Rockstar Energy Drink driver Aasbo ready to battle back in New Jersey

It was a rocky weekend for Fredric Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team in Orlando this weekend at Round 3 of the Formula Drift Championship. Driver Aasbo had an early exit from the competition after a mistake in the opening round of competition saw him eliminated.

The Formula Drift format sees qualified drivers pitted head-to-head in a series of sudden-death elimination rounds. Aasbo qualified a strong 11th, putting him in the top half of the field, but a small error in the Round of 32 competition saw him lose drift and he did not advance.

“We’ve been one the most consistent teams over the last two years and breaking that run is a tough hit,” said Aasbo. “I was really heartbroken and would like to give a huge shout-out to my team who helped get me back up and got me out there to meet our fans in the pits.”

Aasbo took the opportunity to meet with fans in the open pits. He signed autographs for nearly two hours. “I throughly appreciate all the kind words of encouragement — our fans are simply awesome,” he said.

Team owner Stephan Papadakis said the team is ready to battle back at the next round in New Jersey. Aasbo and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Hankook Tire Scion tC won the season opener in Long Beach. The driver is currently fifth in the championship standings, and within reach of the title as the season reaches the halfway point. Partners Scion and Hankook Tire are leading in the manufacturer and tire championships, respectively.

“The car was running great at the new Orlando track and many fans were rooting for us there,” said Papadakis. “One of the things to love about drifting is that it’s full-on for every run with an elimination on the line in every match. We’re very much in this fight and looking forward to redemption at the next event.”

The third round of the Formula Drift saw some 637,000 viewers tune into the live online Driftstream broadcast during the weekend and the crowd at Orlando Speed World was at capacity, despite inclement weather. Televised coverage of the Orlando contest airs on CBS Sports Network on Wednesday, June 24 at 8 p.m. ET.

The next event for the team is the fan-favorite Round 4: The Gauntlet on June 26-27 at Wall Speedway in New Jersey. Close guardrails line the steeply banked one-third mile oval and drivers must contend with drifting the transition off the 33-degree bank to the flat infield. It is always a challenge — and one the Papadakis Racing team enjoys. Aasbo won at the New Jersey event in 2014.

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 in the world.

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