2007_tintops_004a

Striker Monaro stunning at the Winternationals

John Zappia – wild man from the west – drove his race of the season today at the Winternationals, defeating Benny Bray in the Final in his Striker Monaro to take out the ANDRA season closer. And he did it with a five second pass!

Zap was on a mission to win the Top Doorslammer Championship this weekend, needing to top qualify and win the event to stand a chance. Well he did both of those, but Garry Phillips was on his game by qualifying to take out the 2006/2007 Championship.

Qualifying was over two days, and many teams struggled to come up with a tune and setup to post reasonable times. But the Zappia Racing Team were super confident the car would be consistent, and the results speak for themselves.

A 6.122et @ 236.72mph first pass with a pedal, 6.031et @ 234.50mph second, and 6.252et @ 232.56mph third on a slippery track was enough to gain top spot out of twenty one Top Doorslammer teams.

First elimination round saw Steve Stanic roll through the beams to hand the win to Zap, although a 6.031et @ 235.73mph run in the HQ gave Zap lane choice in round two.

Second elimination round saw the race of the Winters – Legend Victor Bray up against the in form five second man John Zappia. “Victor Bray now takes on John Zappia…Victor has appeared in every Top Doorslammer Winternationals Final except for one since the inception of the bracket…talk about battle of the burnouts Zap takes it to half track…Bray says I can do better than that and burns on right past him…Will we see a five from Zap or the Big Vic taking his place beside his son in the final, this is gonna be awesome, they are both out, Bray is in front, but Zap comes back and snatches the win at the line.” wrote the track commentator. A 6.031et @ 235.97mph by Zap was enough to beat a stout 6.04et @ 241.42mph from the big man.

The Castrol Edge 2007 Westernationals final was between young champion Benny Bray, versus experienced champ Zap. “Talk about tyre torturing burnouts, John Zappia and Benny Bray are taking it right up to the crowd with massive side by side burnouts, there is a staging duel, they are out, Ben is just in front but here comes Zap and its massive – he is drifting towards the centre line, he hangs onto it and it’s a five second pass by Zappia for the win.” A 5.996et @236.97mph was enough to beat Benny’s 6.091et.

This last event was all Zappia’s, after a mixed season saw him lose valuable points towards the championship. The win gave him his second Top Doorslammer runner-up title, and a $5,000 bonus from Striker for the five second run, but sent a strong message to his fellow competitors and fans that next season is the season to catch John Zappia and the Striker Monaro.
Results thanks to Willowbank International Raceway.


08/06/2007  5:41 pm          11Deg,56%H,1009mB,-126RA,(TT)19Deg                
   76  Right Lane   GARY PHILLIPS    53 STUDEBAKER , 511
 5066   Left Lane   STEVE PACKMAN    BA FALCON , 521
#Tst RcNo 369_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:8.200
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
   76 T/D    5.92  0.610  1.058  2.719  4.056 180.72  5.176  6.131 234.99  1
 5066 T/D    5.92  0.613  1.090  3.732  6.999  66.79 10.641 14.328  57.75  1

Could this be Gary Phillips
year to take home the Number One Championship spot
in Top Doorslammer, something that has eluded Gary
since the inception of the bracket, although he is a
multi National Top Alcohol winner, Steve Packman
alongside Gary, now much has been said about Packy’s
new paint scheme and I must say it is gorgeous, all
Gary has to do is Qualify for this bracket and he
has the championship.  Packy is out towards the wall
and has to button it off…Phillips is on a mission
from God, and he could very well take the
championship this weekend with just that first pass…

08/06/2007  5:45 pm                                                            
  590  Right Lane   MAURICE FABIETTI    2005 MONARO , 511 KB
  952   Left Lane   KATH STEVENS    BA FALCON , 521
#Tst RcNo 370_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  590 T/D    5.92  0.601  1.037  2.766  4.115 182.19  5.287  6.268 233.28  1
  952 T/D    5.92  0.000                                                   1  F

Kath Stevens on the line now
with Maurice Fabietti, both into their burnout, Kath
Stevens very strong in the burnout but is being
pushed away and Fabietti will take the solo and this
is a really nice base line for Fab to work from.  So
in this first qualifying session, we see both Steve
Packman and Kath Stevens fail to qualify but for all
their fans, don’t despair they have another two
chances tomorrow and will be back to put on a great
show.

08/06/2007  5:52 pm          11Deg,57%H,1009mB,-141RA,(TT)19Deg                
 1693  Right Lane   ROBIN JUDD    53 STUDEBAKER , 511 KB
  415   Left Lane   ANDREW SUTTON    2005 MONARO , 526 KB
#Tst RcNo 371_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:2.384
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1693 T/D    5.92  0.534  1.030  3.003  4.820 124.58  6.748  8.675 110.57  1
  415 T/D    5.92  0.500  1.071  2.852  4.202 185.64  5.349  6.325 228.31  1

Robin Judd and Andrew Sutton
have been patiently waiting as we cleaned up a
little fluid left by Kath Stevens car…both very
strong burnouts, Sutton a new gun to the bracket
purchasing Fabiettis ex Holden Genuine Parts
Doorslammer, this is a tough field, can both these
cars make it into the field with 21 trying to get
into the eight spots, both are out hard, but its
shake, rattle and roll for Judd and he has to abort
the pass, Sutton attacked the first half of the
track and seemed to roll it on down for the second
half, Sutton will qualify thus far but lots more to
come and Sutton is far from safe.

08/06/2007  5:55 pm          11Deg,57%H,1009mB,-137RA,(TT)19Deg                
  283  Right Lane   STEVE STANIC    CAMARO , 511
 7007   Left Lane   BRETT STEVENS    BF FALCON 2005 , 521
#Tst RcNo 372_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:1.869
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  283 T/D    5.92  0.497  1.173  3.236  4.612 181.75  5.743  6.689 239.75  1
 7007 T/D    5.92  0.379  1.016  2.949  4.768 122.42  6.725  8.676 108.80  1  F

Brett “The Boss” Stevens wants
into this Jack Daniels Top Doorslammer bracket,
Steve Stanic our current champion will be handing
over his crown this weekend, must say “The Bosses”
car looks fabulous, a red light to Stevens, and both
guys have the set up wrong with a lot of shaking and
rattling around with tons of tyre shake in both
lanes on the hit of the throttle.  All three Stevens
cars have not qualified thus far, but as I say, its
early days and I can see that changing by tomorrow
night.

