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Interview: How did Fredric Aasbo climb to the top of Formula Drift? By: Examiner

The Verizon IndyCar Series is just one league bringing together motorsports talent from around the world. Over in Formula Drift, Fredric Aasbo was recently named not just the national champion, but the world champion. IndyCar Examiner conducted an e-mail interview with the Norwegian superstar to talk about his phenomenal 2015 season and his view on the entire world of motorsports.

After being championship runner-up last year, Fredric and the Papadakis Racing team took things to the next level this season. “Everything just came together for us this year, and that’s what has to happen in order to win a championship,” he said. “We did a good job last year as well, but not everything lined up.

“This year we had more experience, a better car, got the setups right, and had some luck go our way. There were definitely some unusual events in terms of weather conditions, and also with some of our competitors basically taking themselves out, and I think we were the best at being adaptable and capitalizing on everything that was thrown at us this season.”

But being named champion was just the last accomplishment of the year; he has a lot to be proud of when he looks back on the Formula Drift schedule, which ran from April 10 to Oct. 10. What are the moments that are going to particularly stick in his memory from his journey to the top?

“The last couple of years we’ve been really consistent. Before 2015, I hadn’t finished outside the Top 8 in two seasons – but I also didn’t have a large number of wins. This year was much more of a rollercoaster,” Fredric reflected. “Definitely starting off the season with a win was a highlight: Long Beach is always an epic event that’s packed with fans, and this year it was our first event with Rockstar, so that was definitely a homerun.

“But we had a couple of tough hits as well, and the one in Orlando was especially hard to take. It was raining – which I consider an advantage for me, because driving in the wet is something I’m usually good at – and I made a driving mistake and ended up out early. I was crushed,” he admitted. “But then coming back from that in New Jersey and Seattle with back-to-back wins gave me a boost of confidence and showed how we can bounce back as a team.”

Formula Drift is a very different league from IndyCar, one that presents its own challenges at the same high speed. “It’s the art of controlling a car that’s out of control,” Fredric explained. “Formula Drift has all the highlights of traditional motorsport condensed into one kick-ass explosive package.

“There’s something super-cool about controlling a car that’s doing something it was never meant to do. It’s like a bull-rider harnessing all of that power, chasing down your opponent in the middle of a smoke cloud. A run doesn’t last very long, but those 20 seconds are the best of my life over and over again.”

One of the things that the two organizations have in common is that they both require discipline from their drivers. “I’m definitely a different racer now than I was when I started out,” he continued. “I got this reputation for being a crazy wild driver willing to take on people who were better than me.

“That got me noticed, but the evolution really started when I joined Papadakis Racing in 2011. I had to dial back the aggression and Steph and the team taught me the ways of being a consistent competitor. I still bring out the wild raw driving when it’s needed, but now I try to save the best for last and put my foot down when I need to take it to the next level.”

Like several of IndyCar’s young guns, Fredric comes from a family with a history in motorsports. “I grew up watching rallycross and rally,” he told us. “Scandinavia has a longstanding legacy of rally and rallycross drivers. My dad was a grassroots rally driver and I’ve always embraced the sports where there is a lot of diversity.

“In an era where there seems to be an increasing emphasis on spec series and cars look more and more the same, I’m interested in the motorsports that allow for different builds and characters to emerge — the off-road racing stuff, the Gatebil Festival back in Norway, the crazy characters and cars in drifting. Basically anything that resembles the Group B era in rally would be my favourite.”

But when he’s not on the track, don’t expect him to be red-lining the car or turning it sideways. “When people get into the passenger seat with me, they think I’m going to drift around every corner,” he laughed. “But when you get to do your dream hobby for a living, it’s nice to sit back in your perfectly nice daily driver and follow the rules. I do have the odd spree wanting to take my car out and slide it around on a frozen lake, but for a daily driver type of scenario, I’m a very responsible driver.”

So how does one celebrate being the Formula Drift world champion?

