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EDRC: title winners to emerge in Santa Pod’s finale

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The FIA European Drag Racing Championship reaches its climax with the European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, the traditional grand finale of the season

After four events, the FIA EDRC returns to Santa Pod Raceway, the very same venue where the championship kicked off back in May, for the traditional season finale. Following rounds in Sweden and in Germany, the teams will have their third event in four weeks.

After the win in the season-opening Main Event, Ida Zetterström claimed her second victory of the season at the Hockenheimring a week ago and extended her lead over Susanne Callin to 100 points.

With four entrants for the European Finals, the maximum number of points the winner can collect is 90, which would mean that Zetterström is automatically crowned the 2023 Top Fuel title winner. But if a fifth entrant turns up, there will be one extra elimination round with the available points’ tally growing to 110. In such case, Zetterström will have to make one qualifying run to claim the title in what is only her second season in the fastest category of drag racing.

With at least 21 entrants, Pro Modified once again enjoys by far the biggest field of the four FIA classes.

Jan Ericsson is leading in the standings and it is almost certain that he will claim his third title in a row. He has a 122-point advantage over the second-best driver of the season, David Vegter, and with a maximum of 130 points to win, he is only one step away from the title and one qualifying run should be enough for Ericsson to secure the crown.

Linn Fløysvik is the leader in Top Methanol after four races. The Norwegian driver won her first FIA EDRC event in May at Santa Pod but lost her number-one spot to Silvio Strauch at Tierp in August. At Hockenheim Fløysvik bounced back while Strauch ran into trouble, thus Fløysvik is back in the lead. But Strauch is only 16 points behind, so everything is still possible.

Sandro Bellio is third in the championship. After a very difficult first half of the season, the reigning champion was back to form at Hockenheim, being quick and consistent. Bellio finished the race in Germany as the runner-up and now is 37 points behind Fløysvik.

The drivers in the Pro Stock class didn’t take part in the opening round at Santa Pod, so for the British fans it will be the first opportunity this season to see the hot rods in action.

The title race can go down to the wire. Stefan Ernryd is in the lead, but Michael Malmgren, winner at Hockenheim, is only 12 points behind.

Robin Norén is third and he is 27 points short of Ernryd. Norén can win the championship as well, however, following his Hockenheim crash, he’ll be behind the wheel of Lasse Britsmar’s borrowed Pontiac, the very same car he campaigned between 2016 and 2019.

Qualifying will start on Friday and will continue on Saturday, while eliminations are set to kick off on Sunday morning.