Co-Naming Rights Sponsors

Zappia Racing is proud to represent Dananni Hotshots / Tony’s Auto Wreckers in the Australian ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship Series, and the Thunder 400 Australian Professional Drag Racing Series. The Dananni Hotshots / Tony’s Auto Wreckers HQ Monaro is Australia's quickest Doorslammer, holding the ANDRA National Record of 5.685 seconds, and the Thunder 400 National Record of 5.601 seconds. John "Zap" Zappia is the 10-times back-to-back ANDRA National Champion, and one time 400 Thunder Pro Slammer National Champion. Also the Perth Motorplex track record of 5.585 seconds.

Major Sponsors

Zappia Racing also thanks Major Sponsors below for their continued support and sponsorship. Fuchs Lubricants are suppliers of all the world class lubricants. Crow Cams have a long association with Zap with camshaft and valve train supplies. Noonan Race Engineering assists Zap with billet blocks, Noonan cylinder heads and billet light weight rocker covers. Muscle Care Warehouse is valued sponsors with assistance for East Coast meetings. Hoosier Racing Tires supplies John Zappia with tyres and technical assistance to set national Records. Shacks Automotive Paints for their paint supply to keep the car appearance in showroom condition. Motec for the support over several years with dash, wiring looms and ECU unit for the VP street ute.

Supporting Sponsors

Thank you for helping Zappia Racing and for more details on the Supporting Sponsors and links to their web sites go to "Sponsors" in the top menu.

Latest News

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ZAPPIA FAMILY DOUBLES UP WESTERNATIONALS WINS

John Zappia rallied to a historic Top Doorslammer win at the 50th annual Westernationals, celebrating a family double-up and a new national record in a highly successful night for the Dananni Hotshots /Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro.

Zappia came into the event quietly confident, with some positive results in testing giving the team a solid foundation as they entered qualifying.

“The track preparation at the Motorplex has been very consistent lately, and with the sticky Hoosier tyres we rolled off the trailer with a 5.71,” Zappia said. “We had the same settings as we ran in the final of the Super Sportsman Showdown where we ran 5.70, so considering we had different weather it was good to see that kind of repeatability.”

The second qualifying session saw Zappia short shift through some tyre shake for a 5.73, before a troubled 6.25 in the final session.

“When we started up for the run we had a low air warning for our CO2 bottle, but I thought it would be enough to make it through. When I hit the button for top gear it didn’t shift, so I pushed the clutch in and coasted to the line, while Mark Chapman charged by.

“It was maybe a sign, because one year ago at the Westernationals I lost to Mark in the first round and had to watch him drive by. So we didn’t take any chances and decided to change the gearbox and make sure the air bottle was completely full so it wasn’t happening again on race day!”

Zappia expected the slightly different gearbox ratios to tame the car down a bit for a first round battle against Frank Taylor.

“We figured the gearbox would be close enough, and we had run 5.77 with it before. We got a little more aggressive with the tune-up and the Dananni Hotshots / Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro goes a 5.69! It carried the front wheels to 160 foot and I could feel the difference in acceleration. The car felt beautiful. There must have been something good in the air because Frank ran a PB 6.03 next to us, so there were lots of happy faces on the start line.”

The semi-finals beckoned, where Zappia would take on Kelvin Lyle’s Ford Mustang – which also runs a potent Zappia Racing engine.

“Even though we carried the front end in the first round I thought the initial reaction of the car was a little lazy, so we threw more clutch in for the semis. I really had to get my head into gear against Kelvin because we knew he could step it up. I hit a .040 reaction, my best of the weekend, and the car went .966 to 60 feet. It rattled and I had to pedal, with a short shift on third gear, but we got through with a 5.76 to 5.97 win. We definitely dodged a bullet there.”

The final round would see Zappia face Steve Aldridge in the Crown Security Cuda, who was on a streak of five-second runs. Incidentally both cars in the final running Fuchs Lubricants and proving the quality and reliability of their lubricants.

“We realised what we had for the semis was a bit too much so we pulled the clutch back, but otherwise left the car alone for the final. I had another good light with an .065 which got us the holeshot on Steve. Then everything went almost perfectly, even though I still wasn’t quite hitting the shift points, and we went 5.681 at 255mph to Steves’ 5.800.

