With two rounds left in the 2018 Formula Drift season, Frederic Aasbo secured both the best qualifying run and event victory to earn maximum points this weekend during Round 6: “Crossroads,” and is now within 30 points of the Championship leader, James Deane.
After qualifying first with 98 points, Aasbo faced down Jhonnattan Castro in the Top 16. “I wasn’t sure that battle would go our way,” said Aasbo.
The Gateway Motorsports Park sits just outside St. Louis, Missouri, and is a new addition to the Formula Drift series. A flat, fast road course, it quickly became clear that power and speed would be critical in the hunt for victory. “We realized we had some more work to do after that and we pushed our setup into uncharted territory to get more speed out of the car.”
After advancing past Castro to the Great 8, Aasbo beat out Chris Forsberg to move into the Final 4. There, he met Piotr Wiecek, who proved a formidable rival.
“You need a lot of grip to put down the power and carry good speed,” said Stephan Papadakis, team owner. “At this track, that was the difference between pulling away on a lead run or losing ground during a chase. We had to work fast to dial in the car.”
Aasbo endured two one-more-time calls before he was able to advance.
In the Final, Aasbo faced Matt Field. During Aasbo’s lead run, Field made an error and made contact with the back of Aasbo’s car before running wide off the track. Judges confirmed Field was at fault for the clash and all it took was for Aasbo to put in a clean chase to come away with the victory.
James Deane had been pulling away from the field, but a blown motor during the Great 8 opened the door for a renewed points battle as the season heads into its final two rounds.
“From the outside, a result like this can look like smooth sailing, but behind the scenes everyone was working really hard to be competitive at this new track,” said Aasbo. “We were adding more grip every round and learning from each battle. To come away with maximum points feels absolutely amazing.”
The battle continues September 14-15 in Dallas, Texas followed by Irwindale Speedway in Southern California in October.