Ford Motor Company celebrated the 2019 Goodwood Festival of Speed by bringing drifting champion Vaughn Gittin, Jr. to the UK so he could run both his Mustang RTR Spec 5-D drift car and the all-new 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 up the famous hillclimb event established by the Duke of Richmond, Charles Gordon-Lennox. That run marked the European reveal of the new GT500, and it was the first time the car’s production form has been seen in action anywhere.
Gittin was really geeked up about the event, and said in a statement, “It was such an honor to be asked to debut the all-new Shelby GT500 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Ford gave me the keys and told me to enjoy it and who am I to not listen to that directive word for word? My goal was to have fun and make Carroll [Shelby] proud in the process! What an incredible driving experience this car offers, it’s a supercar with Mustang looks. My face still hurts from smiling so much behind the wheel!”
Earlier in the week, as part of a promotion for Vodafone and AI startup Designated Driver, Gittin remote-piloted a radio-controlled Lincoln MKX up the hill at a slightly slower pace.
While Gittin drifted up the Goodwood hill in his Mustang RTR competition car, tires smoking pretty much all the way, even delighting the crowd of observers with some donuts, he decided to make a pure speed run in the Shelby.
Gittin is one of the world's most skilled wheelmen, but the narrow track for the time trial presented challenges in keeping both cars on the tarmac.
Speaking about those challenges, Gittin told Hot Rod before the Goodwood festivities that the course “is super tight and sketchy at full attack! There is very little grass before the hay bails [sic] that are staked into the ground and might as well be concrete. The flint wall without fail creates a pucker moment every time I pass it. But damn it’s fun and rewarding to get a clean pass!”
Gittin's passes were indeed clean, and of course there is video. While Gittin was directed to have fun, Ford didn't ship the drifter, two cars, and a support team across the Atlantic Ocean just to have a good time. You can get the spectator's view of his run here, and watch the hillclimb from Gittin's in-car perspective here.