“There wasn’t much room for error in the final round. Steve ran his quickest pass of the season, so any slip from us and he would have got past.”

The 5.681 second time was also enough for Zappia to reset the ANDRA national record, which hasn’t been touched since 2015.

“When we got back to scrutineering to go through the weighbridge I asked about the ANDRA record, as it hadn’t crossed my mind at any time until then. One of the ladies from ANDRA said it was a 5.693, and I suddenly remembered making that pass at Willowbank. So all of a sudden we needed to get paperwork sorted out and ANDRA were checking over the car. It was an unbelievable way to end the weekend.”

The win was Zappia’s first Westernationals title since 2017. More importantly, it was also the first time he has joined a family member in the Westernationals winner’s circle, with nephew Brodie Zappia winning in Junior Dragster.

“When Brodie got the job done with an awesome 8.000 on an 8.00 dial in I said this has to be a double, I can’t let Brodie be the only one with a gold Christmas tree! Congratulations to Brodie and crew Richard, Lia and Adam on their gold Christmas tree, the first of many I am sure.”

“This was a weekend where it all came together. And to do it at the 50th running of the event, well, what can you say? Maintenance wise we changed one valve spring after the first run and everything else was smooth sailing. The car is in the zone now with its new Noonan cylinder heads, the super-efficient Crow Cam, the reliable CP-Carrilo pistons and rods, Victory Valves and Reid Rockers.”

“To all of my crew, sponsors and fans, thank you for your dedication and your support. We hope we can reward you with some more wins before the season is finished!”

The next round of the Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam Series takes place on April 10, with Zappia having built a healthy points lead as he aims to defend his championship title.

Photos: Phil Blondell    Phil Luyer High Octane Photos

 

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50th Annual Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex

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Latest News History

WA Drag Racing Championships -  Super Sportsman Showdown

Zappia out of lockdown and into winner’s circle

John Zappia stormed to the Top Comp victory at the Super Sportsman Showdown at Perth Motorplex on Sunday. Zappia used the event as a testing opportunity, but treated every race just like he was racing in the Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam, which resumes in two weeks at the Westernationals. “Top Comp is a […]

Night of Fire

Zappia extends lead in Summer Slam Series at Night of Fire

John Zappia returned to the winner’s circle of the Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam Series on Saturday night at Perth Motorplex. The Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer enjoyed a welcome return to consistency, with all four runs in the five second zone at the January 23 Night of Fire. “At the end […]

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Zappia takes Summer Slam championship lead

A B-Final win at the Nitro Slam proved enough to leapfrog John Zappia into the lead of the Direct Mining & Industrial Summer Slam Series on Saturday at Perth Motorplex. Zappia overcame a series of gremlins on a day where his hard-working crew of volunteers was put to the test physically and mentally as they […]

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Methanol maestro John Zappia resets for January

John Zappia is optimistic of getting back close to his record performances after taking the time to do some horsepower experiments on the Dananni Hotshots/ Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer. Zappia was in test mode on December 12 at Perth Motorplex, making three runs with different Boninfante friction plates in the clutch, using his […]

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Shift issue holds back Zap after top qualifying

John Zappia’s rollercoaster season in the Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer continued on Saturday at Perth Motorplex, after a gear shifting gremlin cost the team a chance at making the final of Summer Slam round two. Zappia’s day began well with a 5.886 pass in the first qualifying session, which came despite two […]

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Zappia lands first strike in Summer Slam

John Zappia has launched his Summer Slam championship defence in strong fashion, winning the opening round of the season on November 7 at Perth Motorplex. Zappia began qualifying with a tyre-shaking 5.91 pass from the Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro, which was enough to put the team in second position in the field. “It started […]

49th Annual Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex

Zappia primed for Power Palooza

John Zappia’s season launches this Saturday at Perth Motorplex as he takes part in match racing at the Shannons Insurance Power Palooza. Zappia would ordinarily be contesting rounds of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer Championship at this time of year, but the series is on hold due to COVID-19, allowing Zappia to concentrate on his […]

John-Zappia

Zappia clarifies radial plans as he concentrates on Summer Slam

John Zappia is adding to his stable of race cars with a pair of new projects to dabble in the exciting world of radial tyre drag racing, though his focus remains squarely on his Dananni Hotshots Holden Monaro Top Doorslammer ahead of a new season at Perth Motorplex. The first project is a Holden VP […]

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