Fredric Aasbo

10 Things I Learned about Formula Drift Road Atlanta

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10.Qualifying Needs to be Fixed
I think the judges do much better than the majority when it comes to tandem judging. I normally voice my opinions when I disagree with them but 95% of the time they are making good calls. However, they are awful at ranking qualifying runs. I think many factors play into this but the order you are seeded in qualifying tends to impact your score to a great extreme. Road Atlanta had quite a few scoring inaccuracies so I figured I should bring it up in this Top 10. Anyway, qualifying needs a revamp in Formula Drift but I don’t have the ideas to make it happen. Anyone have thoughts on how to make it more accurate and entertaining?

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9. Time to Wake Up on Travis Reeder
Travis Reeder has landed on the podium for his first two Pro 2 events in his career. This driver from the northwest really looks like a serious contender for the future. He seems to have the mental game figured out and is just driving his way into a serious championship lead. After two rounds he has an alarming 78 point lead in the Pro 2 championship.
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8. The Era of European Domination is Upon Us?
The European drivers really dominated Road Atlanta this past weekend. The podium was a complete European driver sweep and nobody in the grid looks like they have an answer for the European rising. The top three drivers in the championship are all European (James Deane/Ireland – Dean Kearney/Ireland – Fredric Aasbo/Norway) and other Europeans such as Kristaps Bluss have done well this season. Does anyone have an answer for the European domination in 2017?

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7. Formula Drift Needs More Utes
Since I was at Road Atlanta in person I got to watch this insane Ute run for the first time. This thing is really big and it looks really cool drifting around the track. Josh Robinson makes that thing looks pretty good and exciting. It does make me hope we can get a larger variety of chassis in the sport moving forward.
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10 Things I Learned About Formula Drift Orlando

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10. JJJJJJ CASTRO!
The legend of Jhonnattan Castro in Florida continues on. He has a long history of being success at Florida tracks including defeating Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the past. J Castro single handedly derailed the James Deane hype train by defeating him in the Top 16. Now

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9. Kevin Lawrence Might Be the Future Fredric Aasbo
Looking into Pro 2 you basically had Kevin Lawrence put on a clinic against the rest of the series. I know that this was his home track but man he had that robotic style of consistency that I remember Aasbo having back in the Supra. Smart money has him winning the Pro 2 championship this year.
8. Pro 2 Picture Perfect
Finally the Pro 2 program is moving in the right direction. Good battles, balanced tandem, and even a great podium restored my belief in the system once again. Sadly the field was filled with many drivers who are not Pro Am license holders but I’ll take it for now. Pro 2 put on a decent performance in Orlando last season as well so the success of this year’s Pro 2 program will be looked at next round.

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7. WHY did you spin Dean Kearney?
An amazing battle in my eyes was the European showdown of Dean Kearney and Piotr Wiecek. Why did you spin Dean Kearney? Just why! He has developed over time in the Dodge Viper and these guys were ready to put on a show! I don’t think Dean Kearney has that Viper in championship trim yet but he is doing far better than I ever thought he could over the last few events with it.

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2017 Formula Drift Long Beach Round 1 [GALLERY]

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The 2017 kicked off with a great event shot by Justin Kaehler. We have a complete collection of images covering the Streets of Long Beach and the first career victory of James Deane in his S15 Silvia. Ryan Tuerck was on fire, DeNofa looked wild in his ne Mustang RTR, and a bunch of Europeans made their Formula Drift debut.

Check out the Gallery: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wreckedmagazine/albums/72157682266689316

A Historical Look at How the Formula Drift Long Beach Winner Finishes the Season

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I made some bold claims that Long Beach wasn’t very relevant to the big picture of a Formula Drift championship. I opted to put my money where my mouth was and crunch the numbers from the past 10 seasons. James Deane and his performance in Long Beach looks like it is about 30% likely to bring him home a Formula Drift championship. An impressive 50% chance he will finish in the Top 3 of Formula Drift this year and an even more impressive statistic of 70% likely to finish in the Top 5. Below is the data I compiled to create these statistics.

2007 Winner – Mitsuru Haraguchi (Finished Season 12th)
2008 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finished Season 5th)
2009 Winner – Ryan Tuerck (Finished Season 2nd)
2010 Winner – Vaughn Gittin Jr. (Finish Season 1st)
2011 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 2nd)
2012 Winner – Justin Pawlak (Finish Season 4th)
2013 Winner – Dai Yoshihara (Finish Season 11th)
2014 Winner – Chris Forsberg (Finish Season 1st)
2015 Winner – Fredric Aasbo (Finish Season 1st)

2016 Winner – Chelsea DeNofa (Finish Season 17th)

10 Things I Learned From Formula Drift Long Beach

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10. Have We Watched Matt Coffman Grow Up Before Our Eyes?
One of the most impressive improvements I saw at Long Beach was Matt Coffman. I’ve always found he had talent but really lacked on the mental side of the game. He would be amazing in practice and then fall apart in Top 32 or over commit and put himself in a bad spot. He was a smooth operator this weekend, finishing in sixth place overall, between Fredric Aasbo and Chris Forsberg. That is some good company. If he can keep that up I would watch out for this dark horse.

