SEMA eNews Vol. 19, No. 25, June 23, 2016

Racing News: Vaughn Gittin Jr. Takes Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Win and Pro Championship Lead

Compiled by SEMA Editors

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Monster Energy/Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR took the victory and lead in the Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Pro Championship standings.
   

Vaughn Gittin Jr. Takes Formula DRIFT Round 4: The Gauntlet Win and the Pro Championship Lead

Formula DRIFT presented by BlackVue returned to New Jersey for Round 4: The Gauntlet where Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Monster Energy/Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR took the victory and lead in the Pro Championship standings. The event found Ken Gushi in the GReddy Racing/Nexen Tire SR by Toyota 86 against two-time Formula DRIFT champion Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink/Hankook Tire Nissan 370Z in the semi-finals. Forsberg took the win to move him into the finals and on the podium for his third consecutive event. Gushi moved into the fourth spot for the championship. Rookie Alex Heilbrunn in the RTS Monster BMW M3 faced off against the 2010 Formula DRIFT champion Gittin on the other side of the bracket in the semi-finals. The speed and consistency of Gittin was too much to overcome for the rookie; however, Heilbrunn ends up in third place for his first-ever Formula DRIFT Pro Championship podium. The finals were a battle of champions with Gittin versus Forsberg. Gittin edged out his opponent for his second victory of the season to move into the top spot in the standings. The 2016 Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will continue to Round 5: True North, July 15–16, 2016, at Autodrome St. Eustache in Canada.

“8 Meters,” a new documentary produced by Kahn Media, explores what really happened on the final laps of the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans.

 
   

“8 Meters:” Triumph, Tragedy and a Photo Finish at Le Mans

In a war fought by titans of industry—one from Michigan, the other from Maranello—on the roads of rural France, the battle for sports car supremacy came to a head in 1966 when three of Ford Motor Company’s GT40s beat Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the closest endurance racing finish of all time. Exactly half a century later, “8 Meters,” a new documentary produced by Kahn Media, explores what really happened on those final, fateful laps.

In 1966, three Ford GT40 race cars crossed the finish line at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a photo finish, with the black and silver car driven by Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon neck-and-neck with the blue car driven by Ken Miles and Denis Hulme, handing Ford and America its first victory. Yet moments later, amid mass confusion from the crowd and the drivers themselves, officials led McLaren and Amon to a makeshift podium to claim victory, while Miles—who had already won Daytona and Sebring that year—lost his shot at the Triple Crown of Endurance racing.

Questions have gone unanswered—did Grand Prix drivers Amon and McLaren outdrive Shelby’s development driver Miles, or were other forces at work? “8 Meters” examines the legends, stories and historical footage to sort out what happened with the people who were there. The film features Chris Amon, Mario Andretti, Miles’ crew chief Charles Agapiou, Shelby team photographer Dave Friedman, Ford racing engineer Joe Macura, author AJ Baime, author Preston Lerner and archival footage of motorsports icon Carroll Shelby.

“8 Meters” also reveals historical footage from the development of the Ford GT racing program and a rare behind-the-scenes look at the young men who risked everything to bring America its first Le Mans championship, thanks to rare photos captured by Friedman before he went on to a tremendously successful career in Hollywood. The film was shot at locations around the world, including The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles; Irvine, California-based Superformance LLC; New Zealand; Michigan; and Willow Springs International Raceway.

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Tanner Foust took the win ahead of teammate Scott Speed last Sunday at Daytona.
   

Double Podium Redemption for Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross in Daytona

Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross (VARX) fought back from the team’s worst event in recent memory to earn a one-two finish last Sunday at Daytona, with Tanner Foust taking the win ahead of teammate Scott Speed. Last Sunday’s result marked the team’s second double podium of the 2016 season, cementing their position on top of the Red Bull Global Rallycross field. Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross will be back in action for another doubleheader at MCAS New River, July 2–3.

VP Named Official Fuel of Speed Society

Officials with Speed Society have announced an agreement naming VP Racing Fuels the Official Fuel of Speed Society and its website. Speed Society is a vertical content publisher/aggregator that delivers high-quality content to millions of automotive enthusiasts daily. With the agreement, VP will have a high-profile presence on Speed Society’s website and its various social media channels. VP also will be the exclusive fuel supplier for Speed Society’s fleet of cars that are taken to multiple events throughout the year, including three 2,500hp Lamborghinis, an Alpha 10 GTR and a ’69 Camaro.

