CYPRESS, Calif., Jan. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Nitto Tire, a leading producer of high performance tires, has announced a new partnership with Formula DRIFT Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. With its deep roots in the enthusiast community, the brand's sponsorship of Gittin, a self-taught drifter extraordinaire, is a perfect match. Gittin is one of Monster Energy's premier athletes and a Ford factory driver. He is an icon of the sport of drifting, having competed every year since the start of Formula DRIFT in 2004. Gittin will also represent Nitto Tire in China's World Drift Series and make appearances at a variety of exhibitions worldwide. "I am pumped to be working with Nitto Tire! As I enter this new chapter of my career, it feels great to be aligned with a brand as committed to winning and progression as I am," said Gittin. "I have always been focused on working just as hard off the track as I do on it, and Nitto's innovative marketing efforts and awesome tires will complement that well. It's very clear that our overall passion and goals align perfectly, and I could not be happier with what the future has to offer surrounding this partnership." Gittin's Monster Energy Nitto Tire Ford Mustang RTR will be running the NT05 max-performance tire. During the off-season, Gittin and his team at ASD (Autosport Dynamics) thoroughly tested this platform and are confident it will provide them with a competitive edge. "Through testing, we found the Nitto NT05 offers a high level of consistent grip through all temperature ranges and the high-quality construction of the tire allows it to handle excessive abuse. These are both qualities that are crucial for drifting," Gittin added. Harry Kong, Marketing & Social Media Strategist at Nitto Tire, noted, "Vaughn has proven himself to be an incredible driver and champion. We look forward to partnering with him for the upcoming 2013 drifting season. The Monster Energy Ford Mustang RTR running NT05 tires will be an exciting combination to watch." The first opportunity to see Gittin drifting on Nitto NT05 tires will take place at the St. Louis Auto Show between Jan. 24 and 27, 2013, where he will be doing an exhibition and offering fans his famous ride-alongs. Information on Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc. and its products can be found on the web at www.nittotire.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NittoTire and on Twitter at @NittoTire. About Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.Nitto Tire ( www.nittotire.com) develops performance tires for all uses, including racing, off-road and street. Using state-of-the-art manufacturing and testing facilities in Japan and the United States, Nitto provides innovative and high-quality performance tires for the most demanding automotive enthusiasts. For more information, visit the company's website or contact the company directly. Nitto is a registered trademark of Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc., 5665 Plaza Drive, Ste. 250, Cypress, Calif., 90630. SOURCE Nitto Tire U.S.A. Inc.