Ford and RTR Vehicles are celebrating a first-place finish at the 2023 Formula Drift, after RTR driver Chelsea DeNofa finished the season at the top of the podium in the Formula Drift Championship. RTR and DeNofa competed with Spec 5-FD competition Mustang that shares DNA with the all-new, seventh-generation 2024 Ford Mustang.
“Mustang was bred for racing, from drifting to road courses, and we’re excited to build on this first championship for the all-new Mustang,” said Joe Bellino, Mustang marketing manager. “We’re confident this is the first of many trophies, and it came from a dominant season.”
Working in parallel with Ford, RTR developed three Mustang RTR Spec 5-FDs with entirely new exteriors based off the Mustang production car.
Additional competition enhancements included more than 1,300 horsepower and enhanced suspension development.
The three competition Mustang vehicles marked the most significant evolution of the Formula Drift Mustang in years. They’re also 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 their newest team member, three-time champion James Deane.
“What an amazing accomplishment for our team along with Ford Performance support to earn the first championship with the all-new Mustang,” said Vaughn Gittin Jr. “I remember 20 years ago when I was first driving the Mustang people looked at me sideways, now the Mustang platform is an icon in the sport with more and more showing up at events and in the collective culture”.
Lessons and inspiration from competitive drifting have also led to enhancements beyond the track, with the Ford Mustang’s first-ever and segment-first* available electronic drift brake.
The production electronic drift brake was a collaborative effort between Ford and RTR that fuses 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 that’s equipped in 2.3-liter EcoBoost and 5.0-liter V8 Mustangs with automatic or manual transmissions and the available Performance Pack. Using advanced electronics, the drift brake emulates 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.