Winning weekend for Papadakis Racing at Formula Drift opener in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, Missouri (September 8, 2020) - Papadakis Racing came out swinging at the first Formula Drift doubleheader of the season, with Fredric Aasbo driving the all-new Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra to victory in its competition debut, and new teammate Ryan Tuerck earning a pair of podiums in the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobile1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback to take the championship lead.
"In Formula Drift, we're up against the the best of the best, and to come out on top with a new car like that is only possible with the best tools of the trade," said Aasbo. "I can say I had that -- 110%"
Tuerck, meanwhile, worked his way through the competition ladder on Saturday in the Gumout / Nitto Tire / Mobile1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, ultimately lining up against his teammate for an all-Toyota Final.
"I am feeling so comfortable in this new-to-me Corolla Hatchback," said Tuerck. "I can say hands-down that it's the best car I've ever competed in. It's phenomenal. I'm so happy to be behind the wheel of that car and with the team that surrounds that car."
In second round competition on Sunday, Tuerck showed increasing confidence in his new competition machine, returning to the podium to finish third.
His teammate Aasbo found himself watching from the grandstands after the Round of 16 when judges ruled him at fault for contact when rival Matt Field swung wide at the start. It was an unusual call but drivers had earlier been advised to leave room for their competitors in the initiation zone.
"I don't drive to hold back. I want to give it everything I've got and that means chasing as close as I can from the get-go," said Aasbo. "That's what the fans come to see, but it doesn't always pay off when you gamble and, for the championship, that's a note we're taking."
Fans got their first look at the powerhouse duo in April as the covers came off the team cars for the first time. But a delayed start to the season due to the global pandemic meant this weekend marked the first time teammates Aasbo and Tuerck competed together under the same tent.
"It was a very positive weekend with a lot of optimism for the rounds moving forward," said Papadakis. "Our main focus with the new Toyota GR Supra was making it through the weekend; to bring home a win was beyond our expectations. And with double podiums, Ryan has shown that he's a championship contender in his new car."
Taking a lead from other racing series including NASCAR and IndyCar, Formula Drift implemented a host of safety precautions for the doubleheader competition weekend, including a requirement for face coverings and social distancing measures. This weekend's doubleheader competition streamed live on Formula Drift channels
Aasbo is the most winning driver in Formula Drift history, with 14 career victories. He joined Papadakis Racing in 2011 and earned the series crown in 2015. He started his Formula Drift career in 2010 as a privateer in a Mark IV Supra and comes full circle this season as he takes his first victory in his all new Toyota GR Supra.
Tuerck is a leading social influencer and top-tier driver with a career 14 podiums. His down-home charm, commitment to the sport's grassroots, and talent in front of the camera have brought him a social fanbase of over a million followers. Earlier this year, he retired his previous chassis, a powerful Toyota 86.
The Papadakis Racing team began drifting in 2004 and is the most winning team in Formula Drift history, earning the 2015 title with driver Aasbo, as well as back-to-back championship titles with driver Tanner Foust in 2007 and 2008.
Next, the team will travel to Seattle, Washington, for a doubleheader at Evergreen Speedway September 25-26.