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?
I cant express my opinion over the story the drivers tell, they have the real view from their seats, while all of us just can see through a screen or meters away, but, vaughn was, overall a little agressive that day! If you guys check on the runs of the same day he made lots of close calls, and had a spun against daigo... it seemed he was overdoing it a little
And, Aasbo is a real gentleman, he should have earned extra points for true sportsmanship!
no idea how assbo didnt win this. what gitten was saying was a joke, assbo blaming himself was a joke andFD is joke. bring back jap coverage!
If anything this round win should have gone to Aasbo, but FD is all up on Gittins D**K.
If they would use D1 rules it's the followers responsibility to adapt to whatever the leading driver does without hitting anyone, even when the leading driver does a mistake.
Everyone gets on J.R for what he did but he didn't do it intentionally. It rained right after they battled so it was hard to estimate the grip on the cars so he thought he had no grip and gripped up on entry. Don't you guys ever think of the conditions before you start bashing on a driver? Maybe thats what the judges had in consideration of the call.
This is racing, JR did a mistake, Fredric lost third geard.Both are 100% comited to the sport and are polite in the media.
In the OMT JR dit two bether runs against Aasbo.
About the crash, the thing i didnt like was that he did not stop, what if there was any oil / water on the track? it would have broken the rest og the competition by no grip on the track. Hold stumt Fredric :)
"Would you have judged the outcome any differently?"
Hell YEAH! Vaughn Gittin JR shoul be DQ easy.
He just wants to teach Aasbo who's boss in USA. In USA the redneck wants to be boss and dont know how to lose.
Frederick would kick ass and its NOT intimidated by JR.
So, watch out junior :))))
I don't like all the hate going on here. Yeah it's the Internet and we're all entitled to our own opinion but shit happens! People make mistakes in motorsport, especially when its a bit greasy, they just got on with what they were there to do and didn't make a big deal out of it, props to them for that =)
JR is "pretty immpressed" by himself. Wow, what a great man.
Frederic - you are waaaay too polite with JR.
i personally found Gittin guilty of causing the accident small correction or not (it happens). Moreover, his response after climbing the TC's hood of just laying on it as well as placing the blame on Aasbo in this article reflects on my theory of Gittin possessing an overtly dominant personality. (first noticed article http://www.speedhunters.com/2013/01/mustang-rtr-dream-drive-vaughn-rod-and-larry/) that being said, they are both incredibly talented and competitive drivers; not to mention Aasbo is one stand up dude. looking forward to more entertainment.
@speedhunters.... This was a great in-depth story, but am I the only one wondering why after 4 days and 2 posts from Atlanta, there has been no mention of Daigo Saito winning this event? I mean, I love this site, I spread the word religiously, but something seems missing from the auto otaku days. Not to mention, do you guys cover Japanese drifting at all anymore?
I don't care who did what, I just love how calm & friendly both drivers are about it. THAT is what's important.
Vaughn Gittin made a mistake, as simple as that. Aasbo watching from the video stayed on his line, and Gittin just temporarely lost control and hit Aasbo.
What baffles me is not so much the error (we all make mistakes), it's the fact that Gittin believes he's right, AND the judges allowed Gittin to go on.
That IMO is unacceptable! In Japan/ D1 accidents like that occurred in the past. Whoever hit first, got disqualified, simple.
I've been watching it quite some times now. It's obvious that Fredric hat to "reinitiate" and therefore twitched a little but he never came close or seriously "threatened" Vaughns line. To me Vaughn overcorrected in a rush and simply lost it. Those things happen and there's no one to be blamed. This could have been fairly settled with a 0 for Vaughn and no OMT. Fredrics reaction was noble and worthy of the "drift codex" ;)
I think the leader of a run should set the pace. It is easy for the follower to just enter as fast as he pleases but as the article alludes, the leader has to try to feel out the available grip. In this case JR was too blindly aggressive and puts more blame on Aasbo even though he doesnt say it outright. It's not exactly a fair comparison but in principle it is similar to the pregrid lap in F1 or a safety car period. The leader is entitled to set the pace and if someone crashes into the leader they will likely get a penalty. But in Formula Drift, I guess it is different
I think Vaughn is a real douche. I mean, his comment: "...Fredric continued driving, shows the commitment we BOTH have".Like it was pretty obvious that he showed full commitment himself. He has one hell of an ego, and I don't think that's the spirit in drifting.
