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Ford and RTR Victorious in All-New, Seventh-Generation Mustang at Formula Drift Championship

Irwindale, Calif., October 17, 2023 – 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.


* Class is High-Powered Sports Cars with available 300+ HP. Drift-brake is intended for closed-track use only. It should never be used on public roads. See Owner’s Manual for information on use.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams.  The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty.  Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services.  The company does that through three customer-centered business segments:  Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines exceptional digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs.  Additionally, Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  Ford employs about 176,000 people worldwide.  More information about the company and its products and services is available at

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