Odi Bakchis persevered through several challenges at Orlando to finish P5, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando

Scorching Hot Drifting with Team ENEOS at Formula DRIFT Orlando 2024

Though we’ve barely passed three events in the 2024 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, Orlando is being hailed as the season’s best event — not for the unusually “cool” weather but because it’s some of the hottest driving witnessed (with many vehicles literally catching fire throughout the weekend). Team ENEOS may not have podiumed this round, but they fought with sheer heart and determination.

Fredric Aasbo all smiles, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando
Aasbo versus Diego Higa, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando

Following a superb win at the previous Road Atlanta stop, Fredric Aasbo was eager to add another W to his tally. Seeded first in the Top 32, the three-time FD PRO Champion paired up against Diego Higa. After the judges were unable to separate their first runs, the two lined up for a One More Time (OMT), where Aasbo made an uncharacteristic mistake in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra: he tapped Higa in Outside Zone 1 (OZ1) and again in Inside Clip 1 (IC1) before spinning off track. Aasbo’s early exit shook the crowd, but despite this finish, he climbed from fifth to fourth in the overall standings because his rivals were unable to take advantage of his misfortune (there is a sizable gap to the points leader, which increased from 30 to 70 points).

When Diego came in shallow and center-punched IC1, I made the mistake of staying wide and got caught up in the smoke,” said Aasbo. “I lost track of where I was and tagged him in the transition, whiteout!

Feal Suspension Nissan S14.9 piloted by Simen Olsen, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando
Simen Olsen was taken out by Hiroya Minowa in the Top 16, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando

Fellow Team ENEOS teammate and Norwegian Simen Olsen was also shockingly knocked out earlier than anticipated, when the Japanese rookie sensation, 14 year-old Hiroya Minowa defeated him in the Top 16. He made a rare mistake like many others, getting lost in the lead driver’s smoke while transitioning prematurely at Inside Clip 2. Having finished second the first two rounds, the driver of the Feal Suspension Nissan S14.9 still remains second in the overall standings, with his points gap to the lead extending from 16 to 44 points.

Didn’t finish as planned but we had a ton of fun and some great battles,” Olsen said. “Still sitting second overall in points after three rounds is right where we want to be, but you know we’re hunting for the top of the podium in New Jersey!

Odi Bakchis, captain of Feal Race Team, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando
The Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15 blew a second engine during practice, but Bakchis had it swapped in time for competition, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando

Odi Bakchis, leader of the Feal Race Team, had several difficult challenges to work through: an engine fire from the previous round, a second engine that blew up during practice, and a family loss. There was also a small scare when his Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15 supercharger hose blew off during the Top 16 against Dylan Hughes, but was fixed quickly before Hughes retired with his own steering problems.

Aasbo versus Bakchis, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando
Olsen with Bakchis, Feal Race Team, 2024 Formula DRIFT Orlando

Bakchis reached the Great 8, where Branden Sorensen defeated him after an intense OMT. His fifth place finish at Orlando allowed him to hold third overall in the points standings, and he’s finally able to go home after spending time in Florida between the Atlanta and Orlando rounds to rebuild his S15.

This round was extremely difficult for me,” Bakchis explained. “After rushing to rebuild my car after Atlanta and thinking I was in a good place, we quickly had another massive failure requiring another engine swap. On top of that, shortly after getting the blown-up car back in the pits, I received a call from my wife that my wonderful, supportive mother-in-law passed away around the same time that engine failed. I worked all night with my amazing team to get a spare engine dressed and into the car. I was an emotional wreck, and every time I stepped away to be alone I fell apart. I pushed through to do my job without letting my team and partners down. I’m lucky that drifting isn’t my only job, but the best therapy I can ask for.


Team ENEOS goes full force into Round 4 of the PRO Championship, along with Faruk Kugay taking on Round 2 of the PROSPEC Championship, going down at Englishtown Raceway from June 20-22, 2024.