Current Formula D Championship Standings (after 6 rounds):
|1. Fredric Aasbo
|2. Ken Gushi
|3. Ryan Tuerck
|4. Chris Forsberg
For Fredric Aasbo, the formula is simple – qualify on Friday, and win a tandem battle on Saturday. With all the potential situations that involve others winning the championship, all of them depend on Aasbo to exit early in the competition. Aasbo does have a single top 32 exit earlier this season in Orlando, but his three event wins combined five total top-3 qualifying efforts are more than any of the three other contenders. Daigo Saito, Geoff Stoneback, and Masashi Yokoi are the only three drivers who have defeated Aasbo in Formula Drift competition, and amazingly enough, Aasbo has also defeated each of them as well. In fact, Aasbo doesn’t hold a losing record on the season against any driver in FD USA competition, having defeated 16 different drivers at least once in tandem this season. Although there’s never a ‘sure thing’ when it comes to drifting, Aasbo taking the championship seems nearly automatic given the information at hand.
There was a lot of talk last season about how Aasbo’s final standings have continually improved. Since taking the Rookie of the Year title in 2010 as the 13th ranked driver, Aasbo has finished in 12th, 6th, 4th, and 2nd overall progressively. It seems as though the toughest thing for Aasbo to think about for next season is how he backs up such an amazing run.
Current Formula D World Championship Standings (after 8 rounds):
|1. Fredric Aasbo
|2. Odi Bakchis
|3. Matt Field
|4. Masashi Yokoi
With the Formula Drift World Championship being shortened from 10 events to 9 due to the China season finale being cancelled, Aasbo also has the opportunity to wrap up the World Championship simultaneously. Since Irwindale will count for double points, Odi Bakchis will need to make up 155 championship points, which can only be done if Bakchis makes an appearance in the final round. Matt Field is statistically eliminated, as even with a top qualifier / first place sweep, he would only make up 214 of the 256 points he would need to overtake Aasbo.
Should Aasbo make the top 16, the minimum of 34 points he would earn for Irwindale (possibly more pending his qualifying standing) would count as 68 towards the world championship. With first place earning at least 68 points more than a top 16 appearance, Bakchis would not be able to overcome Aasbo. Therefore, the only chance Bakchis has to earn the World Championship requires Aasbo to either not qualify on Friday, or lose in the top 32 on Saturday. In the scenario that Aasbo doesn’t qualify, a final round appearance by Bakchis would be enough to overtake Aasbo. However, should Aasbo qualify on Friday and lose in the top 32 on Saturday, Bakchis would need to win the event to earn the championship.
Overall, the World Championship was a bit of a disappointment, with only 13 drivers participating in the championship, including only 4 of the current top 10 drivers. In order to qualify for the championship, drivers had to participate in one of the international rounds, one of which was simply a hop across the 49th parallel and didn’t require putting a race car on a boat or a plane. We hope to see an increase in participation next season.