PARKVILLE - With its burning rubber, roaring engines and hair-pin turns, the sport of drifting at first glance might look like recklessness and ego gone crazy. So imagine if you did this for a living?
“Man. It's like being in control of a roller coaster,” said Vaughn Gittin, Jr. “It's amazing.”
Well, this is exactly how Gittin pays the bills as the two-time world drifting champion from Glen Burnie.
“You have an 800 hp engine. You’re inches from walls, inches from your opponents, and you’re going 100 mph,” he explained. “It's caged insanity and controlled chaos.”
Cars and extreme sports like BMX and skateboarding have always been a part of Gittin's life. When it came time to enter the real world and get a job, he says he had to figure out a way to continue financing his hobbies.
“I went and got Microsoft certified,” he said. “I was an IT guy. It afforded me my hobbies and build my first car. From there, I essentially chased the dream.”
That was 10 years ago, and today, Gittin tours the world competing in Asia and the US. He’s even designed his own car, the Ford Mustang RTR. “I'm a self-taught, self-built guy.”
Even as an accomplished veteran known around the world, Gittin still describes the sport with the passion of a guy still driving as a hobby.“We are inches from other cars on the razor's edge of going out of control,” he said. “If you're not scaring yourself, you're not doing it well.”
Gittin will soon travel to California where he's looking to close the deal on yet another championship season. From there, he says it’s on to the next challenge.
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