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9. Matt Field – My Biggest Disappointment of the Weekend
His car probably deserves the middle finger…. or whatever mess of a disaster happened this weekend for him hopefully can be forgotten real quick. He is sitting in 12th place right now but I had expectations he could really be a front runner in 2017. I hope he didn’t leave his good driving behind in with that customary yellow livery. He needs to turn things around quick if he wants to be relevant in 2017.

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8. Alex Heilbrunn is Where the Hype Should Be
When Alex Heilbrunn got done dominating Pro 2 everyone thought he would arrive in Formula Drift and win all seven rounds at the time. Reality proved to be way more difficult, but Alex has been fighting and fighting his way through the field. My guess is now he is ready to make a big swing for the fences and keep it together for seven more rounds. He landed on the podium last year in New Jersey and looked great in Orlando so another repeat of that performance and he can have a good jump in the standings early.

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2017 Formula Drift Round 1 at Long Beach [RESULTS]

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James Deane drove his way to a first place finish after qualifying second on the weekend in Long Beach. This track setup does favor a RHD setup but Deane just seemed to crush the competition hands down regardless of the advantage. Alex Heilbrunn was the most impressive driver on the weekend for me knocking out Odi Bakchis and Fredric Aasbo in two amazing battles. The 2017 season is off to a wild start with big name veterans very high up the championship standings. I am working on my 10 Things post already so stay tuned. Here is how they finished:

1st- James Deane
2nd- Alex Heilbrunn
3rd- Ryan Tuerck
4th- Odi Bakchis

 

2017 Formula Drift Round 1 Long Beach Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Vaughn Gittin Jr. makes an insane 97 point qualifying run to steal the show on the Streets of Long Beach kicking off the 2017 season. This amazing qualifying run earns him a bye into the Top 16. The Irish wonder James Deane was just a point behind putting down a 96 in his Silvia on this streets course as well. New cars, new problems, and some crashes wrapped up the Friday of Long Beach. Three drivers were unable to get a qualifying point including Kyle Mohan, Charles Ng, and Faruk Kugay.

1. Vaughn Gittin Jr. (97)
2. James Deane (96/91)
3. Ryan Tuerck (96/90)
4. Fredric Aasbo (91/82)
5. Alex Heilbrunn (91/68)
6. Matt Coffman (90)
7. Chris Forsberg (89/87)
8. Odi Bakchis (89/86)
9. Piotr Wiecek (87)
10. Ken Gushi (86)
11. Matt Field (85)
12. Juha Rintanen (83)
13. Kristaps Bluss (81/0)
14. Justin Pawlak (81/0)
15. Michael Essa (81/0)
16. Dean Kearney (80/71)
17. Jhonnathan Castro (78/77)
18. Dai Yoshihara (78/0)
19. Pat Goodin (78/0)
20. Robbie Nishida (77/72)
21. Jeff Jones (77/71)
22. Nate Hamilton (75)
23. Gocha Chivchyan (73)
24. Chelsea DeNofa (72)
25. Cameron Moore (68)
26. Alec Hohnadell (67)
27. Dan Burkett (60)
28. Kyle Mohan (0)
29. Charles Ng (0)
30. Faruk Kugay (0)

Top 32 Bracket
(LEFT)
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs BYE
Dean Kearney vs. J Castro
Odi Bakchis vs. Cameron Moore
Piotr Wiekcek vs. Chelsea DeNofa
Fredric Aasbo vs. BYE
Kristaps Bluss vs. Robbie Nishida
Alex Heilbrunn vs. BYE
Juha Rintanen vs. Jeff Jones

(RIGHT)
James Deane vs. BYE
Michael Essa vs. Dai Yoshihara
Chris Forsberg vs. Alec Hohnadell
Ken Gushi vs. G Chivchyan
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE
Justin Pawlak vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Coffman vs. Dan Burkett
Matt Field vs. Nate Hamilton

Fredric Aasbo to drive Toyota Corolla iM in Formula Drift for 2017

Fredric Aasbo debuted his Toyota Corolla iM today on the internet by recreating the opening scene of the famed Initial D series from Japan in his new car. Aasbo’s new car, built by Stephan Papadakis, maintains the same 2.7L 2AR-FE powerplant as his Scion tC, which should ease the transition between the two cars. While the Corolla iM seems like a short car due to the hatchback nature and lack of a rear bumper, the wheelbase is actually 1″ longer than the Toyota GT86 at 102.4″, so it shouldn’t face any of the twitchiness that shorter wheelbase cars sometimes face.

