IRWINDALE, Calif. — Giti Tire USA was crowned the 2023 Formula Drift Pro Tire Cup champion recently, in a close season-long battle with Nitto Tire.
Drivers associated with Giti Tire, which competes in Formula Drift with its GT Radial brand, took three wins and 13 podium finishes throughout the eight-race 2023 season, chalking up 1,275 points, just 26 points ahead of Nitto.
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based Giti Tire returned to Formula Drift in 2020 after a three-year hiatus, using tires produced at the company's factory in Chester, S.C.
"Winning the Tire Cup was our goal at the beginning of the season," GT Radial Motorsports Manager Mike Meeiem said, "and we did it thanks to our dedicated plant team members who produce the competition tire and our group of highly-skilled drivers and teams,
"It is especially gratifying to see a tire made in America win the world's most competitive drifting series."
Giti-backed Aurimas Bakchis finished second in the 2023 championship, just 35 points behind Chelsea Denofa, who raced on Nitto tires. Giti-backed drivers Matt Field, Chris Forsberg and Dylan Hughes finished third, sixth and 10th.
Other tire brands competing in Formula Drift in 2023 were Vitour, Nexen and Kenda.
GT Radial committed itself late last year to compete in Formula Drift for three more years (through 2025) and to remain the official tire of the PROSPEC series for up-and-coming drivers for another two years.