|1. Fredric Aasbo||428 Points|
|2. Ken Gushi||348 Points|
|3. Ryan Tuerck||332 Points|
|4. Chris Forsberg||331 Points|
Each year, we like to give the fans a quick guide of what to expect entering the final event of the season. This year’s final championship standings are much less interesting than in past seasons, but there is still a chase to discuss due in large part to Aasbo’s Elite 8 exit in Texas.
For current champion Chris Forsberg, sitting 97 points behind Aasbo with only a maximum of 107 points available in an event is not an ideal situation. As soon as Aasbo turns a wheel on a qualifying pass, he will earn 1 point which reduces the potential points available to 106 points. If Aasbo does qualify for Saturday’s Tandem ladder, which he has done in every round since joining the Papadakis Racing team in 2011, Forsberg will be statistically eliminated. Aasbo would earn 18 points for qualifying even in 32nd position (16 for making the top 32, 1 point for making a qualifying pass, and 1 point for qualifying anywhere from 17th to 32nd), and even if Forsberg were to win the event (100 points) and earn top qualifier (6 points for qualifying position + 1 point for making a qualifying pass), he would only make up 89 championship points.
However, this is drifting, and crazier things have happened. Last year, the Papadakis Racing team had to swap a fresh motor into Aasbo’s car as they had issues late in the final practice before qualifying. Should Aasbo have mechanical issues or even crash in his first qualifying pass, the pressure on the second qualifying pass could be quite intimidating.
Even if the unthinkable were to happen and Aasbo misses qualifying for the Top 32 tandem ladder, Forsberg would need to win the event to overtake Aasbo. Anything less than a win would leave him short of overtaking the 97 points he needs to bump Aasbo. If Forsberg were to overcome the miracle, he would become the first three-time Formula Drift champion, and the first back-to-back champion since Tanner Foust in 2008.
As a reminder, here’s a look at how Championship Points are awarded in 2015: Read More…