1 LOCK IS KEY Max steering angle is increased by relocating the pickup point of the tie rod. Suspension uses Tein coilovers with Electronic Damping Force Controllers.
2 SAFETY FIRST
Road car’s interior luxury
is replaced with two
Sparco Corsa race seats
(one for Gittin and one to
scare passengers) and a
full, race-spec roll cage.
3 MAX POWER
Huffaker-built Ford Racing
5.4-liter V8, with Mo TeC
pushes out 749hp and
594lb-ft of torque through
a 4-speed dogbox.
4 SMOKE THE REARS
As you’d expect, all that power
goes through the rear wheels,
where the rubber meeting the
road is Falken Azenis RT615-K.
is a re
been founded by Ford, but it’s ruled by
four action sports superstars: Ken
Block, Brian Deegan, Tanner Foust and
Vaughn Gittin Jr. They’ve got street
cred you can only dream of, but they’re
giving you a shot to experience it.
If you’re lucky enough to get picked,
you’ll spend four days taking on other
fearless competitors in challenges born
out of the crazy minds of these guys. It
won’t be a walk in the park – your
athleticism, attitude and audacity will
be tested. If you rise above the rest,
you’ll be a champion and drive home in
one of four tricked-out rides from Ford.
If you want a chance to make
it, you’ve got to show them you
can take it. Make a video. Make
it big. Make the team.
MAKE IT BIG.
horsepower and the ease of finding parts for it make it an ideal
base. The wheelbase allows it to hold a ton of angle, while still
carrying good speed and being very stable. And, while it has a big
presence, it’s actually very nimble.”
From that base, Gittin and his crew set about removing some of
the “compromises” that are required for it to be a comfortable,
quiet and dependable road car. The process also includes adding
more power – a fully prepped race engine from Ford Racing – and
a 4-speed dogbox for durability. To adapt to different tracks and
surfaces, Gittin’s Mustang has a quick-change rear end and
adjustable shocks and swaybars. To get the steering angle, the team
relocates the pickup point of the tie rod, so when the steering rack
is at its maximum, it pushes the spindle out farther. The wheel
offset is adjusted accordingly, so the tires aren’t rubbing anything.
“Like all professional motorsports, the cars are maximized to
be efficient and to do the job they need to do,” Gittin says. “You
want to build the parameters into the car so that it can easily be
adjusted at the track. Every track has a different set of variables,
so you want to set the car up to work in the most important
places and you have to compromise a
little in others. Which is exactly the
same as if you were road racing.
“We’re constantly adjusting the
pressures of our Falken tires to optimize
performance, for example. With a tire you
want something that’s consistent, all the
way from cool to smoking hot. The loads
we’re putting on these cars – 3000lbs and
almost 800hp – are just literally grinding the
tires against a grippy racetrack.”
In its early days, drifting was very
much a “run what ya brung” deal, but in
the modern world of Formula Drift, the
cars are designed to a high degree of
sophistication. Says Gittin: “These are
engineered gems that we’re running on
the track, not some ragtag cars that
people might have seen in the past.”
RACER.com DECEMBER 2011 65