Fredric Aasbo Leads 2023 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship After Orlando Round
If there’s any consistency to the Orlando round of the Formula DRIFT series, it’s that unpredictability is always predictable. Team ENEOS was represented by Fredric Aasbo, who came into the round looking for redemption after a Top 16 finish in Atlanta, while Odi Bakchis aimed to extend his winning ways after claiming a third-place podium.
During Qualifying, Aasbo focused on aggressively driving the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra to score more X-factor points (which represents 10% of available qualifying points, designed to “wow” crowds), and while he succeeded in doing so, tapped the wall in Outside Zone 1 (OZ1) and dropped a tire at turn OZ2, yet still managed to secure P5. Bakchis also fared well during Qualifying, demonstrating once again his veteran skills at the controls of the Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15 to qualify P7.
Stepping up against series OG Ken Gushi in the Top 32, Aasbo caught an extremely lucky break (no pun intended) when the Norwegian’s diff broke during his chase run, causing him to straighten. It would usually result in an automatic elimination but Gushi had mechanical issues of his own almost immediately, and the judges awarded the win to Aasbo based on his driving in the first half of the battle, advancing him to the Top 16.
Bakchis exhibited skillful maneuvers in his Top 32 battle against Jhonattan Castro but faced tough competition against James Deane in the Top 16 where he was knocked out. “I pushed hard in Orlando, and was definitely aiming to put myself on the box again,” he said. “But it was a hard match in the Top 16, so we’ll step it up for New Jersey.”
Aasbo carried his positive momentum all the way to the Final to face Chelsea DeNofa, who himself faced endless carnage throughout the entire competition. Both drivers pushed the limits in an extremely close battle that saw DeNofa narrowly take the win.
“It was a great weekend in Orlando, and we tried to be more aggressive here than in previous rounds,” Aasbo explained. “Qualifying fifth and finishing second in our ENEOS-sponsored Supra was such a wild night. We stayed true to our consistent driving all the way to the Final, and we’re very excited for New Jersey!”
With his second place finish at Orlando, Aasbo’s overall points standings allowed him to take the lead in the PRO Championship by 13 points (with a total of 198 points), despite not having a win yet for the 2023 season. Bakchis remains eighth with 125 points.
Team ENEOS is gearing up for Round 4 of the Formula DRIFT Englishtown PRO and PROSPEC double-header, taking place June 22-24, 2023.