08/06/2007  5:58 pm          11Deg,58%H,1009mB,-151RA,(TT)18Deg                
 2058  Right Lane   AARON LYNCH    63 CORVETTE , 521
  167   Left Lane   STUART BISHOP    67 CAMARO , 520CI
#Tst RcNo 373_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Left Win  M:0.200
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2058 T/D    5.92  0.359  1.051  2.986  4.368 183.82  5.505  6.490 216.03  1  F
  167 T/D    5.92  0.616  1.094  2.930  4.310 181.60  5.468  6.433 234.38  1

Huge burnout from Stuart Bishop
and hasn’t he been stepping up with this car, Aaron
Lynch another of our fabulous Queenslanders in the
lane alongside him, this will be a fantastic pass if
both drivers have judged the track right, both out
very ugly, and it’s a mini peddle fest in the first
half of the track but Bishops car recovered in the
second half.

08/06/2007  6:00 pm          11Deg,58%H,1009mB,-183RA,(TT)19Deg                
  895  Right Lane   KYM PETTERWOOD    CORVETTE , 511
   67   Left Lane   PAUL GREGHINI    CORVETTE , 511
#Tst RcNo 374_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.240
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  895 T/D    5.92  0.532  1.082  3.766  7.162  63.94 10.994 14.936  53.52  1
   67 T/D    5.92  0.747  1.135  3.538  6.645  70.01 10.256 14.481  50.04  1

Kym Petterwood is BACK and
don’t we just love it, its been a long break for
Petterwood, years ago Petterwood and the Tuckers all
used to rule drag racing here at the bank and the
boys are back and its great to see, all the old
great names in drag racing are helping,  Camp
Stanley, Gonzo, Tony Wedlock and many more, Lynch is
there alongside him, Petterwood has overpowered the
race track, Greghini a little shake rattle and roll
and both shut off before mid track.

08/06/2007  6:04 pm          11Deg,58%H,1010mB,-152RA,(TT)19Deg                
 1291  Right Lane   SEAN MIFSUD    41 WILLYS , 526AJ
 2993   Left Lane   PETER LOVERING    55 CHEV , BNR 526
#Tst RcNo 375_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:0.165
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1291 T/D    5.92  0.479  1.096  3.359  5.056 154.96  6.573  8.102 135.58  1
 2993 T/D    5.92  0.674  1.122  2.905  4.513 136.12  6.284  8.072 119.11  1

Peter Lovering in the Chevy
Shoebox, is taking a solo pass, good strong burnout,
ahhh no he’s not cause here comes Mifsud – very late
firing, short sharp burnout, and into it in the Wild
Willys…Lovering going in, Mifsud has to come in as
quick as possible and it’s a very ugly pass on both
sides of the track, this way, that way, one wheel in
the air, it ain’t fast but it sure is entertaining.

08/06/2007  6:07 pm                                                            
 2639  Right Lane   BEN BRAY    MONARO CV8Z , BAE 511
   65   Left Lane   RAY BERNARD    57 NOMAD , 511
#Tst RcNo 376_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2639 T/D    5.92  0.518  1.066  2.871  4.257 174.15  5.409  6.391 236.22  1
   65 T/D    5.92  0.000                                                   1  F

Ray Bernard and young Bennie
Bray are our next pairing, this is going to be a
race, the Brays are fired up to do well for this
event for their sponsor, Bernard having trouble
finding reverse gear, both are back and heading into
stage, now have they judged the track conditions
right, Bernard having problems and has been shut
off, Bray on and off the peddle over the quarter and
that will cost him some e.t., but puts him into the
field at fourth spot.

08/06/2007  6:09 pm          11Deg,57%H,1010mB,-162RA,(TT)18Deg                
  846  Right Lane   JOHN ZAPPIA    71 MONARO , HEMI 511
    4   Left Lane   PETER KAPIRIS    STUDEBAKER , 518
#Tst RcNo 377_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:7.394
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  846 T/D    5.92  0.524  1.054  2.738  4.054 188.60  5.171  6.122 236.72  1
    4 T/D    5.92  0.511  1.100  3.434  6.524  70.73  9.986 13.529  59.73  1

What a fabulous match up, John
Zappia and Peter Kapiris, Zap has long been a
favourite here at Willowbank Raceway and don’t we
just love the opportunity to witness his finessing
of this big Monaro, Kapiris in the Bat mobile has a
huge fan base here in Queensland as well, now they
have been sitting back watching the action, Kapiris
is out and loose before the 60 footer, but Zap seems
to be on a pass, driving through what looked like
being an ugly ride and he slots straight into top
position.

08/06/2007  6:12 pm          11Deg,58%H,1010mB,-172RA,(TT)19Deg                

 1221   Left Lane   VICTOR BRAY    CHEV , BAE 511
#Tst RcNo 378_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L)
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      

 1221 T/D    5.92  0.549  1.082  2.842  4.208 183.22  5.363  6.334 235.23  1

Victor Bray has just recently
celebrated his 50th birthday, he would
love to have a late birthday present of a
Winternationals Gold Christmas tree, can we give it
to him, young Ben with his head in the car
delivering some news to his father, if he can get it
down the quarter without lifting the foot off its
going to be good, the thing was a little lazy off
the line, but he manages to hit fifth spot.

