Fredric Aasbo scores first runner-up result in the 2016 Formula Drift championship

IRWINDALE, California (October 10, 2016) – Fredric Aasbo and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC battled through the 2016 Formula Drift season finale at the “House of Drift” to bring home the first runner-up title in the driver’s championship.

“Second place is an achievement we can be proud of as a team this season,” said Aasbo. “It is an amazing feeling to have the championship battle that close among three champions going into the final round and kudos to Chris Forsberg for taking it. Looking back on the season, we know where we can improve, and I’m super excited about 2017.”

In eight rounds this season, Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team scored a pair of wins — at Round 3 in Orlando and Round 5 in Canada — and a second place result at the season opener in Long Beach. The team’s high-scoring efforts over the season contributed to the SR by Toyota Auto Cup championship title and Nexen Tire’s close, second-place finish in the 2016 Tire Cup.

The Papadakis Racing team also received the series’ Top Gun, Team Manager and Top Qualifier accolades at the Formula Drift prize giving ceremonies on Sunday night.

“We have a great car, and I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished together as a team this season with all of our partners including Rockstar Energy Drink, Nexen Tires and SR by Toyota,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “We’re planning some exciting new changes in the off-season and looking forward to putting on a great show again next year.”

The Irwindale event saw a typically packed house as fans overflowed the venue to take in the final round of 2016 championship drifting. “Seeing all the support we have out here is mind-blowing,” said Aasbo. “It’s fantastic to meet so many great fans here this weekend.”

Trailing the championship leader heading into the finale on Friday, Aasbo had been hoping for a near-perfect weekend. But it was an unusual night at Irwindale as all three championship contenders were eliminated early. Points leader Forsberg and challenger Vaughn Gittin Jr. both crashed out, while Aasbo made contact with eventual winner Matt Field and did not advance to the closing rounds.

“I knew I had to bring it and I ended up being a little too hungry, made light contact, and put myself at a big disadvantage,” Aasbo said afterwards.

In the end Aasbo claimed second place in the championship — a narrow 37 points behind Forsberg. Gittin was third.

Up next for Aasbo is a special event with Rockstar Energy Drink, followed by a trip to Las Vegas with team owner Papadakis for the annual SEMA Show. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC will be on display at the Motegi Racing booth at the huge show.

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.

Defending 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 championship contender. He has achieved more than 100 podium results and wins on three continents over the past decade of competition and is the defending Formula Drift World Champion and Formula Drift Pro Champion this year.

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 and 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 scored back-to-back championships with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008.

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.

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. Before its successes in drifting, the team earned multiple records and championships in the drag racing, 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.