The past year was a momentous one for the Scion Racing program – we welcomed new teams and drivers into the fold, won a number of races and events, and were invited to participate in a distinguished racing series for the first time in our relatively short history. The teams and drivers that we were fortunate enough to work with in 2012 helped fill the last 12 months with a collection of great moments that we’ll always carry with us, but there were 5 in particular that we felt stood out among the rest. In reverse order:
5. Scott Kelley takes 1st place at the NHRA Summit Series
Scott Kelley is Scion Racing’s only representative in the drag racing discipline, but he’s shown that he’s more than capable of handling that responsibility with his remarkably quick runs down the drag strip. The highlight of his season came during the NHRA Summit Series Race, down the 1/8mile track in Irwindale. Scott’s Scion Bullet xB came out on top of a field of 48 cars, ultimately taking the trophy with a 6.40 second time at 109 miles per hour. The win was his second of the year, and placed him in prime position for a strong finish to the season.
4. Michele Abbate wins the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championships
2012 may have been Michele Abbate’s first year in the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Championships, but she certainly didn’t spend the year driving like a rookie. Michele was sitting in 2nd place going into the final event of the season at Buttonwillow Raceway, needing one last push to make it to the top. Though the car was hit by unexpected engine problems and mechanical issues, Michele and the Dynamic Autosports team persevered to get to the finish line, and claim the MPTCC crown for her own.
3. Fredric Aasbo and Ken Gushi submit Top 10 finishes in Formula Drift
As high as our expectations always are for our athletes, they always seem to be asking even more from themselves because of their competitive spirit. Both Fredric Aasbo and Ken Gushi spent the year showing why they’re two of the absolute best drivers in any drift series anywhere. With the weight of a full season’s worth of data on the Need for Speed Scion tC behind him, Aasbo was able to slide his way to a pair of podium finishes, and 6th overall in the Formula Drift standings. Meanwhile, despite running in an entirely new car, Ken Gushi defied the odds and came away with 8th in FD, besting his own showing from the previous season.
2. The Scion Racing Rally xD teams earns 2nd place in the Rally America 2WD Championship
The 2012 Rally America season came with a lot of ups for the Scion Racing Rally xD team, but one particularly devastating down left them with their first DNF ever. Undeterred, the team hit the road and submitted one uncanny performance after another to claim the 2nd spot on the Rally America 2WD podium in just their 2nd full season competing in the series. Driver Andrew Comrie-Picard’s never lift attitude was key in driving the team forward all year, while the Rally xD crew did their best to keep the car in top shape through each grueling event.
1. The Scion Racing teams compete in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most prestigious races not just in America, but throughout the entire world. PPIHC hosts teams and drivers from numerous countries each year in their bid to be the quickest to reach the summit of the mountain. This year, we were fortunate enough to count two of our teams and three of our drivers among that number.
The GReddy Racing Scion tC piloted by Takeshi Aizawa made the trip to Colorado for the race, as did Andrew Comrie-Picard and the Scion Racing Rally xD team. Drift driver Ken Gushi joined them as well, piloting the Lexus IS F CCS-R. All three drivers successfully made it to the top of Pikes Peak, thanks to the drivers’ unmatched skill as well as the teams’ ability to work together and combine their expertise. Though many great things happened in 2012, the PPIHC journey both literally and figuratively stood above everything else during Scion Racing’s year.