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Perfect Win for Fredric Aasbo at Road Atlanta

Fredric Aasbo
Fredric Aasbo leads Toyota Racing teammate Ryan Tuerck in mixed conditions at Road Atlanta Saturday night. (Photo: Larry Chen / Toyota Racing)

Fredric Aasbo
Victory for Fredric Aasbo at Road Atlanta. Ryan Tuerck finished second and James Deane came in third. (Photo: Larry Chen / Toyota Racing)

BRASELTON, Georgia (May 12, 2019) - Fredric Aasbo drove a perfect weekend at Road Atlanta to bring home the win in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla hatchback on Saturday. With this result, the driver has now stood atop the podium at every track in the Formula Drift series over the course of his career with Papadakis Racing.

"It feels great to finally come out on top at Road Atlanta," said Aasbo. "It has been my favorite stop since the first time I drove it: the track is challenging, the fans are die-hard and it has an incredible atmosphere. I love everything about this place."

Aasbo started strong, scoring the top qualifying spot under sunny skies on Friday with a near-perfect 99-point score and setting up an exciting competition day. But as a storm system moved through the area on Saturday, everything changed.

"When rain starts coming down in Formula Drift, it turns everything upside-down," he said. "In this kind of weather you really have to trust your car and I can't thank my team enough for getting our Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla hatchback dialed."

Drifting in the rain calls for careful management of the ever-changing surface, a challenge magnified in Atlanta by the track's elevation changes and the slick clay that makes its way into the course as drivers push the limits. Setup is key.

"These cars are capable of 1,000-plus horsepower and, when it's wet, the question becomes how to find enough grip to get as much of that power to the ground as possible," said team owner Stephan Papadakis. "This weekend was about refining our setup so Fredric could attack the course with confidence despite the difficult conditions."

Local fans, accustomed to unpredictable weather, hunkered down with their umbrellas and stayed late into the night on Saturday to watch the best drifters in the world deliver an incredible show of car control on the slippery track.

In the opening round, Aasbo faced down Pro series newcomer Kevin Lawrence to meet Matt Field, who spun out to hand the Top 16 match to Aasbo. The Great 8 saw a battle between titans, as Aasbo edged past three-time series champion Chris Forsberg to advance to the Final 4.

There, he met two-time defending champion James Deane, a longtime rival from Europe who has proven tough to beat in Formula Drift competition over the past two seasons. The duo showed what it takes to compete in difficult conditions, driving edge-to-edge on the wet track. Aasbo delivered a strong lead run and close chase to earn a spot in the Finals, where he faced Toyota Racing teammate Ryan Tuerck.

The battle was close, and when the panel of judges delivered their verdict it was Aasbo who came out on top. Tuerck finished second and Deane rounded out the podium, in third. The win boosts Aasbo to second in the championship points heading into Round 3 at New Jersey's Wall Speedway July 7-8.

Aasbo, the 2015 series champion, is the most winning driver in Formula Drift history, with this weekend's result bringing his career total to 13 series wins -- all since joining Papadakis Racing in 2011.

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, it is one of the fastest growing forms of motorsport in the world.

ABOUT FREDRIC AASBO: Known for his flat-out style, champion driver Fredric Aasbo has achieved 100-plus podium finishes on three continents over the past decade of competition. He is the most winning driver in Formula Drift history.

Aasbo returns to the Formula Drift series in 2019 for a full season in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback, while also running a select season of events in Europe in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Icom Toyota 86-X, and drifting championship events in Asia.

Aasbo made his U.S. debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008 and turned heads as the winner of the 2010 Formula Drift Rookie of the Year title. Since then, he has charged through the drifting ranks around the world and is both a fan favorite and championship winner.

Originally from Ski, Norway, Aasbo now splits his time between his native country and Southern California. He campaigns a full international season, with competition stops in the USA, Canada, Europe, and Asia.

ABOUT PAPADAKIS RACING: 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. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback is the latest competition build from the Carson, California, based team.

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, tube­chassis 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 just the fifth car to join the NHRA's Sport Compact 200 MPH club.

Papadakis shares his experience on his popular PapadakisRacing YouTube channel, which recently passed the 100,000 subscriber milestone. Through regular uploads from the shop and track, he has discovered a strong audience eager for his uniquely open and accessible approach to the technical side of vehicle performance.

PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH Rockstar Energy Drink (; Nexen Tire (; Toyota (; TRD (, Lucas Oil (; AEM Electronics (; Motegi Racing (; RS-R (; SPC Performance (; Gatebil Event ( BorgWarner (; CTEK (; Berk Technology (