Fredric Aasbo and Papadakis Racing have a new car for 2018; the all new Toyota Corolla Hatchback. The Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback from Papadakis Racing made its debut at the New York International Auto Show. 2015 Formula Drift Champion Fredric Aasbo will pilot the modified Toyota Corolla Hatchback in the 2018 Formula Drift series. In the Formula Drift series, drivers compete in knockout heats on a closed course, sliding sideways in trials judged on speed and style.
Aasbo is known for his flat-out style, and he has achieved 100-plus podium finishes on three continents over the past decade of competition. With 10 outright victories in Formula Drift, he is the most winning driver in series history. “This car is so much fun to drive,” said Aasbo. “Everybody who loves drifting knows about the Corolla’s iconic heritage in the sport and I’m excited to continue that legacy with the Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback.”
Team owner Stephan Papadakis has built a reputation for challenging the status quo with his innovative competition builds. Based on the brand new Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the rear-wheel drive converted Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback produces 1,000 nitrous-boosted horsepower from its four-cylinder turbocharged Toyota 2AR engine.
The Papadakis Racing team worked closely with TRD and Jon Sibal to develop competition carbon/kevlar body panels for the vehicle and its sticky Nexen N’fera SUR4G tires are mounted on striking gold Motegi MR406 wheels. The car features a dog-engagement manual transmission, a Borg Warner EFR turbo, AEM Infinity-8 fuel injection and RS-R suspension.
“One of the things that’s so great about drifting is that its rules give us a lot of freedom and creativity in the builds,” said Papadakis. “There’s no other series where you see such variety on the track. The cars are modified for the sport, but every one of them starts on the production line just like the car you drive to work every day.”
Papadakis is a legend of sport-compact racing who began building his reputation in the 1990s with the first front-wheel drive, tube-chassis drag car in the U.S. The team earned multiple records and championships in the discipline, turning in elapsed times and trap speeds previously thought unattainable in front-drive drag cars. Papadakis’ successes in front-wheel drive were matched by his efforts in rear-wheel drive when he campaigned just the fifth car to join the NHRA‘s Sport Compact 200 MPH club.
The team’s first rear-wheel drive drifting conversion turned heads in 2009 when driver Tanner Foust campaigned a TRD V8 powered Scion tC in the series. Aasbo joined the team in 2011 to campaign the next-generation Scion tC — this one powered by a four-cylinder turbocharged engine. In 2017, the team developed its first Toyota Corolla and now in 2018 the team has launched its most powerful new build to date.
In this past weekends Formula Drift event, Formula Drift: Streets of Long Beach Asabo took first place in his Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire 2019 Toyota Corolla. Despite limited seat time in the brand new car, Asabo conceded that it had some similarities to last year’s car, which helped the team with set up. And while everybody at Papadakis Racing was optimistic about the car’s chances, even they couldn’t have expected to be on the top step of the podium.
“Coming second in the 2017 season we knew we had our work cut out. We weren’t fastest and I wasn’t the most talented,” said a reflective Aasbo. “But we had an opportunity to build a new car and Papadakis Racing took it to the next level. In the meantime, I went back to Norway and practiced drifting on the frozen lakes during the winter so I would be ready for the ultimate test today.”