BALTIMORE, Md. (April 11, 2011) –. The Formula Drift season kicked in Long Beach, California over the weekend, and Team Need for Speed was in full-effect and ready to battle in out with the world’s best competitors at Round One. The team’s newest addition, Fredric Aasbo, was set to compete in the Need for Speed 2011 Scion tC built by Papadakis Racing. Wild child Matt Powers was back rockin’ and rollin’ in his Need for Speed Nitto Tire S14, after having made some beneficial modifications to the vehicle in the off-season. Both drivers were looking to come out to Round 1 in hopes of a strong start to the season, and they did just that when Matt Powers fought his way to 2nd place and Fredric Aasbo finished in 9th place overall.
The grandstands were packed with fans eager to see their favorite drivers blasting through the Streets of Long Beach at the sold-out show on Saturday’s main event day. The Need for Speed Electro Lounge was packed all day long while DJ Miki Taka kept the music bumping and Formula Drift fans got a chance to test their skills at driving like the pros using the D-Box racing seat to play Need for Speed SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED.
The lucky winner of the Need for Speed/Alpinestars/Tilly’s VIP contest spent the day hanging out with the Voice of Formula Drift, Jarod DeAnda, after having an amazing experience going for a ride-along in the Need for Speed S14. On the track, Fredric Aasbo was able to take out John Russakoff in the top 32, and Matt Powers defeated Jeff Jones after qualifying in a very impressive 4th place. Watch the VIDEO of the opening ceremonies.
Fredric was set to battle Tyler McQuarrie in the Sweet Sixteen. McQuarrie led first, while Fredric pushed hard to stay aggressive on his competitor’s side door during the run. Fredric led next, and threw it in hard when transitioning into the first clipping point, placing the back bumper of the Scion right up on the wall, then blasted his way through the rest of the course. Fredric was awarded the advantage and would move into the top eight. Watch the VIDEO.
Matt Powers led first in his battle of the top 16 against competitor Matt Waldin. Powers performed an excellent lead run, putting his car in all the right places and keeping extreme angle throughout the course. Powers gave chase next and remained glued to his competitor, ultimately sealing the deal on his win and allowing him to move into the Great Eight. Watch the VIDEO.
In the top 8, Fredric was matched with 2009 Formula Drift Champion Chris Forsberg. Fredric gave chase first, putting the pressure on his competitor, and trying to mimic his every move. When it was Fredric’s turn to lead, he put down a solid run, but the judges awarded Forsberg the overall advantage, taking Fredric out the competition, but ending his day in a very respectable 9th place. Watch the VIDEO.
“The 2011 Team Need for Speed Scion tC proved to be a simply amazing car right out of the box. Papadakis Racing has done an incredible job of preparing the car and its setup to my liking, and driving it is easily an eleven out of ten on the fun scale,” says Fredric Aasbo. “I am proud to be a part of Hankook's expansive 2011 program. The fact that we took out one of the fastest cars in top sixteen is a true testament to the forward-bite of the Hankook RS-3, and there is still a ton of potential left in our car setup!” ` Matt was up next in the Great Eight and was set to battle Rhys Millen, the 2005 Formula Drift Champion. Matt led first with crazy angle transitioning into the first clipping point and maintaining it throughout the rest of the course. Matt gave chase next, and was glued to Millen’s door the entire run. The judges awarded Matt the clear advantage and advancement into the Final Four. Watch the VIDEO.
Matt was faced with Forsberg in the semi-finals, and after two close runs, the judges called for a One-More-Time. Matt led first in the OMT, hitting all the clipping points and blasting his way through the course, as it was apparent the 2009 Champ wasn’t backing down. When it was Matt’s turn to give chase, he knew he had go big to get the advantage, so he stuck to Forsberg’s door throughout the run, giving it all he had. Matt was awarded the win and would move on to the finals. Watch the VIDEO.
Meeting Matt in the finals was competitor Justin Pawlak. A One-More-Time was called after close runs from both drivers. Matt put down another two amazing runs, but Pawlak arose from the battle the victor, and Matt would finish the event in 2nd place, his first-ever Formula Drift podium. Watch the VIDEO.
“My goal coming into this season was to establish myself as a top driver and it feels rad to have started that mission off so strongly,” says Matt. “This is the first Formula Drift podium for Need for Speed, as well as for Nitto Tire, and I am stoked to be able to make this happen for them, as well as for my hardworking team.”
Matt continues, “I’m excited to test my new confidence and my car in Atlanta. Until then, I’m gonna try to let it sink in that I am second place overall in the Championship going into Round Two.” Watch this VIDEO for some in-car footage of Matt taking the Team Need for Speed Nitto Tire S14 all the way to the podium.
Team Need for Speed slides into Atlanta May 6-7th for Round Two, where both Matt Powers and Fredric Aasbo will be giving it their all in their quest towards the 2011 Formula Drift Championship. For more information on Team NFS visit TeamNeedforSpeed.com , become a fan at FFacebook.com/NeedForSpeed , or follow NFS on Twitter @NeedforSpeed.