08/06/2007  6:16 pm          11Deg,56%H,1010mB,-202RA,(TT)18Deg                
 2743  Right Lane   MARK BARDSLEY    68 CAMARO , 526AJ

#Tst RcNo 379_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R)
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2743 T/D    5.92  0.742  1.008  2.801  4.647 118.30  6.711  9.061  83.44  1

 

Mark Bardsley another New
Zealand invader has made the trek across the ocean
to run in Top Doorslammer and I’m impressed, it’s a
very nice 67 Chevy Camaro, he is out hard, it seems
to sit back on the wheelie bars, but buttons it off
as he gets a little out of shape mid track.  He has
60 footed the quickest of anyone in this session



JACK DANIELS TOP DOORSLAMMER
QUALIFYING ROUND TWO
09/06/2007  2:22 pm          16Deg,61%H,1006mB,641RA,(TT)21Deg                 
  167  Right Lane   STUART BISHOP    67 CAMARO , 520CI
 2058   Left Lane   AARON LYNCH    63 CORVETTE , 521
#Tst RcNo 255_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.010
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  167 T/D    5.92  0.583  1.083  2.779  4.123 184.13  5.258  6.211 239.11  2
 2058 T/D    5.92  0.730  1.031  2.719  4.030 188.44  5.132  6.054 245.77  2

Aaron Lynch the Man of Steel is on
the track and up against Stuart Bishop the diamond
dealer, Stuart is currently in the field, Lynch as yet
not, revs are up, Bishop is out and in front, Lynch
rounds him up at the finish line and goes into number
one qualifying position…going deep into the sand and
pulls up no worries.  The chute deploys but does not
blossom and we have a short break to drag Lynch out of
the bottom end.  Bishop is out in front.

09/06/2007  2:31 pm          15Deg,63%H,1006mB,566RA,(TT)20Deg                 
    4  Right Lane   PETER KAPIRIS    STUDEBAKER , 518
 2743   Left Lane   MARK BARDSLEY    68 CAMARO , 526AJ
#Tst RcNo 256_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:4.998
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
    4 T/D    5.92  0.519  1.087  2.838  4.182 180.87  5.311  6.252 244.97  2
 2743 T/D    5.92  0.729  1.085  3.093  5.526  89.50  8.255 11.040  76.01  2

Peter Kapiris is up next alongside
Mark Bardsley – Bardsley another Kiwi invader who seems
to have picked up lots of Aussie support here at
Willowbank and why not it’s an awesome car, driven by
the tyre fitter.  Kapiris’s Bat mobile is sounding oh so
tough and lets hope he can get into the field.  Kapiris
out like a bullet, but uses up all the lane, its not a
pretty run for Bardsley, he has had a problem at the top
of second gear by the look of it, Ben Bray bumped out,
Victor now on the bump spot, Kapiris slotting into
fifth.

09/06/2007  2:33 pm          15Deg,63%H,1006mB,541RA,(TT)20Deg                 
  323  Right Lane   DENO BRIJESKI    67 CAMARO , 521 HEMI
 1291   Left Lane   SEAN MIFSUD    41 WILLYS , 526AJ
#Tst RcNo 257_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.251
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  323 T/D    5.92  0.760  1.060  2.850  4.224 180.72  5.394  6.374 227.97  1
 1291 T/D    5.92  0.489  1.053  2.752  4.149 176.06  5.360  6.394 215.42  2

Sean Mifsud and Deno Brijeski,
Brijeski missed the first qualifying session by not
getting to the lanes in time last night and told to tow
back around, Mifsud had start line dramas in the first
session.  Both looking for a berth in Doorslammer…lots
of shake happening for Brijeski but he drives through it
losing something off the car in the start line area,
Mifsud looked to be on a mission but not good enough for
the field.  Both failing to make the field at this
stage.

09/06/2007  2:36 pm          15Deg,63%H,1006mB,475RA,(TT)20Deg                 
  415  Right Lane   ANDREW SUTTON    2005 MONARO , 526 KB
   76   Left Lane   GARY PHILLIPS    53 STUDEBAKER , 511
#Tst RcNo 258_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.839
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  415 T/D    5.92  0.542  1.062  2.990  4.578 160.83  5.856  6.944 197.20  2
   76 T/D    5.92  0.535  1.034  2.698  4.027 186.57  5.158  6.112 236.72  2

Gary Phillips we did not expect to
see him this session as he is solidly in the field, in
third spot, Andrew Sutton also in the field in seventh
spot and could be bumped any second, Phillips looking
for top spot and this is a quick pass for Phillips to
half track and takes second spot, Sutton well that was
quite ugly, he used up most of his lane and then some,
he will not improve.

09/06/2007  2:39 pm          14Deg,64%H,1006mB,449RA,(TT)20Deg                 
 5066  Right Lane   STEVE PACKMAN    BA FALCON , 521
  590   Left Lane   MAURICE FABIETTI    2005 MONARO , 511 KB
#Tst RcNo 259_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:3.700
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 5066 T/D    5.92  0.607  1.071  3.535  5.871 112.95  7.975 10.121  98.81  2
  590 T/D    5.92  0.645  1.058  2.810  4.211 174.01  5.386  6.383 226.02  2

Steve Packman and Fabulous Fab,
Packman not yet in the field – as are all of the Brett
Stevens Top Doorslammer stable – all three not yet in,
Fab is in, but wants to improve…severe tyre shake for
Packman and problems, loose as a goose for Fabietti as
he has a big drive on his hands and the chutes out
early.

09/06/2007  2:41 pm          14Deg,64%H,1006mB,358RA,(TT)20Deg                 
   65  Right Lane   RAY BERNARD    57 NOMAD , 511
 1693   Left Lane   ROBIN JUDD    53 STUDEBAKER , 511 KB
#Tst RcNo 260_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:1.677
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
   65 T/D    5.92  0.598  1.005  2.700  4.445 137.11  6.167  8.038 109.92  2
 1693 T/D    5.92  0.545  1.043  2.896  4.298 180.87  5.451  6.414 233.52  2

Robin Judd and Ray Bernard,
Bernard’s doorslammer definitely comes under the banner
of evil and wicked, he is not in the field at this
stage.  Judd is not in yet either, can they cause an
upset with this pass, Bernard a big big sideways move
about 400 feet heading towards the fence, Judd had to
get out of it, tyre shake right off the line.

