Team ENEOS reveals its 2024 Driver Lineup

Eneos is gearing up for an exciting 2024 motorsports season. As Japan’s largest oil company, supplier of motor oil and transmission fluids to most Asian vehicle manufacturers, and producer of specialized fluids for Electric Vehicles, the company is continuing a full North American drift program. It will encompass the Formula DRIFT PRO and PROSPEC championships and incorporate the IMSA racing series. It will even take a trip Down Under for the World Time Attack Challenge in Sydney, showcasing the company’s lubrication expertise on an international stage.

The 2023 season proved very successful, with ENEOS-sponsored drivers claiming the PROSPEC Championship and finishing second, fourth and sixth in PRO using ENEOS lubrication throughout the year. For 2024, Team ENEOS will again be represented by an all-star cast of six highly experienced drivers competing at every level, from grassroots to international championships.

2024 TEAM ENEOS

  • Fredric Aasbo
  • Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis
  • Simen Olsen
  • Faruk Kugay
  • Rich Whiteman
  • Dai Yoshihara
  • Evasive Motorsports

FREDRIC AASBO

Following a challenging 2023 season that saw the three-time Formula DRIFT Champion Fredric Aasbo finish sixth overall in the FD PRO Championship series, the Norwegian Hammer (with support from Papadakis Racing) is eager to march Team ENEOS back to the podium in 2024, driving the recently-revamped Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra with its new livery.

Claiming FD PRO Championship titles in 2015, 2021, and 2022, Fredric joined a small and elite club of drivers with three titles. While three drivers have an opportunity to claim a record-breaking fourth title, Aasbo will be determined to claim the 2024 season for himself and create history in the sport.

With the Rockstar Energy Toyota GR Supra lubricated by ENEOS engine and gear oils, Fredric will compete against top-tier competition, including his fellow Team ENEOS members, at the Long Beach opening round.

ODI BAKCHIS

One of Aasbo’s main rivals throughout his FD career has been Aurimas “Odi” Bakchis. The Lithuanian-American driver has been an incredibly strong and consistent contender since joining the series in 2011. Throughout that time, his Feal Race Team has been a regular in the top ten standings, finishing third in the Championship in both 2019 and 2021. In the process, Odi has accumulated numerous podium finishes and is always an imminent threat, long overdue to win his first Championship title. Joining Team ENEOS in 2023, Odi had his best season yet, finishing second in the Championship standings, driving his Feal Suspension Nissan S15.

This year, Odi will again be running ENEOS motor and gear oils in his Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S15, which was fully refreshed during the off-season to prepare for another highly competitive season. The power of the Vortech-supercharged 7.0-litre Texas Speed LSR engine with Holley management was increased to 1175hp and will certainly be up for the challenge. Odi channels the power through a G-Force GSR transmission with an ACT twin-plate clutch and Winter’s quick-change differential. Using Wisefab arms and uprights, Odi fitted his Feal Suspension 443 drift-spec coilover kit and adjustable bump stops. Dressed in lightweight fibreglass and Seibon carbon fibre bodywork, the car will sport its familiar Feal Suspension / GT Radial / ENEOS livery for maximum impact throughout the season.

SIMEN OLSEN

While Ben Hobson has departed Team Feal following his FD PROSPEC Championship win in 2023, teammate Simen Olsen will remain by Odi’s side for 2024. The Norwegian driver had an equally explosive 2023 season, piloting the Feal Suspension Nissan S14.9 despite no prior experience behind the wheel after switching from the A90 Toyota Supra he drove in 2022. Undeterred, Simen impressively finished fourth overall in the PRO Championship and is certainly hoping to maintain his momentum this year.

Simen will again pilot the Feal Suspension / GT Radial Nissan S14.9 in 2024, powered by an 1175hp Vortech-supercharged 7.0L Texas Speed LSR engine with Holley engine management, similar to the one found in Bakchis’ competition car. It also uses ENEOS engine and gear oil to significantly reduce wear and offer a slight but valuable power advantage. That power is similarly channelled through a G-Force GSR transmission with an ACT twin-plate clutch and Winter’s diff. The chassis also uses Wisefab arms and uprights in addition to the Feal Suspension 443 drift-spec coilover kit and adjustable bump stops. Maintaining a twin livery with Odi, Simen’s S14 features lightweight fibreglass and Seibon carbon fibre bodywork adorned with Feal Suspension / GT Radial / ENEOS graphics.

FARUK KUGAY

Faruk has been a key component of Team ENEOS for several years, using ENEOS motor and gear oil in drift competitions and a string of SEMA project cars he built for the Japanese company’s booth.

Born in Poland, Faruk started drifting in 2002, organizing his own drift events in Europe in 2007, where he announced, judged, and even taught drifting to other enthusiasts. Returning to the California Bay Area in 2012, Faruk dedicated himself to professional competition, earning his Formula DRIFT PRO2 (PROSPEC) license in 2015 and unlocking his PRO license the following year. After completing the 2020 PRO season, Faruk took a sabbatical but returned to the PROSPEC Championship in 2023 with ENEOS Motor Oil and the “de-tuned” PRO-spec ENEOS / Pedal Commander Nissan S14. Faruk will return to the 2024 PROSPEC Championship in the renamed ENEOS / DEVSPEED Nissan S14, powered by a 900hp Toyota Supra 2JZ engine.

