Odi Bakchis and Simen Olsen, 2023 Formula DRIFT Seattle

The Heat Intensifies for Team ENEOS at Formula DRIFT Seattle 2023

Going down the list for the 2023 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship, Round 6 at Evergreen Speedway checked all the boxes once again: close battles, multiple One More Time (OMT) calls, unpredictable outcomes, and a jam-packed house to cheer the drivers on. Odi Bakchis and Fredric Aasbo were joined by  Team ENEOS newcomer – and the third member of the Feal Race Team – Simen Olsen. All three stepped up to the plate, ready to carry the momentum forward from their strong finishes in St Louis.

Odi Bakchis, Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15
Simen Olsen, Feal Suspension Nissan S14.9

Technical issues for several of the teams meant a reduced roster of 30 drivers attempting to qualify for a spot in the Top 32 competition. Because of this, Bakchis’ second qualifying position earned him a bye run in his Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15. He scored 90 points, narrowly beating teammate Olsen in third, who was awarded 89.3 points for his qualifying run in the Feal Suspension Nissan S14.9. Fifth qualifying position went to the PRO Championship points leader Aasbo, who scored 87.3 points in the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra.

TOP 32

Facing Mike Power and his Power Racing Type S15 in the Top 32, Aasbo surged out the gate on his lead run, driving with laser precision as Power struggled to maintain proximity. Although Power drove cleaner on his lead, Aasbo stuck to him tightly, advancing into the Top 16.

An S-chassis battle took place between Olsen, who’s new to driving a Nissan platform after piloting an A90 Supra, and Forrest Wang in his Yellowspeed NRG S15. Wang chased aggressively but had to back off several times, giving Olsen a slight advantage. A slight collision saw Olsen head to the pits to check the car before returning to win the heat and advance.

Sold out crowd, 2023 Formula DRIFT Seattle
Simen Olsen versus Nick Noback, 2023 Formula DRIFT Seattle
TOP 16

Following his 40th birthday celebration on qualifying day and a Top 32 bye-run, Bakchis lined up his V8-supercharged LS-powered S15 against Ryan Litteral’s turbocharged RB-powered Powerstop Brakes S15 in another S-chassis battle. Odi had a monster jump on his lead run, ripping through the course as Litteral struggled to keep up. After swapping positions, Bakchis had a slightly awkward line going into Outer Zone 3, but the judges unanimously agreed to advance him into the Great 8.

Olsen faced Jhonnattan Castro in the LTH / Mobil 1 Toyota GR86, who made several mistakes on the banking chasing the Norwegian. Next, Olsen surged up to Castro’s door at OZ3, and his consistency on the chase gave him a unanimous advance onward.

Shockingly, the series points leader and reigning Champion Aasbo was ejected from the Top 16, eliminated by teammate Ryan Tuerck in the Rain-X / Nitto Tire / Rockstar Energy GR Corolla.

My team had the GR Supra running great this weekend, but during my battle against an on-form Ryan, I drove too defensively and we lost out,” Aasbo explained afterwards.

Fredric Aasbo, 2023 Formula DRIFT Seattle
Odi Bakchis, Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15

Sitting third in the points standings, Bakchis was ejected from the Great 8 by three-time Champion James Deane in the AutoZone Ford Mustang RTR Spec 5-FD. While Odi’s fifth place finish sacrificed a handful of points, he remains third overall as the Feal Race Team continues its quest to dominate FD’s PRO and PROSPEC Championships.

Qualifying second, it was fun finishing the event in the Great 8 chasing James,” Bakchis said. “I made an error on my lead run but we have solid points heading into the last rounds of the season.

Olsen then had a challenging battle with hometown hero Dylan Hughes in the Whip Racing / Royal Purple BMW. Olsen’s angle and speed were insane but so was Dylan’s, who has more experience and seat time on the Evergreen course. Olsen gave a great chase, losing slight proximity after the Power Alley — the judges had a split decision, sending both to one of the many OMTs of the day.

During their OMT battle, both drivers were on the limit, but Olsen lightly tapped the wall towards the end, which didn’t have any major effect on his lead run. Olsen did a tremendous job chasing but Hughes was equally powerful…the result, another OMT!

On their second OMT, both drivers had similar runs during Olsen’s lead but Hughes showed his skills and by the slimmest of margins, the judges awarded the win to Hughes, who would go on to finish in second place.

We ended our weekend in the Great 8 after some sick battles and two OMTs with my buddy Dylan,” said Olsen. “I really wanted a better result this round but I can’t complain after qualifying P3 and finishing sixth overall!

Following Round 6 at Evergreen, Aasbo dropped to second in the FD PRO Championship standings with 335 points behind round winner Chelsea DeNofa, Bakchis remains third with 323 points, while Olsen is fifth with 309 points.

Fredric Aasbo versus Ryan Tuerck, 2023 Formula DRIFT Seattle
Fredric Aasbo, 2023 Formula DRIFT Seattle

Team ENEOS heads to Round 7: Elevated at Utah Motorsports Campus in Grantsville, UT from September 14-16, 2023 where the PROSPEC drivers Ben Hobson and Faruk Kugay will return for the final round of the championship.