09/06/2007  2:44 pm          14Deg,66%H,1006mB,396RA,(TT)20Deg                 
  952  Right Lane   KATH STEVENS    BA FALCON , 521
  283   Left Lane   STEVE STANIC    CAMARO , 511
#Tst RcNo 261_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:1.471
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  952 T/D    5.92  0.570  1.082  3.047  4.699 153.17  6.208  7.746 138.12  2
  283 T/D    5.92  0.587  1.066  2.822  4.171 181.16  5.301  6.258 240.26  2

Kath Stevens wants to do the team
proud and bang her way into this field, alongside her
Steve Stanic our retiring Top Doorslammer Champion, lots
of looking under the car of Stanic by the Willowbank
track staff, but nothing to report – could be fuel out
of the overflow.  Stevens turns the tyres right off the
line and so does Stanic…Stanic is on a big peddle but
unbelievably he makes it into the field in sixth spot,
Stevens will not make the field in this session. Stanic
has thrown V Bray to the outside but he is yet to come.

09/06/2007  2:47 pm          14Deg,67%H,1006mB,461RA,(TT)20Deg                 
 7007  Right Lane   BRETT STEVENS    BF FALCON 2005 , 521
 2639   Left Lane   BEN BRAY    MONARO CV8Z , BAE 511
#Tst RcNo 262_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.695
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 7007 T/D    5.92  0.515  1.037  3.044  4.576 167.91  5.794  6.810 220.15  2
 2639 T/D    5.92  0.508  1.030  2.703  4.033 188.44  5.158  6.122 231.13  2

Ben Bray is currently sitting in 11th,
Brett Stevens on the outside as well, can both of these
long time professional competitors smash their way in,
they want in now, they don’t want to wait till third
session, Bray out, Stevens with lots of problems off the
line, tries to recover and cant…Bray bangs into fourth
spot, but the Boss yet to qualify.

09/06/2007  2:49 pm          14Deg,66%H,1006mB,437RA,(TT)20Deg                 
 2993  Right Lane   PETER LOVERING    55 CHEV , BNR 526
  846   Left Lane   JOHN ZAPPIA    71 MONARO , HEMI 511
#Tst RcNo 263_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.428
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2993 T/D    5.92  0.597  1.070  2.775  4.158 176.47  5.401  6.642 169.94  2
  846 T/D    5.92  0.780  1.029  2.661  3.955 189.87  5.077  6.031 234.50  2

John Zappia burns down the quarter
to half track alongside Peter Lovering, Zap has been
pushed back to third spot this session and will be
looking to take back Top Qualifier, Lovering out very
sweetly and this is a massive pass by John Zappia and an
awesome 6.03, he snatches back top spot, Lovering is
still on the outside.

09/06/2007  2:51 pm          14Deg,66%H,1006mB,462RA,(TT)20Deg                 
   67  Right Lane   PAUL GREGHINI    CORVETTE , 511
  895   Left Lane   KYM PETTERWOOD    CORVETTE , 511
#Tst RcNo 264_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.458
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
   67 T/D    5.92  0.736  1.202  3.138  4.682 159.46  5.998  7.169 190.51  2
  895 T/D    5.92  0.701  1.085  3.044  4.499 172.81  5.720  6.746 218.98  2

Kym Petterwood and Paul Greghini,
Greghini is shaking rattling and rolling off the start
line, Petterwood is on a good pass but not good enough
to get into the field.

09/06/2007  2:54 pm          14Deg,65%H,1006mB,441RA,(TT)20Deg                 
 1221  Right Lane   VICTOR BRAY    CHEV , BAE 511

#Tst RcNo 265_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R)
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1221 T/D    5.92  0.631  1.067  2.763  4.098 185.64  5.236  6.199 237.22  2

Victor Bray has been bumped out of
the field, you can tell by the burnout he means
business, he should be able to improve on last nights
pass as the car sounded absolutely flat last night and
we expect much more of it…the car leaves effortlessly
and he bumps into number five spot.


 





JACK DANIELS TOP DOORSLAMMER

QUALIFYING ROUND THREE
09/06/2007  6:08 pm          13Deg,76%H,1008mB,218RA,(TT)17Deg                 
 1693  Right Lane   ROBIN JUDD    53 STUDEBAKER , 511 KB
  167   Left Lane   STUART BISHOP    67 CAMARO , 520CI
#Tst RcNo 331_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Right Win M:0.272
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1693 T/D    5.92  0.517  1.057  2.852  4.198 185.49  5.335  6.289 235.11  3
  167 T/D    5.92  0.152  1.120  2.899  4.265 181.60  5.415  6.382 227.62  3  F

Stuart Bishop he will take on Robin
Judd, now Bishop is already in the field, Judd has not
made it yet, Bishop is looking for data, Bishop takes a
long time to get into stage, he red lights, Judd is
throwing everything at it, and Judd does not make it in
despite running such a fabulous time, maybe the tyres
were just not hot enough.

09/06/2007  6:12 pm          12Deg,77%H,1008mB,151RA,(TT)17Deg                 
 1291  Right Lane   SEAN MIFSUD    41 WILLYS , 526AJ
  323   Left Lane   DENO BRIJESKI    67 CAMARO , 521 HEMI
#Tst RcNo 332_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:7.268
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1291 T/D    5.92  0.459  1.061  3.148  4.717 163.99  5.991  7.055 212.16  3
  323 T/D    5.92  0.516  1.138  3.621  6.581  70.25 10.307 14.266  51.78  2

Deno Brijeski is boiling the tyres
in the burnout, Mifsud in the Wild Willys says “I can do
this” and matches him, this is going to be a wild ride
for both of them, neither are in the field, they are
everywhere all over both lanes, and neither will
qualify.