Outside of FD, Faruk has hosted Sonoma Drift events on Wednesday nights at Sonoma Raceway since 2014 and organizes the annual Winter Jam drift event at the same venue. And when he’s not travelling for competitions, you’ll find Faruk at his shop, DEVSPEED, located at Sonoma Raceway. This is where he created a series of SEMA show cars for ENEOS, including an E30 BMW with Honda F20C S2000 engine swap in 2021, a Porsche 911 GT3 with Subaru STI engine swap in 2022, and a 750hp 2JZ-powered Jaguar E-type in 2023. Be sure to check out the ENEOS website and social media channels to discover these incredible creations.

RICH WHITEMAN 

As the fifth member of Team ENEOS, Rich is continuing to pursue multiple grassroots drifting competitions, such as Gridlife, Final Bout, Drift Appalachia, Gambler and HyperFest. He competed in Formula DRIFT PROSPEC in 2021 and 2022 with an impressive history of claiming podiums in his Toyota JZX100, placing 11th and 12th overall. 

With the goal of stepping back into Formula DRIFT soon, 2024 is focused on having fun, collecting more podiums, and competing on tracks in Japan, Canada, and Australia!

In this unique role, Rich will continue to be a crucial member of Team ENEOS as he demonstrates the superior engine and transmission protection provided by ENEOS engine and gear oils in several vehicles, including his SR20DET-powered Nissan S13 and S15. He’s also in the process of building a 3.4L 2JZ engine for his new Formula DRIFT competition chassis to keep things interesting!

DAI YOSHIHARA

Undoubtedly, one of Team ENEOS’ favorites is Daijiro Yoshihara, who not only worked at a Japanese ENEOS gas station in his youth but was also a founding member of Team ENEOS back in 2017. Although the 2011 Formula DRIFT Champion retired from the series at the end of the 2021 season, he continues to be a valued ENEOS ambassador on and off the track. 

Dai’s 2023 highlights included a debut season in the TC America racing series, competing in the Pit+PaddockCivic Type R TCX. He also continued the “Ride with Dai” program, where drift fans were able to purchase or win a seat alongside the former Champion in his modified FD PRO Subaru BRZ. To top it off, Dai returned to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, piloting the Evasive Motorsports Honda S2000RS.

In 2024, Dai will compete in the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, co-driving with Karl Wittmer on behalf of Montreal Motorsport Group in the Pit+Paddock Civic Type R TCR. With the first couple of races already in the books, the Japanese driver will embark on his first race in Australia this summer with Evasive Motorsports, again driving the ENEOS-lubricated Honda S2000RS, confident he can clock the fastest lap time for an American-built S2K.

EVASIVE MOTORSPORTS

Evasive Motorsports needs no introduction: the aftermarket parts retailer and race team with an affinity for time attack competition has always been considered family, but it’s long overdue to officially induct them into Team ENEOS.

Established in 2002 as a side hustle to sell aftermarket parts online, co-owners Mike Chang and Tony Kwan grew the business into a 12000 sq-ft brick-and-mortar facility, where they built their first Mitsubishi Evo time attack car, adding race car preparation and parts installation to the list of services offered, complementing their parts sales.

In 2021, Evasive moved to its current 18000 sq-ft facility in Cerritos, CA, adding more workshop space and parts storage. The expert staff continues to deliver premium on-site services including engine/chassis tuning, race prep, fabrication, dyno testing and regular servicing. The team has track-tested an extensive range of parts over the years and provides recommendations to customers who seek to improve their vehicle’s performance and balance.

As an authorized ENEOS dealer, ENEOS high-performance lubricants go hand-in-hand with Evasive’s racing exploits. The high-performance engine and transmission oils have been used in a number of record-breaking Evasive project vehicles driven by ENEOS ambassador Dai Yoshihara at events, including the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and Global Time Attack.

This year, Evasive is sending its ENEOS-protected Evasive Motorsports / ENEOS Oil Honda S2000RS to the World Time Attack Challenge at Sydney Motorsport Park in Australia, where Yoshihara will hope to set some fast lap times.

OPENING ROUNDS

The opening round of the 2024 Formula DRIFT PRO Championship will take place at Streets of Long Beach on April 12-13. Fredric, Odi and Simen will begin the title chase for Team ENEOS, with Fredric aiming to claim his fourth Championship while Odi and Simen hope to achieve their first.

On May 9-11, Formula DRIFT heads to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for the first round of the PROSPEC Championship, giving Faruk a chance to wave the flag for Team ENEOS. The event will also host Round 2 for the FD PRO teams, reuniting four members of Team ENEOS. Please visit formulad.com for the competition schedule and free-to-view event livestream.

Prior to the Formula DRIFT kick-off, Dai completed the opening two rounds of the IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge: the first at Daytona International Raceway and the second at Sebring, where the team finished seventh and eighth place, respectively. Dai will now focus on round three at Weathertech Raceway Laguna Seca from May 8-12.

For Rich, the first event with his Nissan S13 will be HyperFest on May 17-19 at Virginia International Raceway.

Please visit eneos.us for more information about Team ENEOS, the latest engine and gear oils, and where to purchase them.

ABOUT ENEOS

Established in 1888 and headquartered in Tokyo, ENEOS is Japan’s largest oil company, with manufacturing and sales facilities worldwide. With a unique position in its home market, ENEOS has worked with Asia’s automakers and leading race teams for decades, creating advanced lubricants with their vehicle engineers to provide optimum fuel economy with maximum power and long-term protection. ENEOS also recently announced a new line of products for future electric vehicle applications, helping to ensure the newest EV technology is operating as efficiently as possible. For more information, please visit eneos.us

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