Fredric Aasbø and Papadakis Racing crowned 2015 Formula Drift World Champions!
Fredric Aasbo wins 2015 Formula Drift Championship
Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC finishes season on top
IRWINDALE, California (October 11, 2015) — Fredric Aasbo and Papadakis Racing scored the triple crown of drifting Saturday night at the Formula Drift season finale, winning the 2015 Formula Drift Championship, the Formula Drift World Championship and capping off their big year with a win in the final contest of the season in the Rockstar Energy Drink/Hankook Tire Scion tC.
“It doesn’t even feel real,” said Aasbo. “We’ve been working really hard for this and we made it a grand slam. It is mind-blowing and the feeling is really hard to describe: Imagine working half your life for something and then making it happen… It feels like that. Incredible.”
Aasbo went into the season finale this weekend with an 80-point lead in the Formula Drift standings and needed to win the first battle of the contest to clinch the title over his closest challenger, fellow Scion Racing and Hankook Tire driver Ken Gushi. That put an unusual amount of scrutiny on the first match of the event.
“Even though everybody kept telling me, ‘You’ve got this,” I know there’s no such thing as an easy battle in Formula Drift and those minutes between the last practice session and the Round of 32 were the most intense of my life. I’ve never felt pressure like that,” said Aasbo, who sealed the title when opening-round rival Kristaps Bluss made a critical error and spun.
Next, Aasbo faced a tough Top 16 face-off with Daigo Saito that saw him put an end to the Japanese driver’s three-year win streak at Irwindale Speedway. He then fought past “Mad” Mike Whiddet in the Great 8 and Forrest Wang in the Final 4.
In the end, the event came down to a close battle between Aasbo and Scion teammate Gushi. Fans were on their feet as Aasbo threw down one of the best chase runs of the year to take the win under the lights at Irwindale. It was a storybook ending to the season for the Papadakis Racing team.
“You have to save the best for last and we certainly did,” said Aasbo. “Putting down that run in the finals and taking the win like that was amazing.”
It is the first Formula Drift Championship for Aasbo, and the third for the team. Papadakis Racing won back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008 with driver Tanner Foust.
Aasbo’s win at Irwindale Speedway made it four victories in seven rounds of U.S. Formula Drift competition – a series record. No other driver has won as many events in a single season.
“These championships aren’t just mine. I owe a lot to Steph, the team and our sponsors including Rockstar Energy Drink, Hankook Tire and Scion Racing,” said Aasbo. “I’m grateful to have this amazing group of people behind me.”
Team owner Stephan Papadakis said the victory this season is the culmination of a team effort that started in 2011 when the organization brought then-rookie Aasbo aboard and began developing their unusual turbocharged four-cylinder Scion tC drift car.
“I love to build things that other people haven’t built before and to trail-blaze. It has been a progression to get here to the top with Fredric and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC and to have all of our hard work pay off in this championship is a real validation of what we’ve been trying to do,” said Papadakis. “I’m thankful to our sponsors for believing in us and I’m very happy to bring home the title for them this year.”
In addition to winning the driver’s title this season in Formula Drift, partner Scion Racing secured the series’ Manufacturer Cup and Hankook Tire won the Tire Cup.
The final round of the season at Irwindale Speedway was a highlight event for the series. Fans packed the Southern California venue, known as the “House of Drift” for its historic involvement in the foundation of the sport of drifting in the United States. The venue was oversold hours before gates even opened on Saturday.
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 one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world.
ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO
Fredric Aasbo is the 2015 Formula Drift Champion and the 2015 Formula Drift World Champion. With four U.S. wins in 2015, the Norwegian driver holds the Formula Drift record for most wins scored by a driver in a single season. He 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 in the 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 2004 and has shown impressive results in Formula Drift competition, earning the 2015 title with driver Fredric Aasbo, as well as back-to-back championship titles with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC is the team’s latest competition build. See video of its engine assembly here: Full build of Papadakis Racing’s 1,000 hp Toyota 2AR engine — shown in 1.5 minutes
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)