At first, this Instagrammer thought Papadakis Racing was having engine troubles before Round 1 of Formula Drift but he could be farther from the truth.

It’s all too easy to throw a knee-jerk reaction at a Formula Drift team and throw some Instagram shade that this race team was having some trouble despite a sizeable budget but the truth was far more interesting. According to professional Formula Drift shade thrower Formula Derp off Instagram from earlier today (Apr. 7,2018) they snapped and shared a photo of Fredric Aasbo’s newly unveiled 1000 HP Corolla being torn apart and reassembled in the pits. Formula Derp at first chalked this up to just bad luck but one commenter set the record straight. Check out the photo below.

It’s true Papadakis Racing was swapping engines before Formula Drift Round 1 but they weren’t doing it because they had engine troubles, they were doing it for practice! According to commenter Mike Boldt,

Apparently they were changing to practice and see how quickly it can be done.

Another commenter chimed in that there’s…,

Nothing wrong with the motor, they’re changing it to keep the team on their toes

That’s pretty awesome in my opinion and gives the average Formula Drift watcher a glimpse into the mindset of a winning team.

This particular engine has actually been pretty refined and somewhat reliable for driver Fredric Aasbo. He’s been using a variation of this engine for quite some time ever since he climbed into his Scion TC drift car back in 2015.

In its stock form, this engine makes in the neighborhood of 180HP, but after Papadakis racing slaps on a giant turbo, NOS, and all the supporting modifications to make sure that controlled giant explosion is kept under control, this motor is making 1,000 HP and then some.

That doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. In motorsport, oftentimes that does happen. Winning teams mitigate this risk by being ever vigilant on race day (and before,) bringing all the spare parts, and in this case, practicing for a worst case scenario where a fresh engine has to be swapped in.

Stephen Papadakis cut his teeth in imports, specifically drag racing, so he’s no stranger to a good ol’ engine swap in the middle of what’s essentially the, “Streets of Long Beach” underneath a pop-up tent.

So there you have it. Sometimes the truth is far more interesting than what’s put out there.


  1. Followup: they got to do it for real after blowing their engine in qualifying round 1 @ Seattle (Monroe). They got the car back together and ready to post a “good” run in under 45 minutes


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