Better graphics on the Scion. Winner in my book. Oh yeah and the driving was superior. Drifting is way more interesting than oval track races or drag races.
JR is always full of excuses. It was his fault plain and simple, Fredric is just being a nice guy that he is.
@Haris Munandar amen
@jordylopezz I see where you're coming from Jordy, but these are pros and these are the big leagues. You don't get to say "I didn't know the grip my car had" wreck the other guy and then walk away with a win.
It happens and thats racing, but you don't make excuses. He should have owned up to it. Sorry, theres no way that guy's tail end was swinging anywhere near him.
@arsinek As soon as it got absorbed in the "Action Sports" category I knew it was over. It's similar to that stuff Deegan and Foust are doing Global Rally Cross? It's kind of a big clown show now which is why I was literally cheering when Loeb showed up mopped the floor with everyone. When you hear a professional skateboarder say that his skating skills translate to motor racing you just have to roll your eyes.
God knows Senna never landed a kick flip or dropped in a half pipe and look at his career.
@Ealoken This is not racing. Racing is a contest of speed, it is the WWE of automotive sport. I do not delude myself to think otherwise yet I still go watch it live , because it is entertaining and I know it is not easy to do.
@greenroadster I do not want to believe that this is his intention. I think he is a sensible person. How can he believe he is the boss? Daigo Saito, as an FD Rookie, was crowned champion annihilating older FD competitors in their own territory. Furthermore, Daigo holds the distinction of being the first driver to win the two drifting majors (D1GP in 2008 and Formula D in 2012). Vaughn has a long way until he can call himself an O.G. So, instead of making bold statements, wish him good luck.
@utah_dragon Come on guys. You just answered your own question. You already know Daigo won. Why would you want us to tell you again and again like every other site giving coverage.
We only want to provide the coverage that you CAN'T see on the live stream and we find the stories that you CAN'T find even if you are at the event.
Why would you want play by play coverage of the actual competition if you can just watch the entire live stream?
@utah_dragon We figure that you can get the full event details from Formula D. Better for us to get into the details and look at the event from a different angle.
We plan to hit up some Japanese drift events later this year. Trying not to overdo the amount of drifting here as not everyone who comes in here likes it.
@utah_dragon Perfection takes time
@JDMized I can kinda see both sides here, Fred going in slower and earlier than Vag expected and then V getting a little flustered trying to adjust and hitting him. One mistake leading to another. The big thing here for me, and what redeems them both here, is how they both instantly put pedal to metal and continued their run, even though Vaughn was awarded a zero for it. And rightly so as he did run into Aasbo =) Ps holy CRAP that 'stang is a smoke machine!
@JDMized agreed but they weren't alway's DQ'ed immediately. Due to their scoring, it did usually mean an instant, unrecoverable loss.
Gitten sounds like his lawyer wrote that statement. And I'm not a Gitten hater either.
@JDMized I agree, Definitely think that Aasabo had NO fault in this, seeing almost every other over initiate and go off the track (because of the wet) before him, was doing the right thing by easing into the first corner. As the chase, should you not wait to see what the lead is going to do instead of assuming and throwing it in too far to begin with?
@JDMized I never thought I'd see myself agreeing with you, JDMized.
@jordylopezz The fact that he got a zero instead of disqualified only proves my point D**kwad...
You telling me this means you dont know shit about drifting. I dont have to say anything to you. Aasbo even initiated early which caused it. stop looking at the crash and looked at what caused it.
I totally understand what you mean but it was a hard call especially for the judges. When you look closely, vaughn goes there same speed as aasbo. The track still had some slick spots and dry spots and vaughns car threw it self. Vaughn couldnt do anything at that point. So thats why i agree with the judges. But in the OMT they both had good runs so it was also a hard call. Its not like vaughn got a easy win. The OMT was very close.
