Double Trouble: Ziff Hudson Makes The Switch To Twin Turbos

Creating a maximum effort combination and then taking it to the absolute limits of what it can do is one of the most rewarding things you can do in racing, but ultimately that ride will come to an end when performance runs out. Ziff Hudson did things with a single turbocharger that many didn’t think could be done, and now he’s about to do the same with a pair of hair dryers along with a small-block. Hudson’s new Racecraft-craft built twin-turbo setup is a thing of brutal beauty that is ready to hurt some feelings.

Behind the wheel of his Mustang, Hudson was able to break several different records on a set of 275 Mickey Thompson tires. His single-turbo combination quickly became a legend and was a car that couldn’t be counted out of any race it entered. After pushing his car as far as it could go, Hudson knew it was time to make some changes if he wanted to move up to the next level of small-tire racing.

“The biggest reason we went from the big single to a pair of twins was the ability to make more power and to take advantage of some weight rules in different classes. I want to run in the NMCA Radial Wars class and I can be lighter with a set of twins and a small-block, so it just made sense to make the change. The biggest thing is we were out of power with that single turbo … I’ve had that same combination for over four years and it was time to try something different,” Hudson says.

To accommodate the new twin-turbo system, Hudson had to make some big changes to his engine program. His old engine was a conventional-headed big-block Chevy that made good power, but wouldn’t work with the new direction he was headed. The new engine is a CFE all-billet small-block that was assembled by Kevin Mullins at TKM Performance with Wiseco pistons, a Callies crank, and GRP connecting rods inside. Bringing air and fuel into the engine is a Thompson Motorsports billet intake and a set of Billet Atomizer fuel injectors.

With many going to the popular 481X platform in small-tire racing, Hudson decided to go with the CFE-based engine because of the rules and the weight he could run his Mustang at when he competes at different events.

“I built this car to run really light, and if I would have gone with a 481X I would have to add 300-400 pounds and that’s not what I’m interested in. I want to race at a lighter weight and building a really nice big small-block played into that better. The goal is to see just how fast we can go with a small-block engine and a set of twin turbos. The combination will work better with a chassis that’s set up for lightweight racing and this small-block is almost the same cubic inch as my big-block was at 500 cubic-inches. There’s just so many more weight advantages for the classes we want to run by going with this setup,” Hudson explains.

To help execute his new powerplant plan, Hudson enlisted the help of the experts at Racecraft yet again to make modifications to his Mustang. This time they worked their magic by fabricating a new set of headers, turbo plumbing, new fluid tanks, and redid the nose of the car before paint. They also added a new carbon fiber seat to shed some more weight and improved the design of the rearend in the car.

To say Hudson was impressed with the Mustang when he first laid eyes on it is an understatement, and he’s excited to get fire in the pipes very soon.

“The first time I saw it I really didn’t have much to say — I didn’t know if I was supposed to race it or just look at it. I asked for a racecar and they built me a really nice show car with that polish job, they had the idea to polish everything so they had it done. This car is the real deal and it will shock a lot of people on what it will do with a small-block, and it’s going to look good doing it,” Hudson says.

Hudson selected a pair of Precision Turbo & Engine 88mm units to be the backbone of his new setup. Working with the new CFE small-block is a Rossler TH400 transmission and Cameron Torque Converter Services torque converter. Engine management is provided by a FuelTech FT600 ECU and AMS 2000 boost controller.

Hudson plans to shake the car down on the TKM Performance chassis dyno before heading to a local race to make sure everything is in good working order. After that, Hudson will load up his Mustang and head to the NMRA/NMCA Super Bowl at Route 66 Raceway with a set of 315 tires on the car to see what it can do.

“I think with this new setup we have the potential to go bottom 3.80s in Pro 275 trim — it’s just a matter of taking the knowledge we gained from before and getting it to work. I’ve already told Marty Stinnett we’re coming to get that small-block record and to get ready. We went a 3.89 on the old setup and we now have almost 1,000 more horsepower so this car will fly,” Hudson says.

With this new twin-turbo setup, Hudson has set the stage for a race to become the first person to run in the 3.80s on a 275 tire. Based on his previous track record of performance that is an easily obtainable goal. When this car is lined out don’t be surprised to see records fall quickly and often at the hands of Hudson behind the wheel of his twin-turbo monster.

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About the author

Brian Wagner

Spending his childhood at different race tracks around Ohio with his family’s 1967 Nova, Brian developed a true love for drag racing. When Brian is not writing, you can find him at the track as a crew chief, doing freelance photography, or beating on his nitrous-fed 2000 Trans Am.
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