“I have been celebrating for awhile now and SEMA was a good time for sure!” Fredric said. “But what I’m going to do when I get home is something I promised to all my friends who helped me out seven years ago when I started on this crazy journey.

“I told them that when we won the championship, I would take everybody to this amazing restaurant in the hills above Oslo, Ekebergrestauranten, and spend all of the prize money on one epic meal,” he continued. “I can’t thank them enough for all the help they’ve given me over the years, but this is something that I’ve looked forward to and which has motivated me to keep going for this championship and I’m really looking forward to making good on this promise.

“After that, there will be a lot of ice racing back at home in Norway and maybe a stunt driving gig in February and March,” he said. “And even though the team isn’t competing, we’re still working. I’ll be busy with Steph and the guys at Papadakis Racing to continue to create the ultimate Formula Drift team. We’ve won our first championship together, but there’s still a lot more to achieve and that continues to motivate me and all of us to get better and better.”

Spoken like a true champion. If there’s one thing all racing drivers have in common, it’s never quite learning how to stop.

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Black Friday Shopping with Ryan Tuerck and Chris Forsberg [VIDEO]

This abandoned mall in Hawthorne, California was the ideal location for two Formula Drift pros to thrash on some Nissan 370z’s. The parking garage scene going up the hill is pretty wild and you will want to watch it over and over again. Hoonigan Black Friday is almost here with Chris Forsberg and Ryan Tuerck.

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Formula Drift Canada 2016 Schedule



Formula DRIFT Canada Announces 2016 Schedule

 Montreal, QC – November 12, 2015 – Formula DRIFT Canada has announced its 2016 season schedule.  Sliding into its third year of competition, Formula DRIFT Canada is expanding its professional drifting series to a total of five rounds.  2016 will represent many firsts that will continue to grow drifting in Canada and will once again raise the bar to new heights.

The Formula DRIFT Pro Championship will be heading to Montreal in 2016. This marks the first time in history that an Formula DRIFT Pro Championship round will be held outside of the United States.

“With the continued success of our international presence, we look forward to growing the sport domestically and internationally this upcoming season,” said Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT.

Formula DRIFT Canada will also be bringing professional drifting back to Ontario for the first time in 5 years. Sunset Speedway located in Barrie, just 45 minutes north of Toronto, will be the home for Formula DRIFT Canada in the coming years.

 “Sunset Speedway is excited to be the only racetrack to have an official Formula DRIFT Canada round in Ontario.  We are looking forward to hosting thousands of passionate fans when professional drifting returns to Ontario.”  says Mark Dilley, owner of Sunset Speedway.

The Formula DRIFT Canada championship series will also be returning to Autodrome Montmagny (Quebec), Autodrome St-Eustache (Montreal) and GP3R (Trois-Rivières).

Formula DRIFT Canada – 2016 Schedule

Round 1

June 4 | FDC Championship | Autodrome Montmagny (Montmagny, QC)

Round 2

June 25 | FDC Championship | Sunset Speedway (Barrie, ON)

Round 3

July 15/16 | FD Pro Championship – FD World Championship- FDC Championship | Autodrome St-Eustache (Montreal, QC)

Round 4

August 6/7 | FDC Championship | GP3R (Trois-Rivières, QC)

Round 5

September 3/4 | FDC Championship FINALE | Autodrome St-Eustache (Montreal, QC)


Launched in 2014, Formula DRIFT Canada is a professional drifting series sanctioned by Formula DRIFT. Its organization is made up of a team of experienced members from the motorized sport and drifting worlds: Alan Labrosse, president, Ben Woo, vice­-president of sales and partnerships and David De Somma, director of events. In 2016, the series will hold five championship races: June 4 at Autodrome Montmagny, June 25/26 at Sunset Speedway, July 15/16 at Autodrome St-Eustache, August 6/7 at the Grand Prix Trois­-Rivières and September 4/5 at Autodrome St-Eustache. For more information, visit:


