FIA European Drag Racing Top Fuel Champion Making Move to NHRA

Jackson Wheeler
5 Min Read

  • Isa Zetterstrom was born in Sweden and now calls Finland home.
  • She is moving to the Indianapolis area with a new focus of winning an NHRA championship.
  • Zetterstrom plans to run a limited schedule with JCM Racing in 2024 and a full-time campaign in 2025.

FIA European 2023 Top Fuel champion Ida Zetterstrom is heading to the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series.

Zetterstrom plans to make her NHRA Top Fuel debut with JCM Racing during the 2024 NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series season. The driver, who was born in Sweden and now calls Finland home, is moving to the Indianapolis area with a new focus of winning an NHRA championship. She plans to run a limited schedule in 2024 and a full-time campaign in 2025.

The announcement was confirmed at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show today in Indianapolis.

“This is truly a dream come true,” said the 29-year-old Zetterstrom, who holds the the FIA Top Fuel record for elapsed time and speed. “I’ve been working towards this goal for years now, and to have Joe Maynard and the JCM Racing organization recognize my efforts and potential means so much. I’m so thankful for everyone who has helped me reach this point, including all the NHRA drivers who have offered tips and guidance.

“The plan for now is to run at least five events next year starting in the second half of the season, but we are actively pursuing partners in hopes of running as many races as possible, as soon as possible. I’m ready to hit the ground running.”

Zetterstrom hopes to compete for the NHRA’s 2024 Rookie of the Year award.

Zetterstrom earned her FIA Top Fuel license in 2021 and posted the quickest-ever licensing run in European drag racing history. The following year, she became the first European Top Fuel driver to dip into the 3.70-second range in 1,000-foot competition. She also earned her first FIA event win and finished third in the FIA championship standings.

The 2023 FIA season saw Zetterstrom and the RF Motorsport team pick up four event wins, three No. 1 qualifier awards, and both ends of the European Top Fuel record. She lost just one round of eliminations all season to secure the FIA European championship.

“This is a unique opportunity to bring a talented rising star into the world of NHRA drag racing,” said JCM Racing team owner Joe Maynard. “We’ve followed Ida’s success on and off the track for some time now. She obviously has the skills it takes to excel in Top Fuel. Plus, she understands the importance of social media and how to utilize it to benefit partners. She’s the full package. I believe Ida has a bright future in NHRA drag racing, and we’re thrilled that she’s making her U.S. debut as a member of our JCM Racing organization.

“Ida has been so successful in Europe, and now she’s going to compete with the best of the best among the NHRA ranks. She’s obviously committed to the opportunity by moving here. Similarly, we’re committed to providing her with the resources she needs to contend for NHRA Rookie of the Year honors in 2024, and if all goes as planned, to compete for an NHRA Top Fuel championship to go along with her European title starting in 2025.”

While Zetterstrom’s 2024 NHRA race schedule is still in the works, she plans to begin testing with JCM Racing during the NHRA Gatornationals pre-race test session at Gainesville, Fla. in March.

Headshot of Mike Pryson

Mike Pryson covered auto racing for the Jackson (Mich.) Citizen Patriot and MLive Media Group from 1991 until joining Autoweek in 2011. He won several Michigan Associated Press and national Associated Press Sports Editors awards for auto racing coverage and was named the 2000 Michigan Auto Racing Fan Club’s Michigan Motorsports Writer of the Year. A Michigan native, Mike spent three years after college working in southwest Florida before realizing that the land of Disney and endless summer was no match for the challenge of freezing rain, potholes and long, cold winters in the Motor City.

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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