300mph women drivers headline September’s FIA European Finals at Santa Pod

Wednesday 30 August 2023

Europe’s fastest-ever racing drivers are all women – and two of them will battle to be crowned 2023 FIA Top Fuel champion in a Santa Pod showdown on 7-10 September. 

The three ladies – Ida Zetterström, Susanne Callin and Jndia Erbacher – all drive 10,000-horsepower Top Fuel Dragsters and they return to the Bedfordshire venue having set European speed records back in May. 

The top honour is currently held by Finland’s Zetterström at 321.01mph ahead of Callin (Sweden) on 320.20mph and Swiss driver Erbacher’s 318.96mph, which stood as the record ahead of the May event. 

It’ll be Zetterström and Callin who go head-to-head for the title but don’t discount Erbacher and leading male drivers Duncan Micallef (Malta) and Stig Neergaard (Denmark), who won’t be afraid to disrupt the showdown for the crown in their own bid for victory. 

Whilst Top Fuel action takes center stage, the European Finals event will see more than 250 entries take on the famed dragstrip.  

Almost as fast and just as loud as the Top Fuel Dragsters, five ground-pounding nitro Funny Cars provide a Swedish opponent, Patrik Pers, for the British quartet of Kevin Kent, Steve Ashdown, Kevin Chapman and Jason Phelps. Kent returns to the track after a race-winning, record-setting performance (4.187sec/291.25mph) in July.   

Fifteen overseas entrants will make the trip to battle Britain’s finest Pro Modified racers in a double-header contest combining rounds of the FIA European and Motorsport UK British Championships. Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Estonia are all represented.  

Two Swedish racers share little mutual affection: veteran Michael Gullqvist has dominated the scene for so long with seven FIA Pro Mod Championships under his belt but finds his rule usurped by Jan Ericsson, a comparative newcomer to the class who has scooped the last two championships in a row and leads again this season.  

Among their compatriots, fan-favourite Fredrik Fagerström brings his unique – indeed eccentric – Chevy truck, a blunderbuss amid a field of rotary cannons. ‘Fast Freddy’ delights the crowds with half-track burnouts and blistering reverses while his 5.9-second, 240mph capability can upset any storied opponent.  

On Pro Mod’s home front, Bobby Wallace has been running away all season with the Motorsport UK British Championship. Wallace has reached Santa Pod’s last six Pro Mod final rounds, winning four, while his only defeats have come in previous combined rounds at the hands of Jan Ericsson. Qualifying will be a tight affair with 22 entrants to be whittled down to just 16 for Sunday’s action. 

Overseas entries also compete in the Pro Stock and Top Methanol classes. Top Methanol features Dragsters and Funnies racing together. Supporting them all is a full programme of Sportsman competition. 

Full information about the event can be found here.