09/06/2007  6:15 pm          12Deg,77%H,1008mB,150RA,(TT)17Deg                 
   67  Right Lane   PAUL GREGHINI    CORVETTE , 511
    4   Left Lane   PETER KAPIRIS    STUDEBAKER , 518
#Tst RcNo 333_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:1.651
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
   67 T/D    5.92  0.634  1.101  3.214  4.883 151.92  6.310  7.758 139.23  3
    4 T/D    5.92  0.512  1.099  2.809  4.154 181.74  5.283  6.229 235.73  3

Kapiris burns out down the quarter
mile – he is already in the field in seventh spot,
Greghini would love to be in the field but currently
sits way down the order and this is his last shot, both
are out, Greghini is using up all of his lane and cant
make it into the field, Kapiris can not improve on his
current situation.

09/06/2007  6:22 pm          12Deg,77%H,1008mB,136RA,(TT)17Deg                 

  283   Left Lane   STEVE STANIC    CAMARO , 511
#Tst RcNo 334_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L)
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      

  283 T/D    5.92  0.528  1.083  2.828  4.169 184.43  5.306  6.267 237.97  3

Steve Stanic moves forward in the
Comp Cams lane, the bump-sitter has managed a 6.258 in
earlier qualifying, and would dearly like to move up the
order in this final session.  Kapiris is in the number
seven position, and has managed a 6.22.  Can Stanic move
up into the top half of the field?  Stanic doesn’t have
to lift, and goes straight down the lane, but can only
manage a 6.26.  Stanic stays on the bump, and still has
many more that can come around him.

09/06/2007  6:24 pm          12Deg,77%H,1008mB,79RA,(TT)17Deg                  
   65  Right Lane   RAY BERNARD    57 NOMAD , 511
  415   Left Lane   ANDREW SUTTON    2005 MONARO , 526 KB
#Tst RcNo 335_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R) Right Win M:8.838
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
   65 T/D    5.92  0.484  1.022  2.740  4.149 173.48  5.368  6.394 218.55  3
  415 T/D    5.92  0.505  1.075                      10.123 15.211  39.99  3

Andrew Sutton and Ray Bernard are
our next pairing, both competitors are sitting on the
outside looking in.  Remember, a 6.258 is the bump.
Stanic and Kapiris are sitting precariously.  Sutton
goes into full stage, his run will not count.  Away,
Sutton goes straight into tyre shake, heads towards the
left wall and he corrects, running straight over into
the right lane, trying to straighten, but has a huge
smack of the right wall side on.  Bernard fails to make
it, Sutton is out of the car and is talking to the
officials.  We’re down for a clean up.

09/06/2007  6:47 pm          12Deg,78%H,1009mB,115RA,(TT)17Deg                 
  952  Right Lane   KATH STEVENS    BA FALCON , 521
  846   Left Lane   JOHN ZAPPIA    71 MONARO , HEMI 511
#Tst RcNo 336_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Right Win M:2.039
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  952 T/D    5.92  0.530  1.059  2.811  4.489 130.66  6.320  8.158 114.15  3
  846 T/D    5.92  0.397  1.146  2.840  4.158 189.55  5.288  6.252 232.56  3  F

John Zappia is first out after our
clean up and the track staff have run the jet dryer over
the track to really put some heat back into it…Kath
Stevens trying to get at least one of the Brett Stevens
Racing Team get into the field, I think on this pass,
they all might bump their way into the field, she needs
better than a 6.25 to get into the field, Zaps monaro is
in a fairly safe position, both are out after Zap rolled
the beams, Kath is all over the lane and she does not
get into the field and Zap’s run is not indicative of
what he can do.

09/06/2007  6:50 pm          12Deg,78%H,1009mB,172RA,(TT)17Deg                 
 7007  Right Lane   BRETT STEVENS    BF FALCON 2005 , 521
 2639   Left Lane   BEN BRAY    MONARO CV8Z , BAE 511
#Tst RcNo 337_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:0.536
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 7007 T/D    5.92  0.516  1.130  2.946  4.377 173.61  5.591  6.599 225.22  3
 2639 T/D    5.92  0.488  1.018  2.666  3.999 181.45  5.123  6.091 229.71  3

Ben Bray is doing his burnout
procedure, now he wants to move off the number four
qualifying spot so he wont have to run his father first
round who is currently sitting in sixth spot, Brett
Stevens in the lane beside him and he is under the gun
at the moment sitting in 17th spot, can he
change his luck here?  A great run by Bray and he
manages to slip up the field to put a break between
himself and Dad.  This is a huge upset Brett Stevens
will not make the field at this 07 Winternationals
event.

09/06/2007  6:53 pm          12Deg,78%H,1009mB,164RA,(TT)17Deg                 
 5066  Right Lane   STEVE PACKMAN    BA FALCON , 521
 1221   Left Lane   VICTOR BRAY    CHEV , BAE 511
#Tst RcNo 338_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (L) Left Win  M:2.364
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 5066 T/D    5.92  0.555  1.098  3.091  4.861 130.21  6.701  8.538 116.22  3
 1221 T/D    5.92  0.538  1.047  2.754  4.084 186.72  5.221  6.191 230.18  3

Victor Bray in one of the most
torturous burnouts we have seen this weekend, meets up
with Packy…Steve Packman is the last of the Brett
Stevens cars to try to break into this field, and Packy
is loose and all over the lane as Bray takes the lead
down the quarter.  And that is it for Team Stevens and
Top Doorslammer.  As it stands now V Bray will meet Gary
Phillips in Round One of Eliminations.

09/06/2007  6:56 pm          12Deg,78%H,1009mB,122RA,(TT)17Deg                 
 2993  Right Lane   PETER LOVERING    55 CHEV , BNR 526

#Tst RcNo 339_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R)
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2993 T/D    5.92  0.635  1.094  2.865  4.295 172.15  5.538  6.587 212.57  3

Peter Lovering is on a solo pass,
he will really need to step up to get into this field,
he porpoises off the start line but then boogies on down
the track but not enough to make the break into the
field.

