Tanner Foust has announced his temporary retirement from the Formula DRIFT series due to what he describes as a demanding 2011 schedule of European Rally events, X-Games and television responsibilities.
The double Formula DRIFT champion and Tires.com Triple Crown bonus winner will be competing one last time in the Rockstar/Papadakis Racing Scion tC on February 25, 2010 during the Formula DRIFT UAE Invitational competition at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
"I owe a lot to Formula DRIFT, and to Stephan Papadakis. This sport, Stephan and his team have been, and will remain, an integral part of my motorsports life," said Tanner Foust, from his home in San Juan Capistrano, CA.
"This was a hard choice to make, but with my schedule looking even busier than last year, I won't be able to fully commit to the 2011 Formula DRIFT season. However, I am looking forward to competing in the Rockstar Scion tC for one last time in Abu Dhabi this month."
Replacing Tanner, Papadakis Racing and Team Need For Speed announced it has signed the 2010 Formula DRIFT Rookie of the Year, Fredric Aasbo. He will compete in the new Need for Speed 2011 Scion tC, which makes its competition debut during Round 1: Streets of Long Beach on April 8-9, 2011.
"Our new partnership with Need For Speed, and having Fredric behind the wheel of the new Need for Speed 2011 Scion tC is very exciting," stated Stephan Papadakis, team owner of Papadakis Racing. "To be aligned with a top brand in the gaming world is a dream of ours. The synergy between our programs is a natural fit. We build crazy cars for competition and they have the technology to allow the world to drive them!
"It has been a pleasure to work with Tanner for the past five years and our team thanks him for his hard work and determination. We wish him nothing but the best."
Furthermore, Jim Liaw, president and co-founder of Formula DRIFT, had this to say: "Tanner's semi-retirement is bittersweet for the Series as he has become one of the most recognized drivers on the circuit, and is one of the most competitive spokesmen for Formula DRIFT," said. "We wish Tanner more success in his career both on and off the track. His departure will leave a spot open for a future star of drifting to rise, which we are excited to see."
The 2011 Formula DRIFT season begins on April 8-9, 2011 and will mark the debut of several new teams, cars, and drivers.