EDRC: HORTO, BELLIO AND ERICSSON VICTORIOUS AT SANTA POD’S RECORD-BREAKING SEASON-OPENER
Antti Horto raced to victory, beating rookie and new European record holder Ida Zetterström in an all-Finnish Top Fuel final, at the FIA European Drag Racing Championship’s season-opening event held at Santa Pod Raceway
Sweden’s Jan Ericsson defeated Dutchman David Vegter to win the Pro Modified category, while in Top Methanol reigning champion Sandro Bellio took the honours.
It turned out to be a great weekend for the sport of drag racing, with several European records broken as the championship returned for the first time since 2019.
In the Top Fuel category, the European record was reset, with what was the first run in Europe under 3.8s. In Pro Modified, Ericsson reset the record to 5.72s, while in Top Methanol Bellio stormed to an impressive 5.48s in qualifying.
In the first Top Fuel semi-final Horto defeated Susanne Callin to set a new provisional European record of 3.802s and advance to the final. It was only minutes later that the Finnish driver lost his just established record to compatriot Zetterström, who stormed to a stunning 3.782s while completing in bye run in the second of the semi-finals.
In an all-Finnish final Horto proved his consistency and covered the drag strip in 3.809s, as in the other lane Zetterström lost traction at the start and rolled to the finish, having to settle for second on her FIA EDRC debut.
Pro Modified it was action-packed right from the eliminations. Number one qualifier, fresh from breaking the European record, Ericsson logged a string of 5.7s runs to defeat the likes Norbert Kuno, John Tebenham and Bruno Bader on his way to the final, where he faced David Vegter from the Netherlands. The number three qualifier defeated Wayne Nicholson with 5,92s, to then improve to 5.90s against Kev Slyfield and improve even further in the semi-final against Andres Arnover, recording his first 5.86s.
In the final Vegter managed a better reaction time, but in the second part of the run Ericsson passed the Dutchman, recording 5.79s, with Vegter only achieving
Top Methanol’s top qualifier, Sandro Bellio, had a bye run in the final as Linn Fløysvik experienced engine problems after a run earlier in the day.
The FIA EDRC is set to continue at Tierp Arena in Sweden where Round 2 of the series is scheduled for August.