Defending championship team Papadakis Racing returns to Formula Drift

HAWTHORNE, Calif. (April 5, 2016) – Papadakis Racing and champion driver Fredric Aasbo are set to begin their Formula Drift title defense this Friday and Saturday at the opening round of the 2016 season on the Streets of Long Beach.

Along with returning partners Rockstar Energy Drink and SR by Toyota, Nexen Tire will join the team. The tire manufacturer adds a flash of purple to the familiar yellow, black and gray livery on the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC.

Aasbo won the opener in Long Beach last season, his first victory of four on the way to winning both the Formula Drift Pro and the Formula Drift World titles. He says he’s looking forward to returning to competition with Papadakis Racing.

“Winning the Formula Drift championship last season was a 10-year dream come true,” said Aasbo. “Now, the goal is to keep pushing, learning, and battling to make a repeat. We have a lot left to accomplish.”

Team owner Papadakis said Tuesday he is confident that the team’s crowd-pleasing drift machine will be a contender this season. The nitrous-boosted, turbocharged four-cylinder SR by Toyota tC is a fan favorite. An off-season development program has created power gains and the vehicle now produces 1,000-plus horsepower.

“We can’t wait to defend our title,” said Papadakis. “We’re thrilled to have excellent partners including SR by Toyota and Rockstar Energy Drink returning with us this year, as well as a new relationship with Nexen Tire. It has been a great off-season and we’re ready for competition to begin at our home track in Long Beach.”

Aasbo is the defending Formula Drift Champion and Formula Drift World Champion. The Norwegian driver returns for a sixth season to Papadakis Racing for his 2016 championship charge.

The Formula Drift championship begins with first-round qualifying on the streets of Long Beach Friday, April 8, followed by Saturday’s main event. For the 11th year in a row, Drivers will attack turns 9, 10 and 11 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach street course, offering showy, technical driving to the roaring crowd. The race is a popular start to the season, and is an annual sell-out.

Driver Aasbo and Papadakis Racing are also scheduled to return to the Streets of Long Beach during the following Grand Prix weekend for the invitation-only Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge. Motegi Racing is a longtime supporter of the team and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC will debut the new Technomesh Drift wheel in competition this season.

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 the fastest growing form of motorsport in the world. The traditional Formula Drift calendar expands to eight rounds this year, with the addition of a Canadian event in July. Aasbo won the Formula Drift competition in Montreal last season on his way to a World Championship victory.

In 2016, the series again offers live and on-demand online coverage on the Formula Drift Livestream, its widely viewed online coverage that boasts over 1.5-million unique viewers during the course of a broadcast. Formula Drift also returns this season to CBS Sports Network for 20 half-hour television programs this year. The fast-paced action featuring bracketed head-to-head match-ups will anchor the coverage. The 2016 CBS coverage of Formula Drift debuts May 11.


Streets of Long Beach: April 8-9

*Motegi Racing Street Drift: April 15-16

Road Atlanta: May 6-7

Orlando Speedworld: June 3-4

Wall Speedway: June 17-18

Autodrome St. Eustache: July 15-16

Evergreen Speedway: August 5-6

Texas Motor Speedway: September 9-10

Irwindale Speedway: October 7-8



Defending Formula Drift Champion Fredric Aasbo returns to Papadakis Racing in 2016 for his sixth season with the team. The Rockstar Energy Drink driver is a fan favorite and proven championship contender. He has achieved more than 100 podium results and wins on three continents over the past decade of competition.

A two-time Nordic Drifting champion (2007, 2008), Aasbo made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and turned heads when he won the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year title. He is now a global contender who campaigns a full international season. In 2016, he is running the full Formula Drift schedule as well as select events worldwide in Europe and in Asia.

Originally from Ski, Norway, Aasbo now splits his time between his native country and Southern California.


Papadakis Racing is the most winning drift team in history, with an unmatched record of three Formula Drift Championship titles. Team driver Fredric Aasbo won the 2015 Formula Drift title, while Papadakis Racing also scored back-to-back championships with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008.

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. His 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 moved into the sport of drifting in 2004 and began setting new records. Known as a professional organization that develops innovative and reliable competition vehicles that win championships, the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC is the team’s latest competition build.


Rockstar Energy Drink (; Nexen Tire (; SR By Toyota (; Motegi Racing Wheels (; AEM Electronics (; Berk Technology (;SPC Performance (; Gatebil Event ( RS-R (; Torco Advanced Lubricants (; BorgWarner (; G-Shock (


LONG BEACH 2016 MEDIA DAY – Photos: Larry Chen / SR by Toyota