09/06/2007  6:58 pm          12Deg,78%H,1009mB,136RA,(TT)17Deg                 
  590  Right Lane   MAURICE FABIETTI    2005 MONARO , 511 KB

#Tst RcNo 340_______Time Trials, Test and Tune       (R)
  NUM CLASS  HCAP  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  590 T/D    5.92  0.722  1.049  2.796  4.173 174.96  5.351  6.349 228.54  3

Maurice Fabietti, also on a solo
pass, he is exactly one one hundredths of a second
slower than the bump spot in this field, this looks good
for Fabietti, and then it faded and does not make the
field.

Aaron Lynch will not be back to
qualify tonight as he has broken the nose clips and is
going back to the workshop to fix the car for tomorrows
racing.

 




JACK DANIELS TOP DOORSLAMMER



QUALIFYING LIST

                                  TOP DOORSLAMMER
     1  846    ZAPPIA            T/D 71 MONARO           6.031        234.50
     2 2058    LYNCH             T/D 63 CORVETTE         6.054        245.77
     3 2639    BRAY              T/D MONARO CV8Z         6.091        229.71
     4   76    PHILLIPS          T/D 53 STUDEBAKER       6.112        236.72
     5 1221    BRAY              T/D CHEV                6.191        230.18
     6  167    BISHOP            T/D 67 CAMARO           6.211        239.11
     7    4    KAPIRIS           T/D STUDEBAKER          6.229        235.73
     8  283    STANIC            T/D CAMARO              6.258        240.26
     9  590    FABIETTI          T/D 2005 MONARO         6.268        233.28
    10 1693    JUDD              T/D 53 STUDEBAKER       6.289        235.11
    11  415    SUTTON            T/D 2005 MONARO         6.325        228.31
    12  323    BRIJESKI          T/D 67 CAMARO           6.374        227.97
    13 1291    MIFSUD            T/D 41 WILLYS           6.394        215.42
    14   65    BERNARD           T/D 57 NOMAD            6.394        218.55
    15 2993    LOVERING          T/D 55 CHEV             6.587        212.57
    16 7007    STEVENS           T/D BF FALCON 2005      6.599        225.22
    17  895    PETTERWOOD        T/D CORVETTE            6.746        218.98
    18   67    GREGHINI          T/D CORVETTE            7.169        190.51
    19  952    STEVENS           T/D BA FALCON           7.746        138.12
    20 5066    PACKMAN           T/D BA FALCON           8.538        116.22
    21 2743    BARDSLEY          T/D 68 CAMARO           9.061         83.44

 




JACK DANIELS TOP DOORSLAMMER



ELIMINATIONS ROUND ONE
10/06/2007  3:33 pm          20Deg,48%H,1011mB,953RA,(TT)33Deg                 
  167  Right Lane   STUART BISHOP    67 CAMARO , 520CI
 2639   Left Lane   BEN BRAY    MONARO CV8Z , BAE 511
#Gp1 RcNo 231 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (L) Left Win  M:0.095
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  167        5.92  0.600  1.095  2.771  4.099 186.72  5.229  6.171 239.36 
 2639        5.92  0.493  1.017  2.730  4.083 178.72  5.214  6.183 229.71

Ben Bray carrying the flag for this
meetings major sponsor, he takes on Stuart Bishop in the
gorgeous Wallace Bishop Camaro, Bray is out first, on
and off the throttle, but Bishop is trying to come back
at him and he just cant.  The wholeshot off the start
line won this race for Ben Bray.

10/06/2007  3:36 pm          20Deg,48%H,1011mB,924RA,(TT)32Deg                 
 1221  Right Lane   VICTOR BRAY    CHEV , BAE 511
   76   Left Lane   GARY PHILLIPS    53 STUDEBAKER , 511
#Gp1 RcNo 232 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (R) Right Win M:0.748
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1221        5.92  0.529  1.022  2.702  4.019 188.13  5.143  6.092 243.11 
   76        5.92  0.532  1.042  2.701  4.031 179.43  5.406  6.837 146.67

Gary Phillips our new Australian
Top Doorslammer Champion takes on the Grand daddy of Top
Doorslammer – Victor Bray, Victor has been in nine out
of 10 Winternationals finals.  They are out of the line
and away and this is a drag race right to the finish
line, but Phillips seems to lose power right near the
line and Victor has the win.

10/06/2007  3:39 pm          20Deg,49%H,1012mB,967RA,(TT)33Deg                 
    4  Right Lane   PETER KAPIRIS    STUDEBAKER , 518
 2058   Left Lane   AARON LYNCH    63 CORVETTE , 521
#Gp1 RcNo 233 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (L) Left Win  M:0.117
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
    4        5.92  0.475  1.128  2.827  4.186 177.03  5.344  6.317 230.77 
 2058        5.92  0.585  1.057  2.749  4.063 190.19  5.167  6.090 243.64

Aaron Lynch takes on the Batmobile
of Peter Kapiris – this will be one tough race…Lynch
took the Slammer home last night to fix the nose cone to
prepare for todays eliminations after his nasty visit to
the sand trap yesterday…Lynch doest seem to get out real
well but man oh man does he make up for it…Kapiris hole
shot off the start line but couldn’t fend off Lynchs
invasion at the stripe.

10/06/2007  3:42 pm          20Deg,48%H,1012mB,956RA,(TT)29Deg                 
  846  Right Lane   JOHN ZAPPIA    71 MONARO , HEMI 511
  283   Left Lane   STEVE STANIC    CAMARO , 511
#Gp1 RcNo 234 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (R) Right Win
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
  846        5.92  0.644  1.040  2.676  3.970 190.36  5.084  6.031 235.73 
  283        5.92  0.000                      186.72               241.16     F

 

John Zappia the Number One Man from
WA and our top qualifier, he gets to take on our bump
spot entry Steve Stanic, can Zapp pull out a five second
pass, and Stanic has rolled through the beams handing
the win to John Zappia…Zap realizes…throws everything at
it, its running on three wheels for most of the quarter
but he still manages to run a very low 6.  And then
Stanic hits the throttle and takes a stab at the bitumen
for the loss.

