Aasbo Wins 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship and Third Driver’s Title
The stars were in perfect alignment for the ENEOS-sponsored, Papadakis Racing driver Fredric Aasbo for the Formula DRIFT PRO finals at the Irwindale House of Drift. With a mix of rain and slick track conditions, the defending Champion piloted the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra to the number one qualifying position with a score of 91 points, then won the event, earning him the 2022 PRO Championship and an impressive third driver’s title.
With his eyes set on Matt Field’s Championship lead, Aasbo’s qualifying run scored the maximum three points to narrow Field’s lead from 14 to 11 points. With only nine points separating first and second place, Field would need to finish third or lower for Aasbo to claim victory.
While qualifying was dry, rain caused chaos during the main competition, eliminating drivers throughout the field as they attempted to perform their best in front of the sold-out crowd. The Top 32 competition saw minimal rain, leaving the top contenders in play. But the Top 16 heats saw an evolving track with dry and damp patches along the banked oval, challenging the drivers as they struggled to put the power to the ground.
One by one, the best of the best succumbed to the treacherous conditions: in the Top 16, Aasbo benefitted when Kyle Mohan slapped the wall exiting Outer Zone 3 and was unable to repair his KMR / Renewable Lubricants / Mazdatrix Mazda RX-8 during his allotted 5min Competition Time Out.
Even Championship leader Field spun his Corvette while initiating into the banking in Outer Zone 1, then powered into the concrete wall while trying to regain control, causing suspension damage his team were unable to repair in time, shattering his dreams of a Championship and assuring Aasbo the 2022 PRO title win.
The Final battle paired Aasbo against his Papadakis Racing teammate, Ryan Tuerck and his Rain-X / Nitto Tire Toyota GR Corolla. Both declined a sighting lap to avoid potential disaster but Tuerck spun in OZ1 after making contact with the wall. Although he set a good pace on the second run, Aasbo only needed to finish to win Round 8 and the Championship, completing his perfect weekend.
Aasbo not only successfully defended his 2021 title but joined Chris Forsberg and James Deane as the only three-time Formula DRIFT Champions in the 19-year history of the series. The Irwindale victory by Aasbo also ended the run of different winners at every 2022 round.
“This year has been all about growth; understanding what I needed to do well,” Aasbo said. “I’m really proud to have turned around our mid-season slump by focusing on my mental game while trusting the team to help me get back to where I needed to be. So, I’m really proud to stand on the podium — it means a lot.”
Congratulations to Fredric and Papadakis Racing for their accomplishments in the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO series!