|Fredric Aasbo on track Tuesday in Long Beach|
credit: Larry Chen/SR by Toyota
Papadakis Racing and 2015 Formula Drift champ Fredric Aasbo are set to begin their title defense this weekend, Friday and Saturday, April 8-9 with the opening round of the 2016 season on the Streets of Long Beach.
Returning partners Rockstar Energy Drink and SR by Toyota are joined by Nexen Tire. The tire manufacturer adds a flash of purple to the familiar yellow, black and gray livery on the Rockstar Energy Drink/Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC.
Aasbo, a native of Ski, Norway, won last year’s opener at Long Beach, the first of four wins on his way to winning the Formula Drift Pro and Formula Drift World titles.
"Winning the Formula Drift championship last season was a 10-year dream come true," said Aasbo, who returns for a sixth season at Papadakis Racing. "Now, the goal is to keep pushing, learning, and battling to make a repeat. We have a lot left to accomplish."
Team owner Stephan Papadakis is confident the team will again be a contender this season. An off-season development program has created power gains and the vehicle now produces 1,000-plus horsepower.
"We can't wait to defend our title," said Papadakis. "We're thrilled to have excellent partners including SR by Toyota and Rockstar Energy Drink returning with us this year, as well as a new relationship with Nexen Tire. It has been a great off-season and we're ready for competition to begin at our home track in Long Beach."
Aasbo and Papadakis Racing are also scheduled to return to the Streets of Long Beach during the following Grand Prix weekend for the invitation-only Motegi Racing Super Drift Challenge. Motegi Racing is a longtime supporter of the team and the Rockstar Energy Drink/Nexen Tire SR by Toyota tC will debut the new Technomesh Drift wheel in competition this season.
The traditional Formula Drift calendar expands to eight rounds this year, with the addition of a Canadian event at Autodrome St. Eustache in July. Aasbo won the Formula Drift competition in Montreal last season on his way to a World Championship victory.
2016 Formula Drift schedule
- Streets of Long Beach – April 8-9
- *Motegi Racing Street Drift – April 15-16
- Road Atlanta – May 6-7
- Orlando Speedworld – June 3-4
- Wall Speedway – June 17-18
- Autodrome St. Eustache – July 15-16
- Evergreen Speedway – August 5-6
- Texas Motor Speedway – September 9-10
- Irwindale Speedway – October 7-8
Learn more about Aasbo and Papadakis Racing at www.fredricaasbo.com and www.papadakisracing.com. Learn more about Formula Drift at www.formulad.com.
Quotes in this piece provided by Papadakis Racing.