Papadakis Racing Toyotas score 1-2 finish in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (August 30, 2021) – Rockstar Energy Toyota driver Fredric Aasbo scored victory in St. Louis after an all-Toyota, all-Nitto Tire Final battle with teammate Ryan Tuerck. The one-two finish narrows the points standings as the Formula Drift series returns to California for the final two rounds of the season.
"I love this place," said Aasbo after coming out on top in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra in St. Louis. "I think it was clear for everyone to see that Ryan had me tonight -- until he didn't anymore -- and hat's off to Ryan and the team for a fantastic performance this weekend."
Aasbo and Tuerck were the drivers to beat in St. Louis and they delivered an incredible show of skill in the opening corners of their Final battle. But a misstep from Tuerck saw him tap the wall with his Gumout/Nitto Tire/Mobil 1 Toyota Corolla hatchback and the battle win went to Aasbo. Their one-two result was a repeat of last year’s St. Louis performance -- a mighty debut in their debut outing as teammates.
“To see both Fredric and Ryan line up for the Final together is very rewarding,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “Both sides of the tent came together to make it happen and it is great to see everybody with champagne in hand at the end of the night.”
The St. Louis win narrows the points gap at the top of the championship and both drivers are in the hunt for the title with just two rounds to go. Aasbo currently sits third -- just 19 points off the lead. Tuerck is a close fourth. The victory brings Aasbo’s record-setting career wins tally to 16.
The road to the podium was not easy for either driver, and a new track configuration at World Wide Technology Raceway led to close battles, door-to-door contact and one-more-time calls throughout the competition.
Aasbo qualified third on Friday and advanced past Kyle Mohan Saturday in the opening round, then Wataru Masuyama in the Top 16. He took a one-more-time battle to advance past veteran Mike Essa in the Great 8. Aasbo lined up against long-time rival Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the Final 4, but the battle was cut short after a mechanical problem for the Ford driver saw him concede the match.
Tuerck first faced Jonathan Nerren, then Chris Forsberg, before meeting Alec Robbins in the Great 8. In the Final 4, he flew through a battle with Dylan Hughes to advance to the Final, where he lined up against Aasbo for the deciding match.
“That’s twice we’ve met as teammates in the Final here in St. Louis,” said Tuerck. “It’s always a good time when you’re battling somebody you trust and who you know has a great car under them. It was awesome and I can’t be mad at second place.”
In addition to the Driver's championship race, the Papadakis Racing team is leading the charge for manufacturer partner Toyota, which has the Formula Drift Auto Cup title within reach. Partner Nitto Tire leads the Tire Cup.
Next up for the Papadakis Racing Toyota team is a return home to Los Angeles for an exciting Round 6 on the Streets of Long Beach September 17-18. The season finale takes place at Irwindale Speedway October 22-23.
Last season saw Aasbo and Tuerck score a combined seven podiums in eight rounds of competition, including three outright wins. The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2004 and is the most winning team in Formula Drift history, earning the 2015 title with driver Fredric Aasbo, as well as back-to-back championship titles with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008.
Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan the sport has rapidly grown to one of the most popular youth-oriented motorsports in the world. Here in the United States, Formula Drift events routinely host capacity crowds, while live streamed multi-platform broadcasts attract millions of online viewers.