Papadakis Racing is preparing for a championship deciding battle at the California Formula Drift season finale next month after a Texas event that left them the last team capable of challenging the points leader for the title.
"It's next-level drifting out there and we have nothing to lose, which gives us the freedom to put it all on the line at the House of Drift season-ender," said Fredric Aasbo.
Aasbo, the 2015 Formula Drift World Champion, is one of the most consistent performers in the sport of drifting. This season has seen him earn three podiums (two wins and a second-place result) and secure a spot in the record books as the most-winning driver, with 10 career victories.
Competing under the lights of Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, the Rockstar Energy Drink driver earned a fourth-place result, while points leader James Deane took the overall victory. Aasbo and the 2017 Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla iM remain mathematically in the fight for the title and will finish no lower than second this season.
"To be this successful with a new build is very rare and I think it shows the strength of the whole team," said Aasbo. "I'm proud of what we've been able to accomplish together so far this season and I'm really happy to be part of a team that keeps pushing the sport of drifting forward."
Heading into the last competition round of the year, Toyota leads the points in the series' Auto Cup for manufacturers, while tire partner Nexen is second and climbing in the Tire Cup.
Team owner Stephan Papadakis said the team continues to evolve the new build and reached a new development milestone in Dallas. The team introduced a new valve-train configuration that stretched the rev limit to 9,200 RPM, an additional 1,000 RPM over the 2016 engine.
"You saw a lot of guys on the rev limiter on the long Dallas straightaway, so we made some changes that would give Fredric more to work with at the top of the power band," said Papadakis. "We are committed to progression at every round and where the sport is going right now calls for a lot of power and engine innovations."
Heading into the finale at Irwindale Speedway, Papadakis says the team plans to focus on setup. "We've had a lot of success at Irwindale over the years and we're confident heading into our hometown round at the House of Drift," he said.