosted, with Falken Tire, a special evening in which he announced the new partnership with Monster Energy Drink and displayed his newly designed Mustang at The Fantasy Factory in downtown Los Angeles. "I am so excited about the opportunities ahead," stated Gittin Jr. "I have three of the best sponsors I could imagine, with Falken, Ford and now Monster Energy. Their support truly demonstrates how strong drifting, and in particular Formula D, has really become."
"Vaughn delivered the goods," said an enthusiastic Andrew Hoit, Director of Marketing for Falken Tire. "What a great start to this year's Formula D season. From a marketing standpoint, we had our Falken Spokesmodels greeting drifting enthusiasts, more than 300 VIP guests and dealers enjoyed Falken's hospitality area during the event. Also on display was Falken's SEMA award winning Ford Flex, last season's ALMS Porsche GT3 RSR, and our Jeep JK outfitted with the recently released WildPeak A/T just returned from a long week of Moab, UT testing "
Jonathon Bradford, Falken's drift team supervisor stated, "After a successful 2009 we knew it was important to pick up where we left off and make a statement in the first round. ASD, based in Charlotte, North Carolina has done an excellent job preparing and tuning our East Coast based vehicles including Vaughn's new 2011 Ford Mustang."
2010 will certainly be a busy year for Team Falken. Next stop, Road Atlanta. To learn more about the 2010 Falken Tire Formula Drift Team visit www.wegetyougoing.com