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Fredric Aasbo ready for Orlando

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Fredric Aasbo ready for Orlando

Rockstar Energy Drink driver to fight for podium return

ORLANDO, Florida (April 26, 2018) - Fredric Aasbo is ready for the tricky Orlando Speed World track as Formula Drift makes its way east to the Sunshine State this Friday and Saturday for Round 2 of the 2018 championship. 

The driver returns to series competition after a strong start to the season. He drove his brand new Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback to victory three weeks ago at the opener in Long Beach, California. The result raised his total career wins tally to 11 -- more than any other driver in Formula Drift history.

With back-to-back Orlando wins in 2016 and 2017, Aasbo is a heavy favorite this weekend. Even so, he remains focused heading into the event. A heartbreaker of a 2015 run there saw the usually consistent driver eliminated from competition in the Top 32. "I've seen my share of ups and downs in Orlando," he said. "That 2015 defeat was a big turning point I'll never forget: It taught me how to drive the track."

The driver ultimately fought back to win the championship title that year.

The Formula Drift track configuration at Orlando Speed World features a steep banked first corner with a bumpy and challenging transition to a figure-eight on the flat. Managing the rough transition at speed, door-to-door with a rival, separates the field as the best advance through the knockout competition.

Weather is typically a factor at this event and near-record heat is expected this weekend. High temperatures and humidity can sap engine power and put drivers under tremendous strain. 

Despite forecasts, however, locals know that rain is always a possibility. 

Grandstand tickets are still available, while the event will be available to watch on the popular series livestream. 

The team is feeling optimistic after the Papadakis Racing built Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback won its maiden event. 

"Toyota trusted our team to be the first to work with their new Corolla Hatchback and we're thrilled with how the car performed," said team owner Stephan Papadakis. "We'll continue to make small changes based on what we learn every time we take it into competition but to debut with a win shows incredible potential in the new car."

Since Long Beach, the team has been busy refining the new build, as well as travelling to Dallas and Arizona for Toyota appearances that have given Aasbo the chance to put in some extra time behind the wheel.

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world.

ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO: Known for his flat-out style, champion driver Fredric Aasbo has achieved 100-plus podium finishes on three continents over the past decade of competition. With 11 outright victories in Formula Drift, he is the most winning driver in series history. 

Aasbo returns to the Formula Drift series in 2018 for a full season in a brand new Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback, while also running a select season of events in Europe in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Icom Toyota 86-X, and events in Asia.

Aasbo made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and scored the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year title. Since then, he has charged through the drifting ranks around the world and is both a fan favorite and championship winner. 

Originally from Ski, Norway, Aasbo now splits his time between his native country and Southern California.

ABOUT PAPADAKIS RACING: The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2004 and is the most winning team in Formula Drift history, earning the 2015 title with driver Fredric Aasbo, as well as back-­to­-back championships with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback is the latest competition build from the Hawthorne, California, based team.

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 just the fifth car to join the NHRA's Sport Compact 200 MPH club.

PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH Rockstar Energy Drink (www.rockstarenergy.com); Nexen Tire (www.nexentireusa.com); Toyota (www.toyota.com); TRD (www.trdusa.com), Motegi Racing (www.motegiracing.com); AEM Electronics (www.aemelectronics.com); SPC Performance (www.spcperformance.com); Gatebil Event (www.gatebil.no); RS-R (www.rs-r.com); Lucas Oil (www.lucasoil.com); BorgWarner (www.borgwarner.com); CTEK (www.ctek.com); Berk Technology (www.berktechnology.com)

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