Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Interview: Autosport Dynamics

I made my way up to ASD today in Charlotte, NC and WOW! That place was amazing. Super clean shop, great guys, and oh yeah... 4 Formula D cars and an all carbon fiber mustang. For those of you who are not familiar with ASD, they're the guys behind the cars driven by Vaughn Gittin Jr., Darren McNamara, Tyler McQuarrie, and Justin Pawlak. David Gibson, ASD's general manager was nice enough to show me around and fill me in on every little detail of the shop, like how their tumbler works or how they can fabricate any part they need. I really wish I could share every bit of information I learned today but that would take forever.

So as usual with our interviews we sent David a questionaire and jeez as you will see below, this guy knows his stuff.

BIG thanks to Ian ( owner of ASD), David, Clay, and all the guys at ASD. Good luck!

What are some noteworthy cars ASD has built?

Falken Tire Saturn Sky / 2010 Falken Mustang / 2011 Monster Energy Falken Mustang / 2006 Falken 350Z / 2010 Mustang RTR-C (carbon car for SEMA)

 Could you tell me a little about your drivers?
Vaughn Gittin, Jr.’ name is synonymous with drifting. Due in part to his accomplishments as well as he popularity, Vaughn has enjoyed a strong relationship with both Falken and Ford, showing the world the capabilities of his powerful 2011 5.0 Mustang featuring new sponsorship from Monster Energy Drink. Vaughn has competed in motorsports for most of his life, moving from two wheels to four, and choosing drifting as a sport in which it is clear he excels. Vaughn finished in fifth place in the 2009 Formula Drift Championship. He plans to move up four spots this year.
Darren McNamara - A constant figure in the sport, the Irish native has been competing for seven years, building his reputation in his homeland first and then conquering the Continent. In fact, both Pro Drift Europe and D1GP have rated Darren the number one drifting driver in Europe. Rally experience has an important correlation to drifting, and he quickly gained fame in the United States through his performances in D1GP. He earned Rookie of the Year in Formula Drift in 2008, and returns in his Saturn Sky as another key representative of Team Falken, keen to improve upon his 7th place finish in the final standings and continue to improve upon his already significant talent.
Tyler McQuarrie - Tyler took a very strong road racing background and transferred those experiences in multiple series into an exciting career in drifting. Tyler also earned significant notice when he became co-champion of the highly popular 2008 Redline Time Attack. He joined Team Falken's Formula Drift factory team in 2009 and finished third in last year's championship. He returns as a cornerstone to Falken, bringing his potent 350Z to the tracks once again, his daughter McLaren likely there to cheer him on, along with his legions of fans.
Justin Pawlak - While 2008 was Justin's first year competing full-time in the Formula Drift Championship, he carved quite a reputation for himself during the previous three years, with participation in Just Drift, Formula D Pro-Am, the HIN Drift Demo Tour, along with the Los Angeles NOPI drift event in which he took 1st place. 2010 will be Justin's first year as part of Team Falken's Formula D factory effort. He finished 9th in the overall standings last year, and has moved from a Mazda RX-8 to a 2011 5.0 Mustang.


ASD does anything from fabrication to 3D CAD models to full race car builds. Do you feel as if you excel more in any one specific area?

We enjoy all of the work we do, no matter what that may be. We are fortunate enough to have an amazing list of people working here, that are multi-talented. That allows us to not have just one or even two things we excel at, rather we strive to excel at everything we do. Whether it’s 3D CAD modeling a prototype product for a customer, doing stress analysis for roll cage design, fabricating a rolling chassis for a customer race car, or supporting the local drift events with our guys, we try our best to come in head and shoulders above the rest.

 Is ASD geared more towards the average Joe or professional race teams?
It depends on the situation, but the simple answer is both. Obviously we run a professional race team, but that is not all we do. We regularly deal with local guys with the purchasing of parts or lending advise if needed on what they should or shouldn’t be doing or buying. We also deal with other companies to do product development as well. We are very diverse in our clientele.

Clay's office

What are ASD's goals? Short term? Long term?

One of our major goals obviously is to win a Formula D championship. We have some of the best drivers in the sport, and a great tire under the cars which also happens to be our title sponsor (Falken Tire), so we are driving as hard as we can towards a championship. Leaving round 1 in Long Beach, Vaughn Gittin Jr in the 2011 Monster Energy / Falken Tire / Ford Mustang is leading the points race, but we have 6 more events to go to, so it’s obviously too soon to bet. Some other goals we have are to release our new e-brake line-up for S chassis, as well as 350Z and other common drift cars used today. These are to include both twin caliper design as well as single caliper design.

We also plan to continue to grow our involvement with the local drifting scene, even as far as building our own shop car S13 for one of our guys to drive. We will also continue to expand our product line and continue to release new products to the scene for all makes and models of cars.

Lastly, we plan in the near future to re-kindle our involvement in road racing. Our companies roots are in road racing, and adding that to professional drifting is something all of us as ASD are keen on doing once again.

Only one event in, but how do you see the Formula D series going this year?

We treat every event as if it’s the last of the year and we have to win to get the cup. Our slogan is “You are only as good as your next race” We really try to adhere to that, and not get too pumped up on a podium here and there. While the podiums are a great reward for all the work the guys put in, as well as the drivers doing their part, the Championship is what we are after.

Green Chrome?!?

 What are you driving? (Not required)

GMC Yukon XL

 Any personal projects?

I am about to strike a deal to get an FC to start to build at my house. Something simple, like 350rwhp on pump gas is in the future for this car…

Clay fabricating some 350Z brackets

 How do you feel about the Southeast car scene and where do you see it going?

I see a lot of potential indeed. It’s a totally different climate to what I am used to coming from San Diego, CA. There, the import scene has been thriving since the mid 90’s, and has gone through many different “hot” times. There is such a diverse collection of car nuts out here that it’s really exciting to be able to reach out and touch so many different markets in one area. Combined with the hospitality that the South is known for, and it’s an enjoyable experience each and every time.

Vaughn Gittin's RTR-C

Off to Atlanta

1 comment:

  1. It was a pleasure to meet you and the door is always Tyler! Great meeting you and thanks for the opportunity to let us share what we do.

    Dave Gibson
    ASD Inc.