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Ford unveils S650-based RTR Spec 5 Formula Drift racer

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Ford pulled the wraps off its new Mustang RTR-Spec 5-FD Formula Drift car last night, along with the news that Vaughn Gitten Jr. will be behind the wheel (along with Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ, and James Deane).

I'll post Ford's full press release below, but my two favorite details are 1,300 horsepower, and a livery inspired by the James Webb telescope.

The first event on the calendar is this weekend in Long Beach. Can't wait!
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From Ford:
  • RTR Vehicles debuts all-new, seventh-generation Ford Mustang-based Spec 5-FD Formula Drift competition vehicle ahead of participating in 2023 Formula Drift Long Beach event, April 7-8
  • Two-time Formula Drift champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. announces return to competition
  • All-new Ford Mustang debuts segment-first* electronic drift brake engineered in cooperation with RTR drivers Vaughn Gittin Jr. and Chelsea DeNofa to aid novice drivers learning drifting skills while providing expert drivers with a competition-ready system
LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2023 – Sharing DNA with the all-new, seventh-generation 2024 Ford Mustang, Ford, Vaughn Gittin Jr. and RTR Vehicles today reveal the newest Formula Drift Spec 5-FD competition Mustangs. Two-time Formula Drift Champion, Vaughn Gittin Jr., also announces his return to the sport after a year absence.
“We took the bad ass styling, technology, and overall progression of the all-new Mustang as inspiration to develop our new Mustang RTRs for Formula Drift. The result is the best looking and best performing Mustang RTRs that we have ever created, and they are so fun to drive!”
-Vaughn Gittin Jr.
Working in parallel with Ford, RTR has been developing not one, but three Mustang RTR Spec 5-FDs with entirely new exteriors based off the Mustang production car.
Gittin’s all-new Mustang drift car features out-of-this world livery, inspired by photographs from the James Webb Space Telescope.
Additional competition enhancements include more than 1,300 horsepower and enhanced suspension development. These mark the most significant evolution of the Formula Drift Mustang in years, to be piloted by some of the greatest drift drivers on the planet from RTR Vehicles’ Drift Team, including Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ, and newest team member, three-time champion James Deane.

All-New Mustang Competition-Inspired Electronic Drift Brake
The fun won’t stop watching professional drifting. Ford and RTR have also teamed up to create a segment-first electronic drift brake for the 2024 Mustang*.
“I’m excited to announce not only that I will be back behind the wheel of a competition Mustang RTR with our signature aggressive styling and serious performance updates but I’m also thrilled that Ford and RTR have worked tirelessly to make something special with the new electronic drift brake,” Gittin said. “Chelsea and I had the honor of working with the passionate engineering team at Ford to develop. Our goal was putting larger smiles on the faces of soon to be fellow seventh-generation Mustang owners.”
The electronic drift brake collaborative effort between Ford and RTR can be seen on the camera car here, highlighting its all-new, segment-first, track-only electronic drift brake that unlocks the rear-wheel-drive drifting capability of Mustang with the visual appeal and functionality of a traditional, mechanical hand brake.
The drift brake is part of the Mustang Performance Electronic Parking Brake equipped in 2.3-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 Mustangs with automatic or manual transmissions and the available Performance Pack. The drift brake emulates with advanced electronics the hydraulic drift brake found in RTR’s Formula Drift Mustang, with more than three times the braking force of a conventional mechanical parking brake system.
“Mustang has always stood for on-road freedom and track performance and its first-ever electronic drift brake adds a whole new dimension of on-track fun and capability that will enable almost anyone to drift like they’re a soon-to-be-Vaughn Gittin Jr.”
-Jim Owens, Ford Mustang brand manager
A novice can use the electronic drift brake to learn drifting and later change the system settings to use in track-only competition.
The all-new Ford Mustang with available electronic drift brake and Performance Electronic Parking Brake goes on sale this summer.

RTR Formula Drift Schedule
Vaughn will compete in select events behind the wheel of his all-new Monster Energy Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD, sharing driving duties in 2023 with teammate Adam LZ.
Additionally, RTR Vehicles is excited for everyone to have a first look at some of the upcoming S650 Mustang RTR components shared with the Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD competition cars. These extreme versions of Mustang RTRs are built for competition, but you can expect more exciting news about our consumer vehicle packages and components for the S650 Mustang very soon on RTRVehicles.com.
2023 Formula Drift Events
· April 7-8, Long Beach, Calf. — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
· May 11-13, Braselton, Ga.— Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, and James Deane
· May 26-27, Orlando, Fl. — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
· June 22-24, Englishtown, N.J. — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
· July 13-15, Madison, Ill. — Chelsea DeNofa, Adam LZ and James Deane
· August 11-12, Monroe, Wash. — Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, and James Deane
· September 14-16, Grantsville, Utah — Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, and James Deane
· October 13-14, Irwindale, Calif. — Vaughn Gittin Jr., Chelsea DeNofa, and James Deane
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Can't wait to see how far RTR goes with it in Formula Drift this year!
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Vaughn Gittin Jr recently posted this video of thew FD Mustang with Adam LZ
Can't wait to see how far RTR goes with it in Formula Drift this year!
Yeah this car is going to look great sliding around at Formula Drift events this year!
Vaughn Gittin Jr has been posting more about it and another S650.
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"What a wild week! I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished as a team this week on and off the track. We debuted and ran three new Mustangs flawlessly and the performance gains were clear compared to our previous generation Mustangs. @adam_lz showed serious tenacity and progressed each lap, @chelseadenofa is a clear force to be reckoned with and @jamesdeane130 is already a serious contender with only a few days of seat time in his new car. I am so pumped for the rest of the @formulad season. Thank you to everyone that come out and supported us, the love was real! Bring on Atlanta! #fdlb #formuladrift"
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