Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback second in 2019 Formula Drift championship
IRWINDALE, California (October 22, 2018) - Fredric Aasbo and the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla finished second in the Formula Drift Championship after a fiercely competitive 2019 season.
In addition to the second-place cup, the season ending prize ceremony on Sunday saw team owner Stephan Papadakis accept the award for Team Manager of the Year, while Aasbo received the nod for his perfect weekend achievement in Atlanta, when he qualified in the top spot and ran the full ladder to finish Number 1. Toyota Motorsports Co-ordinator Gary Travis received the manufacturer's plaque on behalf of team partner Toyota.
The 2019 season saw Aasbo score three podium results, winning in Atlanta and finishing second in New Jersey and St. Louis. With 13 career wins, he remains the most winning driver in series history. This season also saw him achieve a personal milestone: finally winning in Atlanta means he's stood on the top step at every track in the series.
Aasbo won the championship title in 2015, and has finished second every year since then. The driver entered the 2019 season finale still in the running for the title.
He led the points standings mid-season but his luck turned during the penultimate round in Texas, when the vehicle driven by rival driver Piotr Wiecek made contact with Aasbo's hatchback and the duo crashed hard. Aasbo dropped to second place in the points after that and, despite a hard-fought contest Saturday night at the House of Drift, couldn't stage the comeback he had hoped for. The 2019 title went to Irishman James Deane for an unprecedented third time in a row.
"We have been incredibly consistent over the past six years of competition and we're proud of that record," said team owner Stephan Papadakis. "We couldn't do it without the support of all of our partners, including Rockstar Energy Drink, Toyota, and Nexen Tire. We've got some work to do in the off-season to prepare to bring home a fourth championship for this team in 2020."
In addition to the 2015 title with driver Aasbo, the team earned back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008 with driver Tanner Foust.
Key crew on the 2018 Papadakis Racing team included car chief Shawn Hillier, technicians Mario Salguero and Aldo Villagran, and logistics lead Matt Lease.
Although the team is now entering the off-season, they aren't slowing down. Aasbo returns to Norway where he is filming for his home country's remake of the Top Gear TV show, while Papadakis is working hard to get his 1,000 horsepower B-58 Supra engine project on the dyno. Both are slated for appearances at the SEMA show in Las Vegas during the first week in November.
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's growing popularity has meant that livestream and content views for Formula Drift have topped 5.7 million or more for each round.