Here’s a great behind-the-scenes video of the car build by our friends over at Speed Academy. This video was shot back in January, when the car was still very naked, but there’s a lot of technical description of the build from Stephan Papadakis. Sounds like the suspension geometry is very similar to the tC, which will also aid in the car being competitive quickly.
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10 Things I Learned from Formula Drift Irwindale

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10. Mad Mike Should Be Furious
The deal with Mad Mike was a mess. Ken Gushi was at fault for an accident and Mad Mike was limited to a ridiculous 10 minutes to fix his car and then a competition timeout to have his car running. I think the series needs to push for a “10 minute minimum time to fix car” this way we aren’t holding up the show for a final battle but if we have a 90 minute break. Let the damn guy fix his car, run, and entertain the fans paying a ridiculous amount of cash to watch drifting. Poor Ryan Tuerck fans got to see him run ONE tandem battle all weekend and he landed on the podium (more on that later). Anyway, Mad Mike threw his steering wheel out of his car on the Livestream and fair play to the guy. He should be beyond pissed off that the series made this ridiculous rule preventing him from running in the first place. A terrible way for him to wrap up a season of bad luck. He did release an awesome video of him drifting in South Africa today which seems much better than the fact that someone also stole his HARO BMX bike.

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9. Odi Bakchis Makes the Stand Up Move
Odi Bakchis finished this season in fourth place which was one better place than 2015 when he finished in fifth. During his battle with Forrest Wang his 240sx broke on entry on what was sent to be one of the best battles of the night. In fact, Odi Bakchis asked his spotter to tell the judges/FD staff that the contact was his fault because his car broke. An interesting and respectable move considering he could of finished third for the season by beating Forrest Wang in that battle.

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8. The Occassion Finally Got to Aasbo
Fredric Aasbo drifts lap after lap at track after track all year round at such a consistent level you could probably put a baby to sleep in his passenger seat. However, at Irwindale Speedway he made a huge error battling Matt Field that I cannot remember ever seeing before. He surged into Matt Field in tandem resulting in them having an accident that Aasbo was at fault for. This just shows how hard a back to back championship run can be.

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7. Tyler McQuarrie Hit More
Tyler McQuarrie was hit more this weekend in his poor Camaro but he didn’t have the Irwindale podium performance I hoped was coming. He has done a ton of driving this year in various motorsports and maybe it has hurt him more than helped him? I wonder if he has started to develop a little of a unique drifting style from his other driving skills that has resulted in him being hit over and over and over again. Not really sure but I want to see Tyler McQuarrie back in his super focused form next season with the Camaro. Did anybody count how many times this car got hit this season? Geez

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2016 Formula Drift Irwindale Qualifying [RESULTS]

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Dai Yoshihara laid down an amazing first qualifying run in his car scoring an 89 and backing it up with a 86 for his second pass on the day. The championship chase basically eliminated Odi Bakchis with the other three qualifying for championship news. Chelsea DeNofa stops drifting inches before the finish line giving him a zero and really adding to the end of a terrible season after his Long Beach victory. Here is how they finished:

1. Dai Yoshihara 89
2. Ryan Tuerck 88
3. Forrest Wang 86
4. Chris Forsberg 85
5. Justin Pawlak 84
6. Matt Field 83 (83)
7. Tyler McQuarrie 83 (81)
8. Michael Essa 82 (80)
9. Matt Coffman 82 (80)
10. Charles Ng 81 (76)
11. Fredric Aasbo 81 (76)
12. Alex Heilbrunn 80 (73)
13. Vaughn Gittin Jr. 80 (72)
14. Odi Bakchis 79 (78)
15. Ken Gushi 79 (70)
16. Geoff Stoneback 78
17. Robbie Nishida 77
18. Mad Mike Whiddett 75
19. Pat Goodin 73
20. Pat Mordaunt 73
21. Kyle Mohan 72
22. Dean Kearney 70
23. J Castro 69
24. Juha Rintanen 65
25. Kristaps Bluss 64
26. Cameron Moore 63 (50)
27. Kenneth Moen 63 (0)
28. Alec Hohnadell 61
29. Faruk Kugay 42
30. Jeff Jones 0
31. Chelsea DeNofa 0

RIGHT BRACKET
Dai Yoshihara vs. BYE RUN
Geoff Stoneback vs. Robbie Nishida
Michael Essa vs. Kristaps Bluss
Matt Coffman vs. Juha Rintanen
Chris Forsberg vs. Faruk Kugay
Vaughn Gittin Jr. vs. Pat Mordaunt
Justin Pawlak vs. Alec Hohnadell
Alex Heilbrunn vs. Kyle Mohan

LEFT BRACKET
Ryan Tuerck vs. BYE RUN
Ken Gushi vs. Mad Mike Whiddett
Tyler McQuarrie vs. Cameron Moore
Charles Ng vs. J Castro
Forrest Wang vs. BYE
Odi Bakchis vs. Pat Goodin
Matt Field vs. Kenneth Moen
Fredric Aasbo vs. Dean Kearney

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