On a trip from Denmark to Mantorp Park in the late 1980s, fellow Car Club members Karsten Andersen and Per Andersen noticed a Comp Eliminator dragster for sale. The rest is history. After alternating drives in the Comp Dragster Karsten and Per were invited to join the Top Fuel team of fellow Dane Jens Nybo. Jointly calling the shots, they tuned Jens to European series wins preceding the FIA era and then the first FIA European Top Fuel Dragster Championship in 1996.
Kim Reymond bought Jens' dragster in 2002 and, tuned by Karsten and Per, took that year's FIA Championship. In August 2003 there was a sign of things to come at Gardermoen in Norway when the team didn't bother with the 4.8s but went straight from 4.9s to Europe's first 4.7-second run, followed a few weeks later by the shot heard around Europe, Kim's 4.645/317.56 in qualifying at the 2003 FIA European Finals at Santa Pod Raceway, although an injury sustained at the hit of the parachutes ended Kim's racing career. In 2005 Karsten and Per assisted Swedish Top Fuel racer Tommy Möller to runner-up spot in the FIA Championship.
Karsten and Per started their own Top Fuel operation in 2006 with a state-of-the-art dragster imported from the USA and driven by Swedish Pro Modified standout Håkan Nilsson. Håkan set an ET record of 4.830 seconds and won that year's FIA Championship before retiring. UK legend Andy Carter stepped into the dragster and Karsten and Per tuned him to the FIA Championship in 2008 and 2009, equalling Kim's 4.645 ET then in 2010 setting his third quarter-mile record of 4.572 seconds, which will never be broken.
Karsten and Per shipped the car to America for several events with Norway's Thomas Nataas in the seat before returning to Europe. American star Tommy Johnson Jr drove the dragster in 2011, setting a 1000-foot ET record of 4.008 seconds and building a clear Championship lead before a licence suspension ruled him out mid-season. Thomas returned to the seat and won the FIA Championship in 2013. Thomas set three speed records, finishing with a best of 316.40 mph, and amassed the most Championship points in 2014 before a controversial points reallocation after a licence suspension robbed him of the European title.
As a result Karsten and Per withdrew from European racing and sold the dragster to US racer Scott Palmer. Karsten continued in racing, working with Sweden's Jonnie and Johan Lindberg in Top Alcohol and Fuel Funny Car on the NHRA Tour, whilst Per retired from racing to develop his business although remaining involved in a local car club.
Tuning seven Top Fuel Dragster racers to a long list of European Championship titles, event wins, round wins, and ET and speed records is one of the most outstanding achievements in the history of European drag Racing and it is for the tuning skills and tactical nous which generated this success that Karsten Andersen and Per Andersen are inducted into the British Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
Profile by Andy (Tog) Rogers
Photos by Andy (Tog) Rogers and Dom Romney