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Successful Debut of the new Rockstar Energy Drink Nexen Tire Toyota Racing Corolla iM!

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Successful Debut of the new Rockstar Energy Drink Nexen Tire Toyota Racing Corolla iM!

Posted 2017-04-10

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Top tier drift team Papadakis Racing and Fredric Aasbø suprised the global drift scene by debuting the brand new Rockstar Energy Drink Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM at the 2017 Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach, California. Read the full press release below:

Strong debut outing Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM
Fredric Aasbo fifth in Long Beach

LONG BEACH, California (April 2, 2017) — The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM showed winning potential in its Formula Drift debut this weekend in Long Beach. Driver Fredric Aasbo scored a solid fifth-place finish in his first outing with the brand new car.

“We qualified well and I felt like the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM was a match for anything out there,” said driver Aasbo. “The Papadakis Racing team has built another winner and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel at the end of the month in Orlando.”

Toyota unveiled the vehicle less than a week ago at the NASCAR race at Auto Club Speedway in nearby Fontana, California. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM is a rear-wheel-drive converted hatchback that produces 1,000 nitrous-boosted horsepower from a Toyota 2AR engine.

The Formula Drift season opener in Long Beach saw plenty of upsets, with a pair of first-timers in the final head-to-head match of the day, and several surprise eliminations in early rounds. But Aasbo showed himself to be a contender from his first competition run.

“We’ve got a package with winning potential right out of the gate,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “We would have loved to take a podium right away in the new car, but we know what we have to do and it’s all about making refinements at this point. We’re going to come back swinging at the next round with a car that we know is capable of taking this championship.”

Aasbo qualified fourth and earned a bye into the Top 16, where he advanced past Latvian Kristaps Bluss. In the quarterfinal round, he met Alex Heilbrunn. Judges deemed their exciting head-to-had battle too close to call, and initiated a One-More-Time rematch.

As the higher qualifier, Aasbo led first in the rematch and he put in a confident performance to take the early advantage. The duo swapped places for the second half of the battle, with Aasbo giving chase. As he was reeling in his rival, the clutch slipped and he briefly lost the line. He recovered quickly to resume the fight but the stumble was enough to cost him the match and it was Heilbrunn who advanced to the next round.

Team owner Papadakis said the team has a clutch upgrade on standby and plans to move to a four-disc setup for the next round.

“The three-disc clutch has some performance advantages when it comes to drivability but it just wasn’t up to the power we threw at it this weekend,” said Papadakis. “Our new clutch will be able to handle the 1,000 horsepower we’re making out of this 2AR-FE engine.”

The Formula Drift season opened for the 12th year in a row on one of the most challenging tracks in the series. Drivers threaded the needle between intimidating track walls, sliding at 90-plus miles per hour through Turns 9, 10 and 11 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach street course. The event is an annual sell out that sees enthusiastic fans pack into the venue, overflowing grandstands and crowding into the vendor display and pit areas during scheduled breaks in the action.

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. 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. He returns to Formula Drift in 2017 for a full season. He finished second in the championship points last year.

In 2015, he scored four U.S. wins en route to the Formula Drift championship title and now holds the series record for most wins scored by a driver in a single season. Popular with fans, he was named “Fan Favorite of the Year” three years in a row (2012-2014).

Aasbo made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and turned heads as the winner of 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. He campaigns a full international season, with competition stops in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

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 championship titles with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM is the latest competition build from the Hawthorne, Calif., 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 a Civic that became only 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 Wheels (www.motegiracing.com); AEM Electronics (www.aemelectronics.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.borgwarner.com); CTEK (www.ctek.com); Berk Technology (www.berktechnology.com); AEM Induction (www.aemintakes.com); Alcon Brakes (www.alconusa.com)

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