Fredric Aasbo Chasing Second Title With Two 2016 Rounds Remaining
The fight for the 2016 Formula Drift championship is one of the closest in history with defending champion Fredric Aasbo locked in a fierce battle at the top of the standings.
"The level of competition in the championship is incredible and that's what we want," said team owner Stephan Papadakis. "That's what motivates us all to push harder and the fans are getting a great show."
It was standing-room only this weekend at the popular Evergreen Speedway, near Seattle, as Formula Drift saw some incredibly close competition. Judges called for multiple rematches throughout the day and there were some surprising upsets as title contenders were eliminated in early rounds.
"The sport is getting more and more aggressive every weekend," said Aasbo. "We have so much grip with the Nexen N'Fera tires that we're calling for more and more power. As far as we've taken our four-banger, now it's time to take it even further."
After Round 6, Aasbo remains second in the championship standings, just five points off the lead. Rival Vaughn Gittin Jr. was eliminated a round earlier, in the Top 16, and slipped to third in the points.
The first One More Time call for the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC came in the Top 16, with Aasbo putting down a strong extra round to defeat Matt Field and advance to the Top 8. There, he was defeated in a close contest with Aurimas "Odi" Bakchis, who went on to take the event win.
The Papadakis Racing team continues to evolve the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC, pushing the four-cylinder turbocharged engine into the 1,000 horsepower range and working on setup to increase grip and maximize car control at the limit.
Fans were treated to beautiful weather at the Evergreen Speedway event, with a packed house and hundreds of thousands of tune-ins recorded on the Formula Drift Livestream. Full coverage of each round of the 2016 Formula Drift championship airs on CBS Sports.
Among the fans at the track this weekend were members of Toyota's NHRA program, including driver J.R. Todd, who took a special thrill ride in a high-powered drift car. Papadakis Racing joined their Toyota teammates as guests at the Northwest Nationals on Sunday.
Next, the 2016 Formula Drift Pro Championship continues to Round 7: Showdown on September 9-10 at Texas Motor Speedway in Dallas/Fort Worth. Before then, the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC will return to its Southern California home base for a late season refresh to turn up the power and to join an open house with Motegi Racing parent company Wheel Pros, a longtime team partner.
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.