Scion Racing Media Day 2015
Irwindale Speedway hosts a number of motorsports events throughout the year, from demolition derbies, to drag races, to NASCAR, but for one night it transforms into the "House of Drift" as Formula Drift makes their final stop on their World Championship tour. Tomorrow is D-Day, "Drift Day", as drivers prepare for the Final Fight.
Last week Driving Line Editor-in-Chief, Jonathan Wong, and I spent a day with the two guys holding down the number one and number two spots in the Formula Drift standings. They're two guys at the top of their game who also happen to be teammates; that's right, after all that's shaken down through the course of this season, Scion Racing's Fredric Aasbo and Ken Gushi currently stand at the top. Don't expect either to give up their podium positioning easily, because behind both of these talented drivers is a crew that keeps them on their game.
For Ken Gushi, at the lead of his crew is none other than Kenji Sumino of Greddy Performance Products.
The point man behind Fredric Aasbo and his RWD Scion tC is Stephan Papadakis of Papadakis Racing.
After a delicious lunch catered by Panera bread and a couple video interviews for both drivers, it was time to watch them whip around the redesigned track layout at Irwindale. This time however, they'd be accompanied by media... and with the cameras pointed at us for a change! I got to ride in the first media run of the day with The Gush and his Scion FR-S; let's just say his Greddy Racing FR-S is like no other FR-S I've rode shotgun in before. As you watch the video you can clearly tell I don't know what to do with my hands, I think I was trying to prevent a wardrobe malfunction with my mask. No one wants to see a nose slip or anything. (HUH?!?) I couldn't tell if Jonathan was just so stoked to go drifting or if he was just overwhelmed sitting next to Fredric Aasbo. He says the sunglasses were to keep the smoke out, but I'm guessing it's so the camera won't see that he was lost in Fredric's eyes. Looking back at these runs though, what I remember most was feeling all of the force just throwing me against the seat to the point I could barely move, there was a lot of effort behind throwing up those peace signs (which coincidently we both did at the same turn). With that said, after laughing at myself, I replayed the video and noticed all of the movement both Gushi and Aasbo go through in a run - they have a lot of control and skill to be going sideways, steering and shifting, all the while making it look so easy. Bravo to these guys and all the other drifters out there! Enough of my endless babble, on to the video!
That minute or two, feeling like we were going to be thrown out the door, was an adrenaline rush to say the least. While the season is coming to an end, we won't have to look too far to recreate today's experiences thanks to these Team Associated remote control Ken Gushi and Fredric Aasbo drift cars Scion gifted us!