MONROE, Washington (July 19, 2018) – Formula Drift star Fredric Aasbo is in the Pacific Northwest this weekend ready to start the second half of the 2018 Formula Drift season with a performance that he hopes will vault him into the championship lead.
“We’ve had a great start to the season: maybe our best,” said Aasbo, who landed three podiums, including a victory, in the first half of the season. “At the same time, our competitors have really stepped it up. It’s going to be a wild showdown.”
Aasbo is looking forward to another weekend of close matches on the Evergreen Speedway oval. He considers the Seattle track one of his favourites and finished second here last year after a tight final battle with rival James Deane.
And as he and the Papadakis Racing team start their battle at Evergreen Speedway, they are sharing an inside look at the engine that powers the 1,000 horsepower Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback that brought them their first victory of the season at Round 1.
VIDEO LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PVc7pKzF64&t=2s
Aasbo dominated the first half of the 2018 season until an error at the Wall, New Jersey, event knocked him out of the championship lead to a close second in the point standings. During the six-week midseason break, he returned overseas to battle it out on the European drift circuit and won four major events. He said he is ready to bring the momentum to this weekend’s contest, where precision will be paramount.
“Timing in the transitions at this event is really difficult,” said Aasbo. “The long right-hand corner to start can make the transition into the second and third corners a real challenge. Our new Corolla has proven really competitive, so I am confident we can really perform.”
Weather often plays a role at this round, with traction challenges posed by rain characteristic of the region. The forecast shows cool temperatures and a mix of sun and cloud but in the tight quarters between the Pacific and the mountains, conditions can change quickly.
Papadakis Racing enters this round after a mid-season vehicle refresh. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback returned to the team’s Southern California home for upgrades to incorporate into the new car the lessons learned in the first half of the season.
“We know we have a car that can win events,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “Our focus is on staying consistent with the performance of the car. We need to do everything we can to help Fredric be even more comfortable with the way the car drives.”
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. An average of 2 million fans from around the world watched the popular live stream coverage from each round of the 2018 season. Broadcast coverage on the CBS Sports Network headlines packaged content that includes social channels Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitch.
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)
Competition in the Pacific Northwest always brings the possibility of rain. Fredric Aasbo is at Evergreen Speedway in Monroe, Washington, this weekend. (Photo: Toyota Racing)