Car Culture / Racing

Aasbo Powerslides Papadakis Racing Corolla To Victory In Long Beach


We did a splash feature of the Papadakis Racing Rockstar Energy Drink / Nexen Tire Toyota Corolla Hatchback on April 3rd. Flash-forward to April 9th and we’re telling you how driver Fredric Aasbo shocked the world by winning the season-opening Formula Drift event on the Streets of Long Beach… the car’s maiden event.

Known for his flat-out style, Aasbo is the 2015 Formula Drift World Champion and the Norwegian driver finished the 2017 season second in the points and, judging by his dominance at The Beach, he looks to have the firepower needed for another title.

“I’m a little bit speechless right now,” said Aasbo after the podium presentation. “We’ve been working so hard to get the new car built, and to find ourselves here on the top step of the podium at Round 1 feels amazing. All credit goes to the team for the incredible effort they put in during the off-season.”

Papadakis Racing first revealed the all-new competition car as part of Toyota’s new vehicle launch for the Corolla Hatchback at the New York International Auto Show less than two weeks before the Long Beach Formula Drift opener. 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.

“While the team was building our new car in the shop in California, I was practicing. I spent the winter in Norway running ice tracks with friends and I’ve never felt more prepared to take on a championship than I do right now,” said Aasbo.

The Long Beach course has little room for error, literally. Racers must thread the needle between intimidating track walls, sliding sideways at more than 90 mph. The drift circuit is set up through Turns 9, 10, and 11 of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach street course.

The next stop for the wicked Corolla is Orlando, Florida and Round 2: Invasion. Aasbo will be there but he will also be running a select season of events in Europe in the Rockstar Energy Drink / Icom Toyota 86-X, as well as some one-off events in Asia. (Photos by Larry Chen / Toyota Racing)


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