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Charles Hull picked up the win by running a 4.88 at 155 mph in his Mustang powered by a Bennett Racing in VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw category.
 
   

NMRA Returns to National Trail Raceway

Despite a forecast of high heat and humidity, drivers from across the country dove into competition at the 13th Annual NMRA Ford SuperNationals at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, June 9–12. The spectacle marked a return to the Buckeye state track after a several-year hiatus.

VP Racing Fuels Street Outlaw: Charles Hull and Ronnie Diaz who met in the final, with Hull picking up the win by running a 4.88 at 155 mph in his Mustang, while Diaz lifted to a 5.76 at 152 mph.

Edelbrock Renegade: Chuck Bartholme, who recored a 7.76 at 175 mph in his Mustang defeated Valerie Clements, who had run strong all weekend but ran into trouble in the final round and limped down track.

G-Force Racing Transmissions Pure Street: The undefeated Teddy Weaver was 9.76 and 137 mph at the stripe to land the lead qualified spot in G-Force Racing Transmissions Pure Street, and he kept the momentum to oust Derek Downs in the final after a 9.72 at 137 mph to 10.06 at 131 mph match-up.

ProCharger Coyote Modified: Joe Guertin earned the event win over Tommy Annunziata uncontested, with an 8.10 at 169 mph.

American Racing Headers Factory Stock: James Meredith in his Mustang Mach 1 defeated Dan Ryntz in a 10.62 at 124 mph to 10.88 at 121 mph fight, marking him as the second undefeated racer through four races in the six-race series.

Race Pages Coyote Stock: Drew Lyons defeated Shane Stymiest in a 10.35 at 128 mph to 10.45 at 126 mph showing.

Detroit Locker Truck and Lightning: Vinnie Telesco outran Nina Gusler by stopping the clocks at 10.62 on his 10.58 index while Gusler turned on the red and dipped under with a 12.77 on her 12.78 limit.

Exedy Racing Clutch Modular Muscle: Donnie Bowles picked up the trophy by clocking a 10.10 on his 10.10 index in his final-round race against Charlie McCulloch, who was right there with a 10.99 on his 10.98.

Roush Performance Super Stang: Marvin Knack dispatched John Mummery by clocking a 12.16 on his 12.08 dial-in while Mummery clocked an off-pace 10.98 on his 10.72 dial-in after spinning off the line.

Flex-A-Lite Open Comp: Wes Dalrymple earned the trip to the Aerospace Components Winner’s Circle after laying down a 10.89 on his 10.87 dial-in, while Dennis Corn cruised to a 9.75 on his 9.72 for the runner-up spot.

Race Pages Ford Muscle: Chris Parisi won with a 15.07 on his 15.00 index as Danny Towe was runner-up with a 12.06 on his 12.00 index.

Livernois Motorsports EcoBoost Battle: Bill Putnam pulled out a victory over Brad Gusler in the final, 11.27 to 11.58 for the second time in 2016.

QA1 True Street, presented by Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords: Lonnie Tibbs was the overall winner with an 8.28 average, while Jason Wagoner was the runner-up with a 9.72 average. Kevin McCotter was the 9-second winner; Cyrus Hutchison was the 10-second winner; Kimberly Walter was the 11-second winner; Casey Shotwell was the 12-second winner; Mark Storts was the 13-second winner; Gaston Brown was the 14-second winner and Chris Parisi was the 15-second winner.

Race Pages Bracket: Gary Varney over Travis Gayheart in Fast Ford; Richard Jordan Jr. over Jenni Merrick-Cree in Quick Ford; Chris Parisi over Daniel Imhoff in Street Ford; and Bryan Parker over Jon Pickering in Nostalgia Ford. Then, the Trick Flow Specialties Super Ford Showdown pitted Gary Richmond against Gary Varney, and Richmond took the trip to the winner’s circle.

With only two races remaining in the series’ 2016 tour, the chase to the championships is on, with the next stop being the 11th Annual Nitto Tire NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl of Street-legal Drag Racing, July 28–31 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

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