The Hammer Vs The Muscle

They say that drifting is a battle between two drivers, but this weekend at the second round of Formula Drift at Road Atlanta, Speedhunters drivers Fredric Aasbø and Vaughn Gittin Jr took that concept to another level. When they came up against each other, things didn’t go quite according to plan for either driver…

So we spoke to both drivers to get their sides of the story…

Vaughn: “I initiated along with Fredric, then all of a sudden the rear of his car was coming back towards me, rather then maintaining the angle we both initially tossed out. I tried to adjust to not hit him, that adjustment pulled me out of drift and because my wheels were counter steered, when the car gripped up we made contact. Once contact was made and I jumped his hood, the car landed with some momentum, I kicked the clutch and stayed in it completing the course. Remember drifting is about full commitment!”

Fredric: “The crash came down to me being a little too cautious (it started to rain again just before our battle and it was very difficult to predict the grip levels), and Jr went in a little too hot.”

Just looking at the above shot, it’s hard to believe either driver was able to get their car back into action on this corner. But they did…

… the pair continuing in style despite the best attempts of the cars to meld into one. Although both drivers are battling hard for points on the track, it’s obvious they both understand that sometimes things just don’t go according to plan in motorsport…

Vaughn: “After the run Frederic and I talked, He admitted his misjudged the course and went in too slow and apologized to me. I completely understand the challenge that was ahead of him leading first as the grip was very inconsistent given the on and off rain. Three options would have happened given the scenario and no way to test the track due to FD rules: it could have been too slick and he could have landed in the kitty litter or he could have guessed perfect OR exactly what happened (coming up short). He chose the safest smartest route and the significant grip the track still had caught him out, and then me, because I was doing my job which is to follow the lead car.”

Fredric: “Where I would have liked to have done a better job is somehow gathered more information about the conditions – right there and then – so I could have trusted a faster and later initiation.”

Vaughn was given a zero for the run and after some frantic repairs, the pair went at it again, but Fredric’s third gear broke mid-run, straightening him out and losing that round…

Fredric: “But in light of Jr being awarded a zero for that run, we actually had a good scope of walking away with it. Hence, the deal breaker was me breaking my transmission and straightening out in the second run. We were two turns away from finishing. Having to really, REALLY push the extremely powerful tC in fourth (instead of third) I ended up spinning the tires way too much in the re-runs, and we lost.”

So was there any hard feelings between the two? Not at all…

Fredric: “All in all, it turned out to be a great story with very little damage – it looked a lot worse than it was. The incident made me smile – in a slightly morbid way – and the fact that we just continued the runs fueled on adrenaline and pure will made it so much cooler. ”

Vaughn: “I have huge respect for Fredric and his team. They could have taken the easy way out and just said they couldn’t fix the car, but instead they wanted to battle it out. I am pretty impressed that I jumped his car,and was able to hold it together and complete the course. I am also impressed that Fredric didn’t even seem to miss a beat and continued the battle! Just goes to show the commitment we both have out there!”

So, what do you think? Would you have judged the outcome any differently?

Suzy Wallace
Instagram: speedhunters_suzy