Rockstar Energy Drink driver Fredric Aasbo heads to Wall Speedway in New Jersey this Friday and Saturday for the fourth round of the 2017 Formula Drift Championship.
Dubbed "The Gauntlet" for the treacherous guardrails that line the track, the stop poses a formidable mid-season challenge for teams. Aasbo said he is excited about driving the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM there for the first time.
The Wall Speedway drift course is built into a high-banked oval that features 30-degrees of banking in the corners. Drivers must exercise precise control as they navigate parts of the bank, straightaway, and inside turn of the oval. The Papadakis Racing team scored its first win in their new car a month ago on a course built into a banked oval at Orlando Speed World.
"Like Orlando, this is a bumpy track where setup really matters," said Aasbo. "As we get to know our new car, we're working on making it compliant over the bumps and Steph (Papadakis) and the crew are always hard at work finding areas where we can improve."
Aasbo is looking for the third New Jersey victory of his career this weekend. He scored his first-ever career win at Wall Speedway in 2014, and repeated in 2015 en route to winning the championship title that year. Even so, he says the championship isn't what's top of mind heading into this round.
"The mindset really is about having fun doing what I think is the best job in the world," said Aasbo. "While that's happening, the points accumulate, and you end up somewhere at the end of the season."
The driver is coming off of a winning weekend in his native Norway, where he drove his Toyota Norge 86-X in the Gatebil Vålerbanen event and won the Powerslide competition. "We had so much fun: Everyone's so stoked to be there and you can't help but catch their enthusiasm," said Aasbo.