Car Culture’s Monique Marijeta interviews all around champion, Fredric Aasbo at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California.
Formula DRIFT presented by GoPro finished the 2015 Pro Championship and World Championship season at Irwindale Speedway. Fredric Aasbo in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Scion tC had a successful evening winning the final event of the season, while taking both the Formula DRIFT Pro Championship and inaugural World Championship.
Round 7: Final Fight showcased tremendous action to a sold out crowd at Irwindale Speedway. Drivers had to adjust to a new course configuration which created a new dynamic to the competition. Close to 400,000 viewers tuned into the Driftstream to watch the Finals weekend.
Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo wins it all as speedway prepares to turn into a shopping mall
The Hammer hammered the competition Saturday night.
Fredric “The Norwegian Hammer” Aasbo fell hard on the competition last weekend to win the U.S. Formula Drift championship, the Formula Drift World Championship and the final event on the Formula Drift calendar.
“Formula D did a pretty good job scripting this,” Aasbo joked after his triple crown season finish at Irwindale Event Center in Southern California. “This was amazing. This was my dream come true in every respect. Not just winning (the) FD US championship and (the) world championship (but) we’ve had a great season and I’m really happy for everyone for making it happen.”
Aasbo entered the final round with a big lead over second-place driver Ken Gushi. By qualifying for the Top 16 on Saturday night he clinched the both the U.S. Formula Drift Championship and the Formula Drift World Championship, a title made up of a handful of international races. They were Aasbo’s first championships after finishing runnerup last year in the U.S. points chase. Aasbo won four of the series’ seven events this year, a record. He has more than 60 podium finishes in the sport and won Formula D’s Rookie of the Year in 2010.
Aasbo drove a Papadakis Racing Scion tC.PHOTO BY SCION RACING LARRY CHEN
Irwindale Speedway has become hallowed ground for the sport of drifting. Home to the first professional competition in the US back in 2003, the track has hosted the season finale for Formula Drift for all 12 seasons to date. Unfortunately, the land that the track currently leases was sold a few years back, and this may be the last year before the track is demolished in favor of a shopping mall. While talk of demolition has been occurring almost annually since the sale was made in 2012, the permit changes necessary to move forward with the demolition finally happened earlier this year and have essentially paved the way for this season to be the final season of motorsports at the House of Drift.
For 2015, Formula Drift altered the layout slightly to encourage a longer wall-ride on the ‘inner bank’. Drivers start near the exit of burn 2 in the traditional oval track layout, heading counter clockwise around the ½-mile bank, initiating into drift just before turn 3 in the traditional layout. Continuing around the big bank, drivers come off the bank at the exit of turn 4 and transition in front of the main grand stands for a clip on the traditional start/finish line facing the crowd. From there, the drivers transition again and continue the course through the inner 3/8-mile bank again in the counter clockwise orientation. Historically, drivers only drifted around half of the inner bank before sliding through the infield, but this season’s layout extends the course through the entirety of the inner bank along the wall then sliding through a decreasing radius turn into the infield in the same portion of the track, with one final inner clip before the finish line. This layout was enough of a change to force the drivers to re-learn what the judges were asking for, particularly after the switch-back across the traditional start/finish line.