@JDMized *every other driver
@jordylopezz I went to the first D1GP event in the states and followed drifting from the time I was 10 to the time I was 18. I used to have a friend in Japan who would video tape and send me underground footage of him and his friends sliding around in the mountains long before any magazine was covering the sport. We would talk on hours on MSN messenger before I even had a license about technique, cars etc. This was in 1996.
I'd be happy to recover some of the old videos from my burned up hard drive and send them to you. Drifting is difficult, but unless you're drifting at triple digit speeds from my experience racing and sliding, it's not that hard of a sport to get comfortable with. I used to go up into the local mountains when I got my license in a stock engine Miata and slide around downhill at speeds of over 80-90mph once I got comfortable with my car.
I don't have a problem with anyone speaking their opinion, I have a problem when people start name calling. When you call someone "dumb" like that Pwhyze girl or Frank Profera whos always quick on the trigger to open his / her trap you come off like a 12 year old kid. The fastest and most experienced guys in motor sport tend to be the quiet guys who sit back and analyze things. I get tired of people on these forums and boards who personally attack people for no reason.
As for being a fan of Vaughn Gitten, theres no problem with that. Personally I can't stand the guy and I've only started reading about him in the last two days. When I read about a guy who basically did some cosmetic modifications and added 60 lbs of torque to a Mustang agreeing that he is going to be "the next Carroll Shelby" I lose a lot of respect. Then saying his f*ck up was Aasbos fault?
He's out of line no matter which way you slice it and Aasbo has been nothing but a gentleman during the entire process. That's all I'm trying to say.
Really a child? You're the one calling me a fanboy. Just because I like a driver makes me a fanboy. Good one. And I NEVER MENTIONED ANYTHING ABOUT RACING! THIS ISN'T RACING. Come on dude, you saying this means you don't know about drifting.
And about the tracks, of course Formula D tracks are harder. Most Japanese tracks have speed and with a little practice, it can be accomplished. In long beach, even if you had practice, you will still have a hard time. It's obvious to me that you don't have a lot of knowledge about drifting. Just stop.
I tell my opinion and people like you get mad about it.
@jordylopezz @Fair Jordy...you're bench racing the hell out of this now and you sound like you've never raced a day in your life. Quit calling people names and analyze the discussion at hand without letting your emotions get the better of you. You sound like a child, a fanboy and one of the loud mouth guys at a sporting event who is 100lbs over weight yelling at the athletes on TV about how he could have made a better play.
Explain why D1 tracks aren't nearly as hard as FD tracks please. Enlighten everyone with your vast deposits of knowledge, and I'll come back and tell you why you're local karting track would be harder to win at than any Formula D event. Please act in a mature fashion when you make comments, it only serves to better your argument and peoples views of you.
@Fair Guy i bet he can. All d1 tracks aren't nearly as hard as fd tracks. Also how you gonna tell me vaughn is not better? Vaughn is way more consistent than him. And vaughn hasn't even gotten the chance to do it so why say that? Your dumb. Kawabata is 10 times better than daigo. The only thing daigo has his following and he does it sloppy. Constant ebraking looks ugly
@jordylopezz My issue with JR in this case is that he panicked and made a mistake and then blamed the other driver. It's not another drivers fault if you panic, it's on you. A real man and a real racer would admit that. Sorry dude, it's not Aasbos doing.
It is common knowledge to anyone in racing that it is the following drivers responsibility to make a pass safely and or follow safely. You learn this in karting and any form of wheel to wheel racing. These aren't even my words, but the words of a guy who was a multi time national champion and one of the most respected people in the karting community who trained me for a while.
@jordylopezz No, but I know a bit of shit about racing and driving and hill climbing. I've never bothered with drifting because the entire scene IMO is a watered down form of motor sport.
Sebastien Loeb doesn't know much about "drifting" and look what happened with Deegan, Foust and Block invited him to Global Rally Cross.
If you know how they normally enter first turn, you wouldnt be saying this right now. you even see aasbo shake before the hit.
@jordylopezz But still, Gitten caused the crash and didn't have control of his car. They should not reward that is all im saying. It's like rewarding an elbow to someones face in the NBA even if it was accident.
If someone elbowed you in basketball and then THEY got the 3 point you sunk would you feel thats justified?