Rockstar Energy Drink driver tops Formula Drift standings heading into final round
Fredric Aasbo extended his lead in the 2015 Formula Drift Championship this weekend in Texas putting him in a strong points position heading into the season finale.
Aasbo has won three of six rounds so far this year and leads the standings by 80 points over fellow Scion Racing and Hankook Tire driver Ken Gushi.
“This is exactly where we want to be at this point in the season,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “We can’t wait to get to Irwindale for the final race of the year where we can pull out all the stops.”
It was an action-packed round this weekend that saw many favorites eliminated early as drivers pushed themselves to the limit on the tricky course. Competition was so tough that even the early matches saw multiple calls for one-more-time battles.
A new track layout at Texas Motor Speedway challenged drivers to demonstrate full-throttle commitment. On the last qualifying run of the day on Friday, Aasbo took the top qualifying position with a showy run that saw the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC produce impressive plumes of tire smoke.
“Texas was a fun event. Cars were pushed to the limit with 97-degree air temperatures and going full throttle and high gear for nearly half the run,” said Papadakis. “Our sticky Hankook Tire RS-3s came through for us.”
Aasbo advanced confidently to the Round of 8, but a misstep in his chase run against rival Daigo Saito saw him get lost in the smoke and he momentarily ran off course. There was no damage, but judges noted the fault and he lost the match.
Even so, the result was enough for him to extend his lead in the U.S. Formula Drift Championship as well as the Formula Drift World Championship, which combines events in the U.S., Asia, and next month’s race in Canada.
The final round of the U.S. season at Irwindale Speedway is a highlight event for the series. Fans typically pack the Southern California venue, dubbed the “House of Drift” for its historic involvement in the sport of drifting. With the championship on the line, the competition is always intense. Aasbo said he plans to take it one battle at a time.
“I think the moment you start feeling like you have to win the championship or defend the championship, you’ve already lost,” said Aasbo. “The game plan is to do what we always do: take it one run at a time and let it all play out.”
The final round of the 2015 Formula Drift Championship takes place October 9 and 10.
Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control skill. Drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is considered one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world.
ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO
Fredric Aasbo returns to Papadakis Racing in 2015 for his fifth season with the team. The Norwegian driver finished the 2014 Formula Drift champion in the runner-up position and “Fan Favorite of the Year” for the third year in a row. Earlier this year, he released the first video in his Dreamride YouTube project, #DreamrideLA.
The two-time Nordic Drifting champion (2007, 2008) made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and turned heads when he won the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year title. He has rapidly progressed through the drifting ranks around the world and has established himself as both a fan favorite and proven championship contender.
Aasbo is originally from Ski, Norway, and now splits his time between his native country and Southern California. He campaigns a full international season, in 2015 running the full Formula Drift schedule as well as select events worldwide in Europe and in Asia.
ABOUT PAPADAKIS RACING
Team owner Stephan Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing who began building his reputation in the 1990s with the first front-wheel-drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S.
The team earned multiple records and championships in the discipline, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front-drive drag cars. Papadakis’ successes in front-wheel drive were matched by his efforts in rear-wheel drive when he campaigned a Civic that became only the fifth car to join the NHRA’s Sport Compact 200 MPH club.
The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2005 and has shown impressive results in seven years of Formula Drift competition, earning two championship titles with driver Tanner Foust (2007, 2008). The team finished in the runner-up position in the 2014 championship with driver Fredric Aasbo. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC is the team’s latest competition build.
PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH
Rockstar Energy Drink (www.rockstarenergy.com); Hankook Tire (www.hankooktireusa.com); Scion Racing (www.scion.com); KMC Wheels (www.kmcwheels.com); AEM Electronics (www.aemelectronics.com); Berk Technology (www.berktechnology.com); SPC Performance (www.spcperformance.com); Gatebil Event (www.gatebil.no) RS-R (www.rs-r.com); Torco Advanced Lubricants (www.torcousa.com); BorgWarner (www.borgwarnerboosted.com)