Frederic Aasbo Returns to Champion’s Podium in 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Finals

Frederic Aasbo Returns to Champion’s Podium in 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO Finals
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A hard-fought Final Round back at Southern California’s famed Irwindale Speedway (a.k.a. The House of Drift) crowned a pair of title-takers in the 2021 Formula DRIFT PRO and its feeder Link ECU PROSPEC Championships—complete with all the predictable energy, drama, and incredible driving talent both series have demonstrated all season.

After half a dozen misses since claiming the 2015 FD PRO title, Norway’s Frederic Aasbo took the PRO competition trophy with some flawless work in his Rockstar Energy Drink Toyota GR Supra and steady support from the Papadakis team. Aasbo’s point totals from four second-place finishes and an earlier Round win in St. Louis helped him claim this year’s DRIFT crown.

“It’s been six years since we won the first Championship and this was a much harder fight,” said Aasbo after descending the podium. “I’d been in a slump and wasn’t sure if I had it anymore—but I think it’s pretty clear I still do, which gives me renewed energy to prepare for 2022.”

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In the PRO Qualifying round, Aasbo would foreshadow the evening with a nearly perfect 95 points before the real fight began—against the season’s second-place finisher Matt Field (USA) and Aurimas Bakshis, who led a stunning 100 point, Round 8 victory during the event, catapulting the Lithuanian driver to 3rd overall for 2021.

“I came into this Round putting pressure on myself to make up points so I could stand on the Championship podium and we did it!” Bakchis gushed. “Winning it energizes me to get that Championship win next year.”

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In the Link ECU PROSPEC competition—with 13 drivers in the mathematical running to take the title—reigning champion Dmitry Brutskiy prevailed, making history as the competition’s first two-time winner, vindicating a decision to remain in PROSPEC this season rather than opting to move up to the PRO Championship premier league.

“The back-to-back win was a lot of work but I’m super-excited,” said Brutskiy, who claimed to be open to an FD PRO move at this point—while perhaps aiming for a third PROSPEC championship instead. “My goal was a podium at every round, which we achieved after some really close battles … I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.”

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Saturday night’s FD Final Round spectacle in Irwindale was capped by some notable announcements from Formula DRIFT icons. 2011 FD PRO Champion Dai Yoshihara (Japan) is retiring, and 2010 and 2020 FD PRO Champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. is leaving the series to pursue other projects.

Finally, Formula DRIFT president and co-founder Jim Liaw announced he will be moving to PRI while retaining a role in the series—and welcomed Vice President Ryan Sage as the next President of Formula DRIFT Holdings, LLC.

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“After the trials we had to overcome in 2020, it was incredible to see fans back here at Irwindale, witnessing the phenomenal driving,” said Liaw after the race. “It’s bittersweet for me because this will be my last event as President, but I’m so happy to end on a magnificent high with another exciting final. I look forward to seeing what 2022 brings and I know Ryan Sage will continue to strengthen and improve Formula DRIFT.”

Formula DRIFT will announce its upcoming 2022 schedule at an upcoming press conference. For more information and the latest updates for next season visit formulad.com.

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