INTERVIEW: Vaughn Gittin Jr

INTERVIEW: Vaughn Gittin Jr

We’re excited to unveil to you Vaughn’s 2020 Formula Drift livery! This RTR Spec 5-D can be seen throughout the 2020 Formula Drift season.

This very email was sent from Vaughn Gittin Jr. and ultimately found its way into this writer’s inbox. Also known as the Professional Fun-Haver, Gittin is a motor racing renaissance man, competing in and promoting such unique disciplines of motor racing such as Formula Drift and Ultra4.

However, just like all the rest of us, he’s now been forced into lockdown seclusion. But you can’t keep a good man down, and Gittin is racking his “crazy brain” (his term) in finding ways to stay busy, and – truth be told – relevant. He’s also lending a hand to longtime backer the Ford in promoting the brand’s Mustang and Bronco models.

“I’m doing good, man,” said Gittin when RACER caught him on the phone. “I’ve got a pretty wild content project that I’m working on right now, and we absolutely had to do this private test. It was certainly interesting doing it around these times, but we have a team plan where basically we are all working together. We’ve just been working through it, while respecting what’s going on. We’re working on this, but we are also doing our part to make sure we are stopping the spread of this thing. This was the final benchmark and we’ve been working hard on it. Stay tuned. I  can’t talk about it at this very moment, but it’s something that I’ve been the most excited for ever. It’s the most exciting thing that we’ve ever done. It’s completely game-changing, and I’m so excited.”

Gittin has also positioned his RTR Vehicles hop-up company as an essential business. During this pandemic, Gittin and RTR have gotten in step with both Ford and the medical community in an effort to help those in need.

“We are an essential business because we’ve actually taken our RTR vehicles company and tried to help,” explained Gittin. “We obviously do motorsport and media, and I’m obviously an athlete, but my company is also doing some other things. We are taking our 3D printing capabilities, and we are helping the medical industry with some parts for face shields for doctors. We’re running out of a lot of stuff all over the country, so we are donating some time and personnel and materials and machine usage to help with that.

“Ford was a big inspiration for all this. After talking to them about it, we got to looking at how we could help, as well. We shut down some of our prototype stuff so that we could help out in this time of need. It’s times like these where it’s important that we pull together and leverage our resources where we can, and every little bit helps. I was just inspired by Ford, and started to look around the internet and we just wanted to offer to help. We’re going to be producing stuff for a while. We just want to supply some resources to help those in need and help the world right now.

“I’m a dreamer, bro. I’ve got a great team of people surrounding me, and I’ve got great partners and I’m not scared to work hard and when those things come together, that’s how you make dreams come true. I’m just grateful to be healthy and to be taking care of myself, and I’m enjoying a little bit of extra time home with the family. This year started off with the expectations of being the craziest, busiest year of my life. It’s still going to be when we get out of all this. Right now I’m enjoying some time with my wife and our new son Gunner, who is 15 weeks old. I’m just trying to stay positive. This is something that we’re all going through together, and we need to get through it and get back to our normal lives and fun-having as soon as possible, and I’m very confident we’re going to.”

Up on jacks with no firm racing plans, Gittin spoke about the epidemic and the effect the coronavirus has had on his racing exploits and efforts.

“When this virus hit, I guess we all weren’t really sure, right?” Gittin said. ”It was in China, and then we found out it was here, and things started getting serious and everything cancelled. I had demos, and exhibitions, and fan events, and it all shut down. On a business side, I’ve got 30 staff members. It’s a big team and we are just kind of zigging and zagging and strategizing ways so we can continue operating and showing value to our partners and helping them in this time. We just want to do whatever we can to help.

“I like putting smiles on faces. My focus is to continue to entertain and keep people happy while they’re stuck from living everyday life, and hopefully provide some relief through entertainment and things that I can do. During this time of being in lockdown, we are going to do some home content and have some fun in the yard, and have a little time to share family life and do some things that we don’t normally. I think everyone is resetting. I always look at the positive side of things. That’s how I’ve achieved what I’ve achieved, and I’m able to continue doing that.

“I only see the positive through everything and I’m trying to that right now. I just want to get back to normal as soon as possible. Worse-case scenario, I’d like to have a place to debut this new project that I talked about earlier in an epic and awesome way. I’d like to get back to Formula Drift and have some fun in the new Ford Bronco.”

The new for 2021 Ford Bronco?

“Exactly. I’m connected with the Ford Bronco team. We haven’t been doing any development, but we have been working on some projects and some ideas to make sure smiles will go on faces with them. Ford is doing an amazing job with it. I couldn’t be more excited for fellow off-road enthusiasts and adventurists to understand what this Bronco is really all about. The photos just do no justice for what this vehicle is, and its presence and the engineering behind it. I just want to get behind the wheel on it, and take it off-road and get off the grid. I’ll tell you what. They’re available right now, and there might be a whole lot of people staying off the grid instead of staying at home.”

Using that self-described crazy brain to tame and maintain Broncos and Mustangs, eh?

“That’s it, my man,” he answered. “Broncos and Mustangs, man. I love drifting, and I love on-road, and I love the whole culture and lifestyle around it, and I also love off-road. I mean, I started racing motocross, and I’ve always loved cars, and that’s what inspired me to start pushing cars forward rather than just driving them as a commodity.”

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