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Fredric Aasbo Becomes Winningest Driver in Formula Drift History in 7 Short Seasons

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his 10th career Formula Drift win in Montreal, most overall by any driver

Fredric Aasbo celebrates his 10th career Formula Drift win in Montreal, most overall by any driver

As a teenager, Fredric Aasbo watched drifting videos on DVD and YouTube, dreaming of being able to earn a living from the sport. Aasbo began sliding his Toyota Supra in Norway in the mid-2000s and rose to the top of the Nordic drifting series by winning back-to-back championships in 2007 and 2008. Near the end of the 2008 season, Aasbo was given an opportunity to bring his Toyota Supra to the United States to compete in an invite-only drifting ‘shootout’ that took place in the Port of Long Beach. At that event, Aasbo got his first taste of drifting in the United States and set a goal to be competing for full-time in the United States in the coming years.

In 2010, Aasbo pieced together a privateer program and competed in five of seven events in the Formula Drift championship. At his debut event in Long Beach, Aasbo piloted his Toyota Supra, nicknamed “Chucky”, to a 4th place overall finish. Aasbo would sit out the second and third rounds that season due to budget restrictions but would compete in the final four rounds of the season. Aasbo placed in the Top-8 at two of those four remaining events, finishing the season in 13th position overall and winning the Rookie of the Year award from Formula Drift. Between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Formula Drift staged a pair of exhibition matches at Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and Qatar Racing Club in Doha, Qatar. Aasbo was on the short list of drivers selected to go to these events and would make the most of the opportunity by winning the Yas Marina exhibition and placing third at Qatar Racing Club.

Fredric Aasbo battles Tanner Foust in 2010. Aasbo would join Papadakis Racing for the 2011 season

Fredric Aasbo battles Tanner Foust in 2010. Aasbo would join Papadakis Racing for the 2011 season

Aasbo would be recognized for his performance and consistency by Papadakis Racing, who signed him to drive a newly built Scion tC2 for the 2011 season. Aasbo had big shoes to fill as Tanner Foust, the previous Papadakis Racing driver, was moving on from drifting to pursue Rallycross and television hosting but left the sport as the only back-to-back champion and winner of seven Formula Drift events. Aasbo would adapt to the new Scion tC2 and Papadakis Racing team very quickly, taking a Top 8 finish in his first event at Long Beach and a podium finish at the fifth event at Evergreen Speedway. Over the first three seasons, Aasbo would take home four podium finishes and would end the season in 12th position, 6th position, and 4th position, showing continual progress and consistency.

Fredric Aasbo drifts the Papadakis Racing Scion tC2 at Road Atlanta in 2011

Fredric Aasbo drifts the Papadakis Racing Scion tC2 at Road Atlanta in 2011

2014 would be a breakout year for Aasbo, finally landing his first event win in New Jersey. A second event win at Texas Motorspeedway, combined with two other podium finishes at Road Atlanta and Irwindale Speedway, pushed Aasbo to a second place overall finish in the championship. Aasbo actually had a chance to win the championship in the final battle of the final event at Irwindale Speedway, but a loss to Daigo Saito in that battle would hand the championship to Chris Forsberg. Getting so close to the championship motivated Aasbo and the Papadakis Racing team to attack the 2015 season hard. Several upgrades were made in the offseason to increase the horsepower and reliability of the 2AR-FE engine, which was the most powerful 4-cylinder engine in the series.

Fredric Aasbo piloted a Scion tC2 from 2011 to 2016 before stepping into a Toyota Corolla iM in 2017

Fredric Aasbo piloted a Scion tC2 from 2011 to 2016 before stepping into a Toyota Corolla iM in 2017

The next year, 2015, was a near perfect year for Aasbo and the season. The season launched with an event win in Long Beach and was capped off by an event win at Irwindale including beating Saito in the top 16. Impressively enough, Saito had won every tandem battle since 2012 at Irwindale Speedway, so the defeat by Aasbo was the first and only loss by Saito at the track and avenged the loss in the prior season which ended the championship hopes. Aasbo would win a total of 4 of seven events in 2015, and won the championship by 99 points, a wider margin than any other championship winner in series history. Aasbo also won the newly-created Formula Drift World Championship title thanks to his results at international stops in Japan and Montreal.

Fredric Aasbo drifted the Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla iM to his 9th and 10th career victories

Fredric Aasbo drifted the Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla iM to his 9th and 10th career victories

Aasbo added a pair of wins in 2016 and entered the 2017 season tied with Chris Forsberg and Dai Yoshihara for third in overall career wins with 8 apiece. Leading the career wins list were Sam Hubinette and Vaughn Gittin Jr, who both had nine wins. Incredibly, Hubinette amassed his nine wins in the first four seasons of Formula Drift (24 total events) and has been retired from the sport since 2012. Gittin Jr. has competed in every one of Formula Drift’s 88 total events entering the 2017 season. But just five events into the 2017 season, Aasbo has wins in Orlando and Montreal, which puts him alone at the top of the career wins list with ten total. Aasbo’s 10 Formula Drift USA wins are paired with more than 30 wins away from Formula Drift USA competition and more than 100 total podiums globally over the past eleven years, which is believed to be the most among any competitive drifter.

Papadakis Racing celebrated Fredric Aasbo's 10th career win in Montreal in July 2017

Papadakis Racing celebrated Fredric Aasbo's 10th career win in Montreal in July 2017

Incredibly, Aasbo continues to compete in events on multiple continents. While competing in the Papadakis Racing Toyota Corolla iM in Formula Drift USA, Aasbo also competes in the V8-powered RS*R Toyota GT86 in select Formula Drift Japan events, and in a different 2J-powered Toyota GT86 in select European events. All 100 podiums have occurred in a Scion or Toyota badged car, placing Aasbo near the top as one of the most winningest Toyota drivers in the world across all motorsports.

Aasbo continues to pursue the 2017 Formula Drift USA championship, currently sitting in second place after five of eight events. Aasbo is just 34 points behind series leader James Deane, which could easily be made up at a single event as 107 championship points are available on a single competition weekend.


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