Fredric Aasbo second in Formula Drift championship after record-setting Atlanta weekend

Rockstar Energy Drink driver Fredric Aasbo is in second place in the Formula Drift championship standings after this weekend’s record-setting Atlanta event.

Following an opening round win in Long Beach, Aasbo was among the favorites to return to the top of the podium this weekend. The unusual Road Atlanta track adds an elevation challenge to the sideways sport of drifting and suits Aasbo’s full- commitment style. He qualified the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC in the number-two position on Friday.

But in a surprising upset, the team’s day ended in the Top 16 with a rare misstep during Aasbo’s chase run against 2014 Rookie of the Year Geoff Stoneback. It is the first time the driver has finished outside the Round of 8 in more than two years. “Losing out early is always a bummer and it’s been a long time for us,” said Aasbo. “Aside from a missed shift in the Top 16, we had an excellent drive on the track and learned a lot this weekend.”

Despite the rocky weekend, the Papadakis Racing driver remains second in the points with five rounds remaining in the season. Partners Scion and Hankook Tire are leading in their respective championship chases. “We’re sitting in a good place for the driver’s title and I’m happy to see our partners Scion and Hankook leading the championships for vehicle and tire manufacturers,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis.

The Formula Drift championship continues to build momentum, with a steady increase in fans each year. At Road Atlanta this weekend, the series set an attendance record for drift in 12 years at the venue. Next, the team travels to Orlando Speedworld for Round 3 in the Formula Drift championship, dubbed “Uncharted Territory,” on June 5-6. It will be the first time that Formula Drift visits the Florida venue. “The next stop is brand new and that’s good for us,” said Papadakis. “We are strong in new environments and we hope that plays to our advantage next month.”

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 judged trials. With origins in Japan, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport.

Live coverage from each event is available on Driftstream, considered the most widely viewed motorsports live stream in the world. Some 240,000 fans tuned in to watch the competition unfold on the Livestream broadcast during the most recent event weekend. Full coverage of each round also airs on CBS Sports Network.

ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO

Fredric Aasbo returns to Papadakis Racing in 2015 for his fifth season with the team. The Norwegian driver finished the 2014 Formula Drift champion in the runner-up position and “Fan Favorite of the Year” for the third year in a row. Earlier this year, he released the first video in his Dreamride YouTube project, #DreamrideLA.

The two-time Nordic Drifting champion (2007, 2008) 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 has rapidly progressed through the drifting ranks around the world and has established himself as both a fan favorite and proven championship contender.

Aasbo is originally from Ski, Norway, and now splits his time between his native country and Southern California. He campaigns a full international season, in 2015 running the full Formula Drift schedule as well as select events worldwide in Europe and in Asia.

ABOUT PAPADAKIS RACING

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.

The 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.

The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2005 and has shown impressive results in seven years of Formula Drift competition, earning two championship titles with driver Tanner Foust (2007, 2008). The team finished in the runner-up position in the 2014 championship with driver Fredric Aasbo. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC is the team’s latest competition build.

PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH

Rockstar Energy Drink, Hankook Tire, Scion Racing, KMC Wheels, AEM Electronics, Berk Technology, SPC Performance, Gatebil, RS-R, Torco Advanced Lubricants, BorgWarner