Fresh off a win at the NitrOlympX and a steady grip on the FIA Top Fuel championship, former Super Street Bike racer Ida Zetterström will celebrate by hanging this weekend at the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.
“I am excited to get to the U.S. Nationals but even more excited to race for the championship at Santa Pod Raceway,” said Zetterström, who’ll face that challenge the following weekend. “Seeing the NHRA in action always gets me pumped up and motivated, so this weekend it will be fun to be a spectator but when I get back to the UK my total focus will be on the FIA Championship.”
Here’s an interview with Ida at last year’s U.S. Nationals:
Ida raced to victory in the Top Fuel final of the NitrOlympX, round four of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at the Rico Anthes Quartermile of the HockenheimRIng. In Pro Modified Jan Ericsson claimed the win. Zetterström and Ericsson extended their lead in the championship and although it’s not official yet, it’s almost certain that they will be crowned as the 2023 FIA European champions in their respective categories. In Top Methanol Johnny Oksa defeated Sandro Bellio in the final, while in Pro Stock Michael Malmgren claimed the win.
It was a great day of racing for the drag race fans in the grandstands of the Motodrome, with many spectacular and close runs in almost all classes at the NitrOlympX, round four of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship at the Rico Anthes Quartermile of the HockenheimRing in Germany.
In the Top Fuel semifinal the numbers one and two in the championship—Zetterström and Susanne Callin—had to face each other. Zetterström stormed to a great 3.96 seconds to claim the win and extend her lead in the championship. In the final the driver from Åland, Finland, but driving with a Swedish license, had to race number one qualifier, Jndia Erbacher who had a bye run in the semifinal.
In an extremely close final Zetterström had a better reaction time, took the lead and stormed to a great 3.92 seconds. Erbacher came very close with 3.93 seconds, but the win was for the driver from Sweden.
With the current number of entrants at the European Finals at Santa Pod, Zetterström is the 2023 FIA European Top Fuel champion. But it’s not official yet. It will be the first FIA European Top Fuel title for Zetterström in only her second season in the fastest and quickest class of the championship.
In Pro Modified, Jan Ericsson remained undefeated this season. The championship leader and reigning champion recorded a string of 5.8 second runs to defeat Jean Dulamon and in an extremely close semifinal number two qualifier David Vegter to advance to the final. On the other side of the elimination ladder there were several surprises. Number one qualifier Andres Arnover suffered mechanical problems and was not able to start in the quarter finals. Mats Eriksson had mechanical problems as well, and was not able to start in the semifinals. Roger Johansson was the winner on that side of the ladder. After defeating Bruno Bader in the quarter finals, the Swede had a bye run in the semifinals to advance to the final.
The final between Ericsson and Johansson was over almost immediately after the start as Johansson got traction problems while Ericsson stormed to another great 5.85 seconds to claim the win. The reigning champion extended his lead over the number two, Vegter and although not official, it is almost certain that the Swede will be crowned as the 2023 FIA European Pro Modified champion.
In Top Methanol the numbers one and two qualifiers, Sandro Bellio and Johnny Oksa advanced to the final. Bellio defeated Jürgen Nagel in the first round and had a bye run in the semifinals. Oksa defeated the numbers one and two in the championship, Silvio Strauch and Linn Fløysvik to advance to the final.
After recording a string of 5.5 second runs, Bellio was the favourite in the final, but the still reigning champion had problems to keep his car on the startline and pulled a red light, handing the win to Oksa, who stormed to a great 5.58 seconds
In the semifinals of eliminations in Pro Stock there was a major surprise as number two qualifier Stefan Ernryd pulled a red light, handing the win to Michael Malmgren. Robin Norén carried on from where he left off in qualifying and defeated Simon Ekengren.
In a dramatic final, Norén was away first, while Malmgren suffered traction problems. It looked like it would be an easy win for Norén, when suddenly at half-track his car made a sharp move to the left and hit the wall. Norén was not injured, but his car suffered severe damage while the win went to Malmgren.
The next and final round of the FIA European Drag Racing Championship is within two weeks, the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in England.
video by Tim Hailey, photos and story courtesy of Remco Scheelings