Third Championship for Forsberg1:21:00 PM
Under the smoke and lights of Irwindale Speedway in California, Chris Forsberg became the first three-time Formula Drift World Champion. This achievement comes after a record-setting season, with Forsberg taking six consecutive podiums in his Nissan 370Z.
While Forsberg led the championship standings over 2015 Champion Fredric Aasbo coming into the deciding weekend at Irwindale Speedway, the Maryland native needed a strong performance to seal the deal. Spirits were high as Forsberg's 1,000-hp VK56-powered 370Z wailed in a cloud of smoke against underdog Pat Mordaunt. That all came to a grinding halt when a slight miscalculation sent Forsberg's car careening into the wall. The night was over for Forsberg after only one battle of the Top 16 – potentially disastrous consequences for the 2016 Championship.
With Aasbo facing seasoned veteran Matt Field, Forsberg and team watched intently from the sidelines. An unforced error from Aasbo caused his car to tap Fields' and left Forsberg's team feeling hopeful, until Field's car had a mechanical issue at the end of his run. Using every second of the five-minute "Competition Time Out," Fields' crew fixed the car and got out to the start line just in time.
With a strong performance on his second pass, Field took the battle, sending Aasbo out of competition and officially crowning Forsberg as the 2016 Formula Drift World Champion.
"It's an amazing feeling to win the championship three times now, and also break our 2014 podium record," said Forsberg. "It just goes to show that consistency pays off. We may not have won a round this year, but we won the Championship, and that is our goal every year."
Forsberg credits his strong consistent performance to his team and the all-Nissan platform they have worked to master.
"The VK56 is just an insane engine," said Forsberg. "Our fully developed 370Z chassis is incredibly powerful and reliable. It's the reliability that it takes to win a Championship."
Forsberg looks forward to chasing a fourth title in the 2017 Formula Drift Season that kicks off in Long Beach next spring.