 




JACK DANIELS TOP DOORSLAMMER


ELIMINATIONS ROUND TWO

 

10/06/2007  5:34 pm          18Deg,58%H,1013mB,686RA,(TT)24Deg                 
 2639  Right Lane   BEN BRAY    MONARO CV8Z , BAE 511
 2058   Left Lane   AARON LYNCH    63 CORVETTE , 521
#Gp1 RcNo 265 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (R) Right Win M:0.491
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2639        5.92  0.430  1.032  2.710  4.036 189.08  5.156  6.103 236.72 
 2058        5.92  0.482  0.995  2.765  4.331 166.91  5.552  6.542 224.33

Ben Bray and Aaron Lynch, we have
synchronized burnouts on both sides of the track, Lynch
could have a little more performance advantage in this
race and Ben a little more experience, who will we see
go to the final, both are out, Lynch is loose and Bray
is on a great run to the final.

10/06/2007  5:37 pm          18Deg,58%H,1013mB,705RA,(TT)24Deg                 
 1221  Right Lane   VICTOR BRAY    CHEV , BAE 511
  846   Left Lane   JOHN ZAPPIA    71 MONARO , HEMI 511
#Gp1 RcNo 266 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (L) Left Win  M:0.025
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 1221        5.92  0.493  0.993  2.660  3.973 189.08  5.094  6.040 241.42 
  846        5.92  0.477  1.039  2.676  3.968 191.33  5.081  6.031 235.97

 

Victor Bray now takes on John
Zappia…Victor has appeared in every Top Doorslammer
Winternationals Final except for one since the inception
of the bracket…talk about battle of the burnouts Zap
takes it to half track…Bray says I can do better than
that and burns on right past him…Will we see a five from
Zap or the Big Vic taking his place beside his son in
the final, this is gonna be awesome, they are both out,
Bray is in front, but Zap comes back and snatches the
win at the line.

 




JACK DANIELS TOP DOORSLAMMER



ELIMINATIONS FINAL

 

10/06/2007  8:39 pm          15Deg,64%H,1015mB,287RA,(TT)22Deg                 
 2639  Right Lane   BEN BRAY    MONARO CV8Z , BAE 511
  846   Left Lane   JOHN ZAPPIA    71 MONARO , HEMI 511
#Gp1 RcNo 315 T/D   TOP DOORSLAMMER                  (L) Left Win  M:0.018
  NUM CLASS Recrd  REACT     60    330    660    MPH   1000     ET    MPH      
 2639        5.92  0.440  1.018  2.695  4.042 179.43  5.182  6.091 320.51 
  846        5.92  0.517  1.038  2.668  3.949 193.30  5.055  5.996 236.9

 

Talk about tyre torturing burnouts,
John Zappia and Benny Bray are taking it right up to the
crowd with massive side by side burnouts, there is a
staging duel, they are out, Ben is just in front but
here comes Zap and its massive he is drifting towards
the centre line, he hangs onto it and it’s a five second
pass by Zappia for the win.

 


Zap chases Phillips for Championship

John Zappia is counting on some luck that has avoided his team this season at the Castrol Edge 40th Winternationals held at Willowbank Raceway, the final round of the ANDRA 2006/2007 Top Doorslammer Championship. A total of 21 teams have entered for the event, battling for eight qualifying positions on Friday and Saturday to make it through to Sunday’s eliminations.

“We can win the championship, but under the most trying of circumstances”, said Zap. “It has been known to happen in drag racing before, and we as a team are pretty pumped – especially after our recent news release. My move to professional racer status in the sport is a dream come true, and building and racing a second HQ Monaro for Striker director Craig Pedley will make good use of our knowledge”.

“If we win the event and get quickest et, and if Phillips fails to qualify – then we win the championship by one point. Phillips is a seasoned and tough competitor, so we do not underestimate him, but he has had lucky breaks this season and we are interested in what his strategy will be in qualifying. These qualifying sessions should be the most exciting two days for Doorslammer fans, and we will give it a serious go each session. It would be nice to top qualify with a five”.

“The Striker Monaro can beat any car in Australia on this track. We have completed some minor maintenance work after the recent rained out Tin Tops here in Queensland at the Striker facilities. Our private testing day after the Tin Tops showed we are on the pace at this track – with a 6.01et, after a trio of “O’s’ in qualifying – 6.098, 6.082 and 6.083et’s”.

“We have never been more confident at this track to run fives. This is the only track we have never had a win at, and never run a five – so we are looking for a few firsts here this weekend as well as having a good crack at the championship.”

Once again Zap and his crew invite fans to spend some time at the Zappia Racing pits area, where you can have a chat to any of the team, or take some photos of Zap’s Rat. A full range of merchandise will be on sale, and Zap will be available to sign items with a personal note.


2007_march_topfuel_09

5.991 FROM NEW STRIKER ENGINE COMBO

John Zappia silenced all skeptics at the Perth Motorplex yesterday, when the Striker Top Doorslammer Monaro fronted for a local meeting with their new Striker engine combination, and promptly ran a five second pass after a test run, and first full pass of 6.057. The TFX block, with the latest Randy Anderson heads (never raced in Australia), and a brand new PSI blower is John Zappia’s first ever brand new engine – after over 20 years of drag racing.

“Thanks to Striker Crushing and Screening, we were able to custom order all brand new parts to put this combination together. It’s a dream come true for us local sportsman racers, who have always had to purchase hand-me-down second hand engines and blowers from the US.” said a jubilant Zap last night. “People think we made a strategic decision to run with the Whipple blower, but it was nothing more than a budget decision for us at the time, and to have achieved all our world records with second hand gear highlights the depth of knowledge we have in our team. The PSI gives us weight advantages, and it appears to make more power and torque than the Whipple”.

