IF you haven’t already heard, Fredric Aasbo will be making his Formula Drift Asia debut in Jakarta next month. The 2010 Formula Drift USA Rookie of the Year drives for Team Need for Speed for the Formula Drift USA championship in the Scion tC, but will be taking the wheel of the RS-R Japan’s Supra this time.
Yes, it is the same Supra that Max Orido has been fielding the past few rounds. No, we will not be seeing Orido in Jakarta unfortunately.
Aasbo earned his first Formula Drift podium at Evergreen Speedway last year and he also won the Formula Drift Abu Dhabi Invitational. This year he finished a commendable sixth in the overall standings for Formula Drift USA.
We chatted the Norwegian up as preparations for the Formula Drift Asia season finale at Indonesia are underway…
Q: How was the 2012 drifting season for you?
A: This has been our best Formula Drift season so far, finishing in sixth place and earning two second place finishes and one top qualifier along the way. We also earned the Best Drifting Style and Driver Fan Favorite Awards, along with the Team Manager of The Year award going to my crew chief Stephan Papadakis.
We have worked hard to get to learn the sport and move up the ladder, and to see it pay off feels incredible. In Europe, we built one of the very first Toyota GT86 drift vehicles, having Toyota support as the only manufacturer backed programme in Europe. We have a lot left to accomplish and I feel like we have more potential for 2013, but again, this is drifting and it is really hard to predict the future. What is for certain is that we will continue to push forward going into the New Year.
Q: What led to this opportunity to compete in Formula Drift Asia?
A: I got introduced to the RS-R crew at the 2011 Formula Drift Invitational in Abu Dhabi, which I won. Since then we have been discussing the idea of doing something together and it all came together for the last leg of this year’s Formula Drift Asia series in Indonesia. I am absolutely honored to get to drive the RS-R Toyota Supra, which has previously been driven by my Scion Racing team mate Ken Gushi and the original drifting guru Max Orido.
Q: What are you expecting on your Formula Drift Asia debut?
A: It takes time to work out a winning combination and learning how to work with an entirely new team, a new series and a new car. But with that said, I have a lot of faith in the RS-R crew as they know the Formula Drift Asia scene and competition format very well. I am very excited to get to work with them for this round. This is a learning experience for me, but – as always – we will be taking on the competition to the best of our ability.
Q: How confident are you of the RSR Supra?
A: I grew up drifting Toyota Supras and I love the car platform. The RS-R Supra is a lot more developed in many areas than the Japan Auto Supras I have driven, as this car has a stroker kit, a dog box transmission as well as other key features, and the crew has done a great job and created an amazing machine. I have always been very particular with my steering setups, and that is something we will be working on dialing in to my liking over the course of the Indonesia event weekend.
Q: What do you know of Formula Drift Asia and how are you preparing for it?
A: I am familiar with the Formula Drift style of international competition and I have met many of the key people involved during our international events participation. The city scene style is new to me though. Although I have watched some video from last year’s event I will continue to look into the specifics of the event as we get closer to the date.
Q: This is your second time competing in Asia, having drifted in China before. Your thoughts on Asia?
A: One of my goals, both competitively and personally, as we move forward with our global drifting programmes is to learn more about how the sport has developed in Asia and be a part of the global Formula Drift scene outside of the United States.
Q: Are there plans to return to Formula Drift Asia next year for more?
A: This is a test setup for both RS-R and myself, and we will evaluate further competition plans after Formula Drift Indonesia. Max Orido is the official RS-R driver and he will be instrumental in deciding RS-R’s plans for 2013, so at this point we are going step by step to see how it all works out. Things turn around very quickly in drifting and it’s difficult to plan too far ahead, but I would love to continue this Formula Drift Asia programme into 2013.
Q: A shoutout to your fans in Asia!
A: After having dreamt of being a part of Formula Drift Asia for a couple of years now, it is finally happening thanks to RS-R. I can’t wait to meet you all in Jakarta!