Fredric Aasbo and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM are set to do battle this coming weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in the penultimate round of the 2017 Formula Drift championship.
The Papadakis Racing team has been working to prepare their 1,000 horsepower, rear-wheel drive converted Toyota Corolla iM for the fast and technical drift track, said team owner Stephan Papadakis.
"In Texas, it's about getting the power down," he said. "With a new build this season, we've been evolving our competition package for every round and we're confident heading into this event that we've got the car to beat."
The series is close and with just two rounds to go, the title is within reach for the Papadakis Racing team. Aasbo is chasing points leader James Deane at the top of the championship rankings.
The 2015 series champion, Aasbo finished a close second to Deane at the most recent round in Seattle and has scored a pair of victories so far this year. He is the most winning driver in Formula Drift history, with 10 victories to his record.
Heading into Round 7, Toyota leads the points in the series' Auto Cup for manufacturers, while tire partner Nexen is second and climbing in the Tire Cup.
Qualifying for the seventh stop on the calendar, dubbed "Showdown," is set for Friday, while drivers will battle head-to-head under the lights Saturday evening. The event is always popular and manufacturer partner Toyota has recently moved its U.S. headquarters to nearby Plano, Texas, so it is expected that there will be many familiar faces in the grandstands.
After Texas, the championship returns home to Southern California for its final round at Irwindale Speedway next month. Each year, fans pack the Los Angeles area venue, known as the "House of Drift" for its historic involvement in the foundation of the sport of drifting in the United States. With the championship on the line, the competition is always intense.