Fredric Aasbo 2nd at Lake Erie Speedway
ERIE, Pennsylvania (July 10, 2021) – Fredric Aasbo earned his third-straight podium result in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra, taking second place this race in a tough competition at Lake Erie Speedway. The driver remains a close third in the in Formula Drift points as the championship battle begins to take shape and the 2021 season enters its latter half.
“Standing on the podium at the end of the night, it was fantastic to see so many new fans who stayed right until the end,” said Aasbo. “The place was still packed at 11 p.m. It may have been our first event in Erie, but I’m pretty confident it won’t be our last.”
Crowds packed into grandstands Friday and Saturday to take in the high-power spectacle of the best the sport of professional drifting has to offer. Within an hour of gates opening on Saturday afternoon, the track had already opened its secondary parking area to accommodate the rush.
Aasbo qualified second on Friday, expertly managing slick conditions as bands of lake-effect rain soaked the ¾ mile oval. His strong performance allowed him to bypass the first round of competition on Saturday, and Aasbo enjoyed the first-round action from the sidelines as his rivals faced each other on the track.
Every round is an elimination threat at the top level of the sport and Aasbo’s first two match-ups of the day delivered stout competition. He faced down relative newcomer Rome Charpentier in the Top 16 and advanced past Yves Meyer in the quarterfinal round to meet longtime rival and defending champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the semifinal.
The battle was controversial. Aasbo led first and both drivers put in a strong performance. But when drivers swapped positions for the second half of the match-up, Gittin spun out in the lead position. Under the rules, the unforced error put an immediate end to the match and handed the victory to Aasbo.
But Aasbo had sustained suspension damage on the bumpy track and his car had to return to the paddock on a flat-bed trailer. With only 12 minutes allowed for repairs, the crew was unable to get the car back to the line for his final battle and he had to settle for second.
“We have to be happy with second place,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “That is not how we wanted to end the night but we got very lucky that Vaughn spun out and handed us that match and we look forward to battling it out on track next time.”
With the season rounding its halfway point, Aasbo is a close third in the Formula Drift points.
Teammate Ryan Tuerck qualified 20th in the Gumout/Nitto Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback and faced a tough corner of the bracket. He advanced past Dean “Karnage” Kearney in the Top 32 before falling to points leader Matt Field in the Round of 16.
The 2020 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.
For the 2021 season, Formula Drift is set to run a full schedule of eight event weekends at a mix of new and old venues across the country. Next, the series returns to the familiar Evergreen Speedway in the Seattle area July 30 and 31. The Pacific Northwest track is a popular stop for fans and promises a sell-out crowd.
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 the popular multi-platform livestream broadcasts attract millions of online viewers.