Krister Johansson is a Swedish drag racing driver that has been faithful to the Dragster class for many years.
From Pro Comp to Top Methanol Dragster, Krister has sure made a name for himself in Europe in the extreme motorsport drag racing.
Krister is one of those that started out racing in a streetcar, and then worked his way up in the classes. He started his career with a Dodge Lancer. In 1972 he went to England to race and won the finals against an English drag racer.
- I think it was called something like “Red E”, says Krister.
Winning in England called for more drag racing, and now the Lancer would be tuned up.
- At the time, tuning meant positioning the engine in the rear and taking off weight from the chassi.
The car was now in the SA class, and was renamed to the “Storming Six” because of the six-cylinder engine.
- I remember guys from Stockholm wouldn’t believe their eyes when I popped the hood open and they saw the six-cylinder engine.
In 1975 the six-cylinder was replaced with a V8 Hemi engine, and Kristers brother Kjell was driving. But before the season in 1976 the Lancer was sold, and instead a Ford T-23 was bought.
The same Hemi engine was used in the T-23 and Kjell was driving.
- The T-23 had the start number B/CA 51, and I remember beeing sponsored by Spola Kröken and Bilhuset.
1976 Krister built his first dragster with a front six-cylinder engine, the same engine that was used in the Lancer. The front engine dragster was raced for one season, and in 1977 Krister had built a new dragster chassi with a nitro injected rear mounted hemi engine.
- Unfortunately on the third run I rolled it over and crashed the car, says Krister.
Now, with a totally crashed dragster and no time to build a new one Kjell went to the United States to buy a new race car. And later that season Krister could resume drag racing. At the time he was racing an A-Fuel nitromethane injected Hemi dragster, and that combination would last up until 1980.
- In 1980 everyone started using blowers (superchargers) on their race cars, and that’s when I switched over. After that I raced supercharged engines for 14 years.
In 1988 he built the dragster he would race up until 1994 when he temporarily stopped racing.
- In 1994, that’s when people started using PSI blowers, and I didn’t feel like spending 10,000 dollars on a new supercharger.
In 1997 Krister noticed how the A-Fuel cars in the US started to go really fast.
- And that’s when I thought, well I started out with A-Fuel, why not end racing with an A-Fuel car.
Said and done. 1999 Krister started building on a new race car, and in 2002 he made comeback. At the time, his car was the only A-Fuel in Europe.
- At first I was using my old Top Methanol engine converted to Nitro injection, but in 2005 I bought a new engine.
At the time it was 100% Nitromethane in the fuel tank, which the engine really liked. And Krister made a new speed record for Europe with 262 mph or 423 kmh. In 2006 new restrictions was made on the fuel and 98% Nitromethane was used, and in 2007 the percentage was even furthered lowered to 97%. The new fuel regulations made a huge difference on the engines performance.
- The FIA uses the same rules as they use in the United States, even though we don’t go as fast as the Americans.
Krister has never thought of stepping up to Top Fuel.
- I have raced what I can afford and what I can control, and Im happy with that.
- Nitromethane completely changes the engines character. Its not an easy combination, but that’s also where the challenge is. Once I get the right setup and combination, the engine is very reliable and consistant. It is direct drive which eliminates the problems that gearboxes bring, I guess you can call it Top Fuel light.
Through the years Krister has won many medals. Four Swedish Championship gold medals 1982, 1983, 1990 and 1991. He also has three inofficial European Championship gold medals.
In 2010 he was inducted to the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
- And in 1995 I was awarded the “Big Boys Badge”, something I am very proud of.
The 2009 season was a great success for the team with a new record low ET of 5.35 seconds.
- We are all very excited to see how the 2011 drag racing season is going to turn out. The Top Methanol Dragster class is popular and there is some really good competition.
- I want to thank my team, my sponsors and all the people that has been supporting me through the years.