Q&A with Vaughn Gittin Jr. - Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., driver of the Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang, won the Formula Drift championship in the seventh and final round of the season at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale on Saturday night. Gittin Jr. talks about what the championship means, the thrill of being named Driver of the Year and what his off-season plans consist of.
VAUGHN GITTIN JR. – Monster Energy Falken Tire Ford Mustang – CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR CHAMPIONSHIP. HAS IT SUNK IN YET? “This championship has been seven years in the making. It is something I have wanted since my first Formula D event in 2004. It is something that everybody that shows up for the series wants. For me to have this huge trophy in my hand, it is a feeling that is unbelievable. It is a great feeling of success and all the hard work and dedication that me and the team and everyone that has supported me. It has been an incredible, epic, ground-breaking year.”
IF YOU THINK BACK TO THE BEGINNING OF THE SEASON, DID YOU THINK YOU WOULD BE HOLDING THAT TROPHY? “I definitely thought that I would have a good chance at the championship. If you would have came to me and bet me one million dollars to my one dollar that I would be standing here saying that I won and got six out of seven podiums, I probably would have saved my dollar. It is just unbelievable. It is a great feat that we have done this year with the amount of success we have had on the track this year. It is crazy.”
YOU WERE ALSO VOTED DRIVER OF THE YEAR. WHERE DOES THAT RANK AND HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL? “To win a championship in anything in year 2010 with the progression of motorsports and this game is just unbelievable. All the drivers are on their A-game and everything has progressed as much as possible up to this point. So for me to be recognized as Driver of the Year by my peers and all the drivers out there is flattering. To think that the guys I see out there voted me as the best is just crazy.”
YOU GET A LITTLE TIME OFF NOW, WHAT ARE YOUR OFF-SEASON PLANS? “There is no off-season (laughter). I am jumping on a motorcycle tomorrow and heading out to Arizona for a couple days with some friends. I have a SEMA car in the works, so I have to grind on the SEMA car. Hopefully I will get to just relax and spend some time with my family and then jump right back in it. You can’t step away too much. It feels great, but you need to stay in the groove and be ready for 2011 and try to do it again.”
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