What makes professional drifting different now than what it was when you first started?
The things going on out there on the track are insane! The proximity at those speeds is just crazy. Everyone has progressed so much, winning is usually who doesn't make a mistake at this point because everyone is so good. Obviously commercially it has progressed as well. There is manufacturers and huge brands involved now as well which is helpful to many.
What advice could you give the folks who are looking on starting
If you just want to have fun, do it! If you want to go pro here is a few things to consider. What you do off the competition circuit is just as important or even more important as what you do on the track. While drifting might have the lowest barrier to entry in Motorsport it is still expensive and will take an investment to get to where you need to. Sponsorship is way different then what many think it is, much more than stickers on cars and garnering general exposure. Success in Motorsport in general requires you to adapt your sport as your life. It's not a job it must become your everything (at least the beginning years) if you want to succeed. Many many unseen sacrifices are required and it truly is not for everyone. Be prepared for a long hard challenging road prior to getting support. Keep reality in check and don't put yourself in the poor house cause you have been bitten by the bug. Anyone can do it, we are all human. Most of all have fun!
Crew Chief: What is your process in preparing the vehicle for a competition? What is your priority?
Basically, after a competition we take the car apart from removing major mechanical parts such as the rear end, transmission and suspension. During this process we thoroughly clean and inspect all parts so that when we replace them the car and all its components work at their maximum capability and performance. The priority is to bring the most reliable and performance capable car to the track as possible.
Crew Chief: What led you to this opportunity? What do you like best about being a part of Vaughn’s team?
I’ve been lucky enough to work within motorsport my entire life at many levels of competition within many different disciplines. In 2008, I got the opportunity to build cars for Formula Drift competition and was able to help raise the build level and its quality to what it is today. My favorite part of being a member of Vaughn’s team is winning and having the latitude to build and deploy innovative components along with my talented engineer and mechanics. Working with a professional Fun-Haver doesn’t suck either!
Other: Please list any other crew members who may have an interesting passion behind their work or that are involved in any kind of motorsport.
Frankly, to answer your question, “list any other crew members who may have an interesting passion behind their work or that are involved in any kind of motorsport,” that would include everyone I work with in Vaughn Gittin Jr. Motorsports. Everyone from our support staff to directors are fueled by the passion of Motorsport and collectively we have experience spanning: Formula Open-wheel racing in Europe, NASCAR, SCORE Off-Road, IndyCar to local midget racing.
So there you have it folks! Keeping drifting serious doesn't necessarily mean that it's not fun. Vaughn is a perfect example of a guy that and has a lot of fun drifting professionally and a ton of fun driving in grassroots events. At the end of the day, it's about doing what you love – the answer is not black and white and varies from person to person. Stay tuned as we continue the “Keep Drifting Serious” editorial series showcasing drivers from all levels of drifting.