Formula Drift continues to be one of the hottest of the new breed of motorsports. We’ve been following the 2013 Formula D series since it started at the Streets of Long Beach back in the spring. Two Mustang racers, Vaughn Gittin Jr, and Justin Pawlak continue to give their best efforts, looking to put their names at the top of the points list.
This past weekend’s event held in Ft Worth, Texas saw Pawlak coming in fifth in points and Gittin looking to move up after an incident in post-race tech inspection cost him championship points at the last race in Seattle, WA.
Gittin began the event with an impressive opening salvo, qualifying first in the 51 car field. Pawlak qualified 14th and made it to the round of 16. Pawlak’s podium hopes were dashed when he dipped his back tire off the final clipping point during his run in the round of 16, sending him home before the next round.
Having qualified first, Gittin was the obvious favorite to win the event, and doing so would make him a strong contender for the championship when it’s decided next month at Irwindale Speedway.
It appeared Gittin had reached the top 4, and was closer to contending for the podium, having eliminated Patrick Morduant in the round of 8. However, Mordaunt protested the judges decision that gave Gittin the victory. Mordaunt claimed Gittin straightened out at the first clipping point. The judges ruled in Mordaunt’s favor, eliminating Gittin from the competition.
“This is the first time I’m aware of that the protest of a judges call has been upheld,” said Gittin. The protest likely cost Gittin a podium and possibly the event win, but his performance overall moved him up in the championship rankings to fourth. Pawlak slipped one place to sixth.
The championship will be decided in less than a month when Formula D heads back to California to Irwindale Speedway on October 11th and 12th. We’ll be watching to see if Pawlak or Gittin can put on a strong enough performance to secure a championship.