So Patrick Mordaunt posted this video on Instagram today and announced the return of his old Nissan 350z to Formula D in 2014. It looks like He will not be piloting the Apexi Lexus SC430 this upcoming year. This has to make us curious as to rather we will see the return of Ryuji Miki to Formula D US as he was seen testing in the Lexus SC430 at Texas this past year. When the SC430 was initially built it was for Ryuji in the 2010 series, but he did not return to the US series in 2011 and that is when Patrick took over piloting the car. And after 3 years he just looks to have been getting comfortable in that chassis, so lets see how comfortable he is getting back behind the turbo VQ powering the Z.
Entering the 2012 season many were unsure of what Vaughn Gittin would be able to do, after winning the 2010 Formula D championship his 2011 follow up season ended with a lackluster 11th place. His first race in 2012 Vaughn showed up with his new Falken Tires & Monster Energy 2013 Ford RTR Mustang with some stunning livery and he looked like he was ready to take another run at the title. He qualified 3rd at round 1 but then amazingly gifted Odi Bakchis a win in his first match and fell out in the top 32. Vaughn Gittin Fans were not quite sure what to expect when he had a similar performance at Road Atlanta and was knocked out in the top 16. Round 3 was slightly better qualifying first, but falling out in the top 8th. But then come round 4 and 5 it seemed like the old JR was back with a new hunger taking back to back wins and putting him in the running for the championship. Vaughn placed 3rd in Vegas and was in 1st place in overall points entering Irwindale. It seemed like Vaughn had worked everything out in his RTR and wanted that 2nd Formula D Championship badly. Then in the top 8 after a pretty conservative run he unexpectedly spun out while chasing Patrick Mordaunt. All Vaughn could do was sit back and watch where he stood when all the smoke settled. In the end of 2012 Gittin finished in a very respectful 2nd place in overall points.
Now looking forward to the 2013 season with word that ASD & Falken tires were going to be splitting ways it was no surprise, at least in my opinion, when Vaughn Gittin Jr announced that in 2013 he would be partnering with Nitto Tires. With this news, the fact that Ford is now an official partner and Vaughn growing his RTR brand with them there really isn’t much to wonder about how Vaughn looks going into the 2013 season, the only things we have to look forward to is an obvious new livery now that the famous Falken scallops will not be gracing the car and how the new Nitto tires will effect his performance. Will the Nittos be enough to give JR that little bit extra to take his 2nd Formula D championship? Looks like we’ll have to wait and see.