Mechanical meltdowns, carnage, and a track surface that switched from grippy to grip-less in the blink of an eye – the fifth round of the 2015 Formula Drift Pro championship held in Seattle, Washington, had it all.
But at the end of five tough rounds of battle competition, it was our very own Fredric Aasbø who stood atop the podium at Evergreen Speedway. The win, following on from a third place qualifying performance from ‘The Norwegian Hammer’, catapults Aasbø to the top of the points with just two rounds in the Stateside Pro series left to play out.
Friday’s qualifying session saw Norway’s Kenny Moen take control with an 89 scorecard, followed by Ryan Tuerck in second and Aasbø in third – both scoring 87. It was a promising start for Tuerck who came into the round leading the championship, but it just as quickly turned sour when the Retaks Scion FR-S driver blew a diff in his Airforce Top 32 battle against Geoff Stoneback.
More rain equals more carnage but Fredric Aasbo hangs on at Wall Stadium in the Rockstar Energy Hankook Scion tC to emerge on top
Don’t get us wrong – we can appreciate driving in the rain, especially when that operation involves flinging a car sideways at speed around cones and along barriers. It’s a gnarly proposition to say the least. But rain also takes out some of the visual impact of drifting, negating smoke and forcing drivers to tiptoe through the course (rather than outright attack) – which is what fans got for a second straight round in Formula D New Jersey at Wall Stadium.
After qualifying in a close second spot behind Ken Gushi at New Jersey’s Wall Speedway yesterday, Speedhunters driver Fredric Aasbø battled through the ranks and the rain today to take his second top podium spot for the 2015 Formula Drift season.
The win came after an epic battle on the bank with Dean Kearney at the round dubbed ‘The Gauntlet’. And we suspect Kearney, who hails from Ireland, was at a distinct advantage in the wet conditions thanks to his home country’s lovely climate. The Irishman started his climb to the final behind the wheel of his Oracle Lighting Dodge Viper by beating Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Air Force Top 32 – and things only got better from there. But in the end, Kearney couldn’t quite match the precise, consistent Aasbø and his Rockstar Energy Drink/Hankook Tires Scion tC in the GoPro Final Battle.
The struggle for third and fourth positions was fought out between Japan’s Masashi Yokoi in his D-Max Nissan Silvia S15…
And Ryan Tuerck in his Retaks Scion FR-S, seen here battling Scandinavia’s Kenny Moen. Tuerck would take the win for third after some tense moments.
Aasbø’s win at the same place he took his very first Formula Drift round victory last year, and another solid performance from Tuerck has really tightened up the 2015 FD Pro Championship. In fact, right now just 8 points separate the top three drivers! Ryan Tuerck leads on 275.00, closely followed by Odi Bakchis in second with 274.00, and Fredric Aasbø sits in third on 268.00. The pressure will definitely be on for this trio at the fifth round ‘Throwdown’ at Evergreen Speedway in Seattle, Washington, next month.
We’ll be back soon for a closer look at how the New Jersey event played out, so keep an eye on Speedhunters.com for the full story in the coming days. In the meantime you can check out all the battles from ‘The Gauntlet’ via Formula Drift’s On Demand video service.