Scion Racing’s 2012 Formula Drift season was, perhaps more than anything else, marked by a sense of progress. A quick start in Long Beach at the beginning of season would help set the tone of the rest of the year, as the teams worked past the challenges they met along the way to submit one of our best finishes to date.
New to the team for the 2012 was Tony Angelo, who made a highly anticipated return to competition after spending the last three years as both a judge and technical manager for the Formula Drift organization. His solid performances throughout the year helped to dispel any notion of rust being an issue after extended time away, and proved that the Drift Alliance co-founder was still as strong of a driver as he ever was on the track.
Tony’s skill behind the wheel powered the TAngelo Racing Scion tC past the qualifying rounds at every event, and to the Top 16 at both Road Atlanta and Irwindale Speedway. He would eventually go on to finish the season ranked 23rd out of a field of over 60 drivers – a respectable showing, especially for a driver working through the kinks of an unfamiliar car.
Scion Racing’s most veteran driver, Ken Gushi, faced a similar proposition, as he took the wheel of the GReddy Racing Scion FR-S for its competitive racing debut. GReddy’s long history working with Toyota’s various motorsports programs made them a natural partner for the FR-S, as they’ve proven time and time again that they have the ability to find success in any racing discipline.
A team like GReddy anchoring a driver as skilled as Ken made for a formidable combination, as they showed by ascending the Formula Drift standings. The team ended up in the Top 16 or better six times in seven events, highlighted by a 4th place finish at Evergreen Speedway during Round 5. Taking 8th place overall in just their first year with the FR-S is a telling sign of things to come for Ken and the team, and something we fully expect to see manifest itself in 2013 and beyond.
Finally, just two seasons removed from his Formula Drift rookie year, Fredric Aasbo put out notice that would absolutely be a force to be reckoned with from here on out. The Papadakis Racing crew was responsible for preparing Aasbo’s Need for Speed Scion tC for the second year running, and had the factory 2AR block pushing out over 700 horsepower by the season’s end.
Aasbo’s aggressive, yet consistent driving style earned him one victory after another, ultimately culminating in a 6th place finish for 2012. His strong performances included two podium finishes, as he earned 2nd place at both Road Atlanta and Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Aasbo’s driving in Las Vegas was especially memorable, as he was forced to stare down four former FD champions along the way, and did so without missing a step. Accordingly, the team was recognized with several awards at the end of the season, including “Best Drifting Style,” “Fan Favorite Driver of the Year,” and “Team Manager of the Year.”
The Scion Racing program is extremely proud of what all three teams and drivers have accomplished this year, and how far they’ve each made it on their journey to the top. We’re looking forward to what one more year of experience and data will bring each of them, and can’t wait to see them back on the track in 2013! Check out the Scion Racing Blog for more news about Scion’s race teams.