Mid-May brought on Road Atlanta, the second event of the Formula Drift 2012 Season and of the three Scion Racing teams, Frederic Aasbo from Need for Speed tC shined all the way to the podium.
This was Formula Drift’s 9th year in Braselton, Georgia, drawing a record attendance of more than 20,000 fans. It was also the second event for the GReddy Racing FR-S after its debut at Streets of Long Beach in the season opener.
With the temperature running in the mid-80s on Friday and the high 70s on Saturday, each team was itching to take on the new track that had been modified so now it ran clockwise through the top of the horseshoe after turn 11.
And now for the race results!
Frederic Aasabo in the Need for Speed tC showed from the start why this is one of his favorite tracks, qualifying 3rd with a score of 96.5. Ken Gushi in the GReddy Racing FR-S qualified 25th with a score of 83, while Tony Angelo in the TAngelo Drift tC was right behind him with a 80.5 score that qualified him for 28th place.
For the round of 32, Angelo was matched up against Congrad Grunewald in the Hankook Tires Camaro. During his lead run, Grunewald went off course on the last turn and hit the wall, badly damaging the rear quarter of the Camaro. The wreck conceded the win to Angelo, moving him on to the round of 16. Ken was matched up against Justin Pawlak who was fresh off of a 1st place finish at Round 1 in Long Beach. Pawlak and the Falken Tires Ford Mustang kept the momentum up, knocking out Ken and the FR-S earlier than would be desired. Frederic Aasabo went on to defeat Robbie Nishida in the Bridges Racing, Achilles Radial Lexus SC300.
For the top 16, Tony was matched with Walter Wilkerson — in the Falken Tire, Garage Autohero, Fatlace S13. On the first turn, the two cars made contact, knocking Angelo’s car off the track. Unable to make repairs in time, Wilkerson moved on. Aasabo went up against Kyle Mohan in the Nexen Tire Mazda RX-8. Despite a gallant effort by Mohan, the Need for Speed tC progressed.
With Tony and Ken knocked out, the spotlight focused on Fredric as he moved up to the Great 8. In a rematch of last year’s battle in Round 5 in Seattle, Aasabo took on Rhys Millen, 2008 FD Champion, in his 2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe. While many teams seem to be moving to V8 engines, both coupes were powered by 4 cylinder turbos., Rhys gave a very close run, but again Fredric prevailed.
In the semi-final, Asabo went up against Daigo Saito in the Achilles Radial Lexus SC340. Saito, technically a Formula Drift rookie, was the 2010 D1 Champion in Japan and finished in 3rd place in Long Beach. He displayed impressive runs all weekend, easily dropping more smoke than any other driver. So much smoke in fact, Fredric was almost completely blinded during the chase run, but he stayed his course and the judges awarded Fredric the win.
Battle for First
For the final battle, Aasabo was pitted against Justin Pawlak in the V8 Falken Tires Ford Mustang. Knowing he would have to be aggressive to win, Fredric attempted his trademark backwards entry into turn 10, but he came up shallow dropping two tires off the course and taking out the first clipping point. He gave a strong chase run but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overcome this early mistake. Still Aasabo’s 2nd place finish, his first podium since Round 5 in Seattle was a triumph. With this strong finish Fredric moves up to 3rd in the overall standings.
Congratulations go out to Fredric and the entire Need For Speed team on all of their hard work!
Watch out for Driven to Drift episode 2 coming soon and don’t miss FD Round 3 at Palm Beach Raceway June 1st and 2nd!
Watch the Driven to Drift webisode about this event below.