CYPRESS, Calif. (March 27, 2014) — Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. is sponsoring what it calls a “diverse roster of champions and emerging talent” for the 2014 Formula Drift season.
As a major sponsor of the series, Cypress-based Nitto will sponsor Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, Matt Field and Odi Bakchis throughout the season with on-site technical support along with a fresh supply of Nitto NT05 tires.
“Nitto has been a proud sponsor of Formula Drift for nearly a decade, and we pride ourselves on supporting both top drivers and rising stars,” said Harry Kong, brand publishing and social media strategist for Nitto. “Drifting is one of the fastest growing motorsports in the world because it requires a unique balance of control and attitude.”
The tire marketer described its Nitto NT05 as a tire having shown “incredible predictability and durability, even under the most demanding conditions.”
Mr. Gittin returns this season in his Monster Energy/Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR after being crowned champion in the World Drift Series in China, taking home a fifth place finish in the 2013 Formula Drift chase and receiving the “Ace Driver of the Decade” award for most tandem wins in Formula Drift history. Autosport Dynamics (ASD) will continue to support Mr. Gittin's Mustangs with on-site support at each of the seven drifting rounds, according to Nitto.
The self-taught Maryland driver also will perform multiple ride along experiences and demonstrations at military bases for U.S. troops and will compete in Europe and China this year.
Nitto also has renewed its sponsorship of Mr. DeNofa, known for his aggressive driving style behind the wheel of the BC Racing E46 BMW, which has been rebuilt in the off-season to handle over 1000 horsepower.
New to Nitto's roster is driver Mr. Field in the CX Racing Nissan S14. He placed seventh overall in championship points in 2013 and, Nitto said, was the youngest driver in the Top 10 points standing for the season. Nitto said his “aggressive and wild driving style makes him a fan favorite and he pushes top competitors to their limit while leading or following with his supercharged V8-powered Nissan.”
Also new to the Nitto lineup is Mr. Bakchis, driving the Feal Suspension Nissan S14. He moved to the U.S. when he was eight years old, growing up in a racing family watching his father drive hydroplane boats in the European Championship. He placed 10th overall in the 2013 Formula Drift season. The California-based driver's Nissan features a new setup from his company Feal Suspension, as well as a Wise-Fab steering angle kit that allows nearly 90 degrees of steering angle, according to Nitto.
The Formula Drift season begins April 4-5 with Round 1: Streets of Long Beach.