TD Turbo Technique

Castrol Raceway’s highly successful Top Eliminator racing program which is sponsored by Bob and Gord Edbertz is helping to nurture a whole new wave of very fast and innovative cars from Western Canada.   A new turbocharged dragster driven by Leigh Stafford is another solid example….

Stafford, who is based from Whitecourt Alberta, hit the scene earlier this season when he debuted a 272 inch “slip joint” rear engined dragster built by Mike Spitzer.  Intended for Top Dragster class racing — this car is however anything but your main stream TD class car — as it features a twin turbocharged 388 CID small block Chevy engine which produces 2000 HP.


The car is a final product of about a three year journey for Stafford who admits he likes to think outside the box with regard to drag racing.

“This car is brand new in 2013 but I did have the engine for about three years,” Leigh revealed.  “I put this all together myself.  I am taking a different approach to the class because I like the challenge.  I really like the EFI technology and we run it on methanol so the engine stays pretty cool and it makes a ton of horsepower.  It’s a big learning curve but it’s all come together quite nicely.”

Leigh Stafford (right) with crew chief Cory Stec.

Leigh Stafford (right) with crew chief Cory Stec.

Stafford and his crew chief Cory Stec are receiving some very valued guidance form one of the best in the business — Michigan’s Mike Moran who helps (mostly on-line) with the cars tune up.   The car has run very quick and fast too hitting the 6.7 secs zone at 210 mph using twin 88 mm turbos.

“My plans are to built an even bigger motor with Mike going forward,” Leigh added.  “But our focus now is to get the car dialled in and race locally within the great Top Eliminator program they have here in Edmonton.”  (

Stafford’s racing program is a self-funded one with his own company LNC Tower Tongs Ltd (a service drilling company within the oil patch industry) being the primary.  Leigh does receive valued backing from associate sponsor Carland Services Inc.

The impressive technological effort behind Stafford’s dragster has already earned much admiration with both his racing peers and also sanctioning inspectors.  His car did receive the prestigous “Best Engineered” Award during last summer’s IHRA Mopar Rocky Mountain Nitro Jam at Edmonton.

Leigh Stafford's turbo TD has already dipped deep into the 6-seconds zone at well over 200 mph.

Leigh Stafford’s turbo TD has already dipped deep into the 6-seconds zone at well over 200 mph.

 Posting & Photos by: Bruce Biegler