Fredric Aasbo scores Top 10 Finish at Long Beach!

LONG BEACH, CA (April 10 2011, PAPADAKIS RACING) – Fredric Asabo drove the brand-new 2011 Need For Speed Scion tC drift machine to a Top-10 finish at the Formula DRIFT season opener this weekend, taking home ninth-place points on the challenging Streets of Long Beach.

A sell-out crowd packed grandstands and spilled over to line the popular street course, which featured thrilling, high-speed entries, narrow walls and no room for error. The team’s top performance at the contest showed incredible potential for the 2011 season.

“It is very good first test for the whole operation and Papadakis Racing has gone out of their way to make it a success,” said Asabo. “Keeping the Need For Speed Scion tC on track all weekend is such an amazing feat by the team, especially considering it’s a totally new build — fresh out of the box.”

Although no strangers to Scion Racing, the Papadakis Racing team built an entirely new competition car for 2011 on the new Scion tC platform. The Need For Speed Scion tC is a powerful, rear-wheel drive, turbocharged four-cylinder vehicle, purpose-built for the sport.

“To finish in the Top 10 with a new car and new driver at the first round is a real accomplishment,” said team owner Stephan Papadakis. “This is an excellent start and a great foundation for the rest of the year; credit goes to Fredric (Asabo) for his professionalism and cool-headedness against some very stiff competition.”

Asabo, the 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the Year, was solid from the start in this first outing with the new team. He knocked out John Russakoff in the Top 32 round before taking the win against veteran Tyler McQuarrie in the Top 16. A final match-up in the Top 8 saw him narrowly defeated by former champion Chris Forsberg.

“Our performance showed we could hang with the fastest cars right out of the box,” said Asabo. “It’s a huge testament to the car, and to the forward grip of our Hankook RS3 tires.”

The new Papadakis Racing vehicle proved itself on the weekend, avoiding the teething troubles that are typical with a new car build. The team made only minor setup changes over the course of two days of competition and Asabo said he felt the already competent car got better with every run.

“We have a very good team foundation already and I can’t wait to continue to explore the chassis and continue to work toward the championship this season,” said Asabo.

Drifting is a high-skill, high-powered motorsport with an emphasis on car control skill. Drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways at high speed in trials judged on speed and style. With origins in Japan, it is the fastest growing form of motorsport in the world.

Although the Long Beach event was the first outing of the year for Asabo in the United States, he has recently returned from the Middle East where he took the win at an invitational drifting event at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit and finished third at a similar event in Qatar. After running select Formula DRIFT events in the United States in 2009 and 2010, the 2011 season will be Asabo’s first full season of Formula DRIFT competition. He is also slated to run select events abroad.

The team next returns to Formula Drift competition for Round 2: Road to the Championship at Road Atlanta on May 6-7.

ABOUT FREDRIC ASABO  —

The 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the year, Fredric Asabo launches a new phase of his career in 2011 as driver for the Papadakis Racing squad in a new Need for Speed Scion tC. A two-time Nordic Drifting champion (2007, 2008), 2011 marks his first full US competition season in the premier Formula DRIFT championship. Asabo ran select Formula DRIFT drift events in 2009 and 2010 and made his US debut at a global drifting invitational in 2008. Aasbo has buit a reputation in the United States as an icon of David versus Goliath drifting battles, earning the nickhame “The Champkiller,” for his ability to edge out senior drivers in competition. Asabo has recently moved from his hometown of Ski, Norway, to the United States, where he makes his home in Redondo Beach, California.

ABOUT PAPADAKIS RACING —

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, tube-chassis 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 a Civic that became only the fifth car to join the NHRA’s Sport Compact 200 MPH club.

Asabo is the newest member of Papadakis Racing, who signed the Norwegian driver when Tanner Foust announced his retirement from the sport after the 2010 season. The team began drifting in 2005 and has shown impressive results in five years of Formula DRIFT competition, earning two championship titles (2007, 2008). The team finished in the runner-up position in the 2010 championship, with Foust taking second-place points behind the wheel of the team’s first-generation Scion tC. The 2011 Need for Speed Scion tC is the team’s latest competition build.

PAPADAKIS RACING IS PARTNERED WITH:

Need for Speed, Scion, Hankook Tire, AEM, Motegi Racing, ACT Clutch, SPC Performance, Torco Oil

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