FREDRIC AASBO TAKES VICTORY AT FORMULA DRIFT THAILAND;
DAIGO SAITO ACHIEVES THIRD FORMULA DRIFT ASIA TITLE
Thailand, 20 January 2014 – Displaying the high competence of the RS-R Toyota GT86 NASCAR V8 at Formula Drift Thailand 2014, Fredric Aasbo did justice to the custom build with a perfect weekend. Qualifying in top spot with a score of 82 at the Pathum Thani Speedway, the Norwegian then won the Team Drift special with Japanese ace drifter Robbie Nishida, before battling his way from the Top 32 to the top. Flanking Aasbo on the podium are two Thais – Nattawoot Krerpradab of the M150 Overdrive Team finished second, with PTT Performa Drift Team’s Davide Dorigo in third.
Describing the weekend as “amazing, incredible and out-of-this-world”, Aasbo said, “This is what we have been waiting for. The RS-R GT86 was debuted in Australia last year and we went along ironing out the kinks. This win has been a long time coming and I’m the luckiest man in the world to be able to drive this car.”
Aasbo beat 41 other drivers to seal his first Formula Drift Asia victory but his championship points for the 2013 season was only enough for overall second, losing to defending champion Daigo Saito by eight points. The Japanese Achilles Drift Team driver missed the podium narrowly to finish in fourth, but took home his third consecutive Formula Drift Asia championship title. Nonetheless, as this round also counts towards the 2014 season, Aasbo has set the pace right for the year ahead.
Feeling under the weather from a flu bug, Saito did not hide his disappointment. He said, “The 2013 season was not as smooth, and it is getting harder and harder to win. I’m disappointed that I didn’t win this round – I did mess up a little and maybe I wasn’t focusing hard enough.”
Thrilled to win on home ground, Nattawoot commented, “This is the best place for me to win as it is my home town. It’s like a dream come true for me, to hold up this hard-earned carbon fibre Formula Drift trophy in front of the home crowd. Everything was on my side this weekend and the car worked very well. I’ve been part of many winners’ press conferences but often as a translator for others – this time, it is for myself!”
Fans followed real-time action via ‘live’ streaming” of the Top 16 (www.grandprixchannel.com) – a first for Formula Drift Asia events – and also on television channel Grand Prix Channel, owned by co-organiser Grand Prix International Co., Ltd (GPI).
The first leg in 2013 was held in Melbourne, Australia – the series’ first time going down under – while the second leg was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This round in Thailand counts towards two championships: for the closing of 2013 season and also for Round One of the 2014 season.
The next leg of Formula Drift Asia 2014 will take place with the inaugural Japan round in Fuji Speedway in July, whilst the season finale will be held at the Sydney Motorsports Park, Australia in October. The grand finale would be held in conjunction with the popular World Time Attack Challenge (WTAC).
Formula Drift Asia has been a key drifting event within the region since its inaugural season in 2008, bringing the excitement and heart-stopping track action to fans in iconic locations such as the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix’s Marina Bay circuit and the historic Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur.