Aasbo Wins 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Road Atlanta
Following a dramatic finish to the opening round of the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship at the Streets of Long Beach last month, ENEOS ambassador Fredric Aasbo took charge at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra. He claimed a decisive victory, propelling him to the lead of the overall championship standings.
After qualifying third with an 89-point score, Aasbo faced Joao Bario in the Top 32. Setting an extraordinary pace in his GR Supra, Barion cut several corners to find proximity, resulting in steering damage after he dropped off one of the high curbs. Forced to take a 5min Competition Time Out (CTO) for repairs, the Corvette subsequently broke as it left the starting line for its second run. This allowed Aasbo to advance to the Top 16.
Aasbo faced fierce competition from Justin Pawlak in the 2022 Falken Tire Ford Mustang. Pawlak applied tremendous pressure to the Norwegian, but Aasbo had a speed advantage in the lead position and got close enough to touch Pawlak’s tires during his chase run. With both drivers defining aggressive composure, the judges awarded the win to Aasbo by virtue of his superior chase.
Aasbo took on his Papadakis Racing teammate Ryan Tuerck in another great matchup. After a One More Time (OMT) was requested by the judges, the contest was decided by a mechanical issue on Tuerck’s Rain-X / Nitto Tire Toyota GR Corolla. It appeared to happen after the two cars made light contact in Outside Zone 2 (OZ2), after which Tuerck appeared to hesitate before returning to the chase. Diagnosing a possible broken fourth gear, Tuerck committed to his final run but was unable to overcome the deficit.
Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis presented another major hurdle for Aasbo to overcome in the Top 4 battle. Fortunately, Aasbo had an extremely fast car against the LS-powered Nissan, allowing him to dominate the lead and chase runs. And while Bakchis put up a strong challenge, Aasbo’s proximity in the chase position again gave him the judge’s decision.
In the battle between Aasbo and Chris Forsberg in the NOS Energy Drink Nissan Z the crowd witnessed equal skills and spills from both drivers, encouraging OMT from the judges. On the third run, Aasbo charged at insane speed but was shadowed by Forsberg throughout the course until returning to the Touch & Go. Potentially lost in Aasbo’s smoke, Forsberg transitioned early to Inside Clip 3 and drove across the infield. With three or more tires off the course, Forsberg’s run was essentially incomplete.
With a major deficit to overcome, Forsberg could only drift a perfect lead and hope Aasbo made a big mistake. However, the reigning Champion knew what needed to be done and captured a relatively comfortable win.
“What an incredible weekend. From struggling in practice with set up issues, to not getting much seat time, and making a small mistake in qualifying, we gradually got better and faster and cleaner. I feel like we peaked at just the right moment,” Aasbo said. “Against this stacked field of drivers with incredible skill and fantastic cars, this win feels particularly sweet. And I really want to thank the fabulous fans for remaining at the track late into the night to celebrate with us.”
With the FD ATL win, Aasbo moves to first place in the overall championship standings. Toyota continues to lead the 2022 Formula DRIFT PRO Auto Cup and Nitto retains its lead of the Tire Cup.
Aasbo and Papadakis Racing head to Orlando Speed World for the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship Round 3: Type S Scorched presented by AutoZone on May 19-21.