6th Place Overall and 2012 Driver Fan Favorite of the Year!
Fredric Aasbo and Need for Speed/Papadakis Racing squad score accolades for successful 2012 Formula Drift season
IRWINDALE, Calif. (October 15, 2012 / Papadakis Racing) – The Need For Speed/Papadakis Racing squad capped off a successful 2012 Formula Drift season with a top ranking and a trio of big awards, including the coveted “Fan Favorite Driver of the Year” for Fredric Aasbo.
Aasbo finished the season with a strong list of 2012 accomplishments against one of the most competitive fields in Formula Drift’s nine-year history.
“We have a killer combination of car, tires, and strong team that works well together,” said Aasbo. “I think at the start of the year people weren’t sure our turbocharged Scion tC could take on the V-8s that are popular in the U.S., but we’ve proven them wrong.”
The season finale at Irwindale Speedway Saturday saw huge crowds. For the first time in history, the legendary drifting venue known as the “House of Drift” sold out before the gates even opened to the public and the enthusiastic fans were not disappointed by the on-track action. Competition was at full commitment and half a dozen top drivers pushed so hard they collided with the wall.
For his part, Aasbo qualified in third place and faced down Mike Essa in the round of 32 before meeting Robbie Nishida in the Top 16. Aasbo led first, putting in a strong performance but got too close while pushing hard to shadow Nishida, made contact and spun on the track. There was no damage, but he did not advance. After the match, Aasbo said he had no choice but to push the limits during the high-stakes contest.
“There’s no playing it safe at the House of Drift,” said Aasbo, whose result placed him sixth in the championship. “At the last battle of the year we had to keep the pressure on and that increases the risk – especially when you’re drifting at high speeds just inches from another car.”
Season highlights for the team included a pair of podium finishes and a number-one qualifying result that cemented the Need For Speed/Papadakis Racing team’s position as championship contenders. Aasbo qualified first and finished second in Las Vegas in August, and took second place in May at the Atlanta round of the championship.
The single-elimination Formula Drift format means progression to the podium calls for drivers to defeat top rivals one by one and, in 2012, Aasbo proved he could beat anyone in the field. At the Las Vegas round alone, the Need for Speed driver bested 2009 Formula Drift champion Chris Forsberg, 2010 Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr., and 2011 champion Dai Yoshihara. On his way to a podium finish in Atlanta, he overcame blinding tire smoke to defeat multi-time international drift star, and newly crowned 2012 champ, Daigo “The Ninja” Saito.
“This has been a critical season in our evolution,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “This team is going in the right direction and coming off a strong 2012, I don’t think there’s any doubt that Fredric and the Scion tC are a force to be reckoned with in Formula Drift.”
In addition to Aasbo’s ranking in the year-end standings and fan-voted “Fan Favorite” award, he was also recognized with the “Best Drifting Style” award. Papadakis was awarded “Team Manager of the Year.”
The 2010 Rookie of the Year, Aasbo burst onto the US scene for his first full season with Papadakis Racing in 2011 and has been making a steady progression through the ranks ever since. The team’s Need for Speed Scion tC and Hankook RS3 tires have proven a competitive package and Papadakis said 2013 promises more of the same.
“We never stop improving and we will continue to refine what we’ve got in the off-season, but we’ve already established we have a formula that works,” said Papadakis. “It’s thanks to the continued support of our partners — including Need For Speed, Scion and Hankook Tire — that we’re going to start 2013 strong, with the confidence of knowing we have a competitive package that is a proven contender.”
The 10th anniversary Formula Drift season begins April 13 with a return to the Streets of Long Beach. Tickets are already on sale for the popular season opener.
While the 2013 U.S. drifting season is over, Aasbo will continue to compete internationally. He next travels to Indonesia in mid-November to compete in the Toyota 86-X he campaigns overseas. He will also make appearances in Ireland and Germany in the coming months.
“I have made a point of being a trans-Atlantic ambassador of drifting,” said Aasbo. “It is an amazing experience to meet and perform for fans around the world. Plus, I return to Formula Drift a stronger competitor. April is going to come quickly, and I’ll be ready.”
ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO
Fredric Aasbo will return to Formula Drift for his third full season of U.S. competition on the Papadakis Racing squad in 2013. The Norwegian driver is a two-time Nordic Drifting champion (2007, 2008) and 2010 Formula Drift “Rookie of the Year.” He ran select Formula Drift events in 2009 and 2010 and made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008. 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 moved from his hometown of Ski, Norway, to the United States in 2011, where he makes his home in Redondo Beach, California. He is expected to return to the Formula Drift championship in 2013 for a full campaign, and will continue his international efforts at select events including demonstrations and contests in Europe and China.
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.
Aasbo is the newest member of Papadakis Racing, who signed the Norwegian driver when Tanner Foust announced his retirement from the sport after the 2010 season. The team began drifting in 2005 and has shown impressive results in six years of Formula Drift competition, earning two championship titles (2007, 2008). The team finished in the runner-up position in the 2010 championship. The Need for Speed/Papadakis Racing Scion tC is the team’s latest competition build.
PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH:
Need for Speed, Scion, Hankook Tire, AEM Electronics, Motegi Racing, ACT Clutch, SPC Performance, Torco Oil