In its 13th season, Formula DRIFT is recognized as the leading international drifting championship. Established on the streets of Japan, drifting has evolved into a worldwide competitive sport that challenges each driver’s driving ability and vehicle control. Formula DRIFT provides a forum for professional drifters to compete nationwide for the coveted Formula DRIFT Championship crown. As the first official series in North America, Formula DRIFT has taken competitive motorsports to the extreme, attracting fans and car enthusiasts from all walks of life and establishes itself as the world­wide leader for the sport. For a competition schedule and ticket information, visit:


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A Spectator’s View – Formula Drift Irwindale – By

Every year in California, we Californians are so lucky to have two Formula Drift events each year. I am glad that I live in the central California where drifting events happen to be in 4 hours north, or 4 hours south. Formula Drift is one of my favorite “I GOT TO GO” drift events. No matter what the circumstances are, each year, I plan to attend both Long Beach and Irwindale.



As always, Irwindale is packed with action and with fans from all around the world. The House of Drift is the only event that crowns the season champion in the end.



As a spectator, I love to shoot on the sidelines and also watch the battle as it goes. I feel like as a spectator, I get to cheer with the crowds and have mixed emotions with the crowds as well.

IMG_8836Spectating is great in many ways because I like to enjoy it without being there to just try and get the best shots. I don’t want to worry about getting the best shots and missing out on the action when the event ends.

IMG_8750Sometimes relaxing and focusing on watching battle after battle feels great.


Every driver fights hard, and sometimes gets lost in the smoke, or just too excited and ends up spinning out. Anything can happen.


Matt Field is always the person who gives you something to talk about weeks after Formula Drift Final ends.


The car show always has a huge turnout, with a lot of great cars to inspire about.


The open pits in Formula Drift are always something that is great, where you can meet and greet your favorite drivers.


Fredric Aasbo was so excited. From far from the stands, I could feel his excitement as he did a pretty long burn out.


In the end, Fredric Aasbo ends up taking first place in the event and taking the 2015 Formula Drift Championship trophy home.

IMG_8559Irwindale is one of my favorite tracks, and it saddens me that if it gets turned into a shopping mall for cool kids to do car meets, I will never get to see The House of Drift again.



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Free Drift Events Coming to California in 2016?


Someone shot me a quick link to Spike Chen is promoting the fact that 2016 will see some free drift events at Grange Motor Circuit. No official word on dates yet but it sounds like five free Saturday events are in the works already. This will be a nice feather in the cap to go with the large amount of drift events already in Southern California. Adams Motorsports Park is still cranking away every Thursday night and Irwindale has a monthly event running with Formula Drift.


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2016 Formula Drift Canada [SCHEDULE]


The Formula Drift 2016 Canada schedule has just been released for the new season. A 5 round series includeing Toronto and a Formula Drift Championship round really make this series look more appealing. The series is spread from June 4th to September 3rd rounding off a short Canadian summer series. Here is how they stack up –

Round 1 – June 4th @ Autodrome Montmagny
Round 2 – June 25th @ Toronto
Round 3 – July 15/16th @ Autodrome St. Eustache w/ Formula Drift US/World
Round 4 – August 6/7th @ GP3R The Streets
Round 5 – September 3/4th @ Autodrome St. Eustache for Finals

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Joe Tardiff Involved in Serious Crash at Sonoma Drift


A wild accident at Sonoma Drift last night resulted in Joe Tardiff (Trailer Joe) being taken to the hospital. He did post a photo on Instagram giving a thumbs up from the hospital so glad to know he is okay! Even with all the safety equipment available in his car we have heard he has a broken rib and a concussion possibly. This is why drift series in America stress safety equipment and this happened in a parking lot. If you follow the jump below you can view the accident on Instagram and the car being cut open to get him out of it. Chris Mills spun out and was wedged into a k-rail and Joe Tardiff went slamming into him. An incident that could easily happen at any local drift event in America.

Out here at #SonomaDrift shits insane. Now I see why they’re so strict on tech. Hope you’re alright man @trailer_joe

A video posted by Dalton (@daltonisrad) on Nov 18, 2015 at 7:04pm PST


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