Observers were commenting that Zap will take months and dozens of laps to sort out the awesome performance of the PSI equipped BAE – after all, most of his Australian Top Doorslammer competitors have had years to sort out their PSI combinations and still struggle with their tune ups. But after a shake down pass to gain some data, the team set Zap’s Rat up for it’s first full pass and rattled off a dead straight 6.057et @ 234.37mph. “It was fat and lazy, but showed us the real potential of the combo” said Zap.

With the first full pass under their belt, the team turned the car around for the next qualifier, and had the local crowd on their feet cheering with a 5.991et @ 235.60mph pass. “We ran a 3.929et 660ft time, which is pretty impressive. We will work on the data and some more tuning to get the mph back up again, and we are confident we can reclaim the World’s Quickest Doorslammer record back off the Yanks.”

“We hurt a couple of pistons during the 5.991 pass and had the usual thrash to get the car ready for another pass late in the night.” Unfortunately, after Zap’s burn out the crew noticed oil on the track and quickly shut Zap down. “After an investigation back in the pits we noticed a loose oil line had caused the oil leak. We are now looking forward to the next local meeting where we can fine tune the combination even further.”

Zappia Racing earnt valuable dollars from Striker Crushing Managing Directors Chris Lane and Craig Pedley, who handed over $5,000 as part of a performance bonus. “Every time the team runs a five, we hand over a cheque for $5,000 as an incentive.” said Chris Lane, “We are very proud of Zap and his team with their achievements so far, and we may extend and ramp up our Motorsport program with the team in the future..” Craig was relieved that the team didn’t make the last pass as it would have cost Striker Crushing another $5000, especially as the air was at it’s best of the weekend.

Zappia Racing will carry out further testing and racing on April 14th at the Perth Motorplex, before heading to Queensland for Round 6 of the Australian Top Doorslammer Championship “Tin Tops” event on 28th April. John Zappia is second in the championship point’s table, behind veteran Garry Phillips, and is counting on a strong performance at the event.

2007_westerns_15

Striker Monaro into Semi Final at Westernationals

John Zappia gained valuable points for the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship at the Westernationals held last weekend at Perth Motorplex in Western Australia, with a Semi-final finish. The Striker Monaro was unable to continue the Semi-final pass against arch rival Garry Phillips, after the clutch failed reversing from his traditional long smoky burnout.

“I was unable to activate the clutch after reversing back, so I turned the engine off” said a disappointed Zap after the event, “It appears a pin has let go in the clutch – most probably the result of tyre shake of our previous rounds. The Striker Monaro was performing well this weekend, with two 6.06′s in qualifying, and our first round win against Robin Judd with a 6.075et @ 236.22mph. The next best time in all the elimination runs was a 6.340et, so we were still ahead of the pack in performance.”

“We have these little reliability issues, because we do more laps than any other Top Doorslammer racer in the country. Obviously the more laps you do, the more possibilities of incidents occurring. But we are committed to a comprehensive racing calendar both here locally in Perth, and nationally in the championship rounds. We just have to keep progressing forward in our maintenance program to increase the reliability factor.”

“Our Naming Rights Sponsor Striker Crushing and Screening, and all our Major Sponsors and Supporting Sponsors are fully behind our growth as a team. We are progressing from a volunteer backyard operation, to a more professional Motorsport organisation. It takes time to affect the changes and our current way of doing things will have to be altered to ensure we give ourselves the best possible chance every meeting. We need more checks to be done between races to make sure the little things don’t fail and come back to haunt us.”

“Garry Phillips has a lead in the Championship, but he is not unbeatable. He has had his fair share of luck this season, and and on most days the HQ can beat any Doorslammer in the country. Drag racing is the great equaliser, and as several teams have seen this weekend, the smallest of things can stop your best performance.”

Several racers encountered problems this weekend – Ben Bray failed to qualify in his new Monaro, Steve Stanic was disqualified in Round 1 Eliminations due to his front air dam being too low for the stage beams, and several teams suffered terminal engine damage.

Zappia racing will now contest two local rounds of racing at the Perth Motorplex where further testing of new components will be carried out. Round 6 is scheduled for 28th April at Willowbank Raceway with the running of the Tin Top Championships – a unique event featuring all forms of slammer racing.


Westernationals Zappia’s last challenge

Written by Luke Nieuwhof
Monday, 26 February 2007
John Zappia is one of the most renowned names in drag racing, yet he still has a monkey to shake off his back in Top Doorslammer racing at the Westernationals, to be held this Saturday and Sunday at Perth Motorplex.

The 45 year old Spearwood man is driving the world’s quickest Top Doorslammer, holding the record at 5.92seconds for the quarter-mile but his speeds of 380kmh do not come easy.

“We’ve never had good luck and have always had the stupid things go wrong at the Westernationals, he said.

“It is time to shake the monkey off the back; we really need the points to gain the lead in the championship and put the pressure back on the other racers for the remaining rounds.”

The Australian Top Doorslammer Championship is up to its fifth round and Zappia is sitting third, behind Queensland racers Gary Phillips and Victor Bray.

Perth Motorplex has attracted a record field of 15 cars from across the nation to compete and Zappia sees himself with a big advantage at the Kwinana track.

“We do nine events a year in Perth and always in different race conditions,” he said.

“No other team has near that amount of runs.”

In an aggressive tactic, Zappia has slotted his world-record, 3500 horsepower supercharged V8 back into his Monaro Top Doorslammer.

“The field is pretty good but I need to concentrate on not beating myself,” he said.

“A few others have stepped up and if they get the good track conditions then they’ll be right there.”

Zappia will be challenged by his championship rivals Phillips and Bray, as well as Victoria’s Peter Kapiris, New South Wales’ Steve Stanic, Queensland’s husband and wife team of Brett and Kath Stevens, Victor and Ben Bray and fellow West Australian contenders Robin Judd, Gary Stevens and Adam Croker.

The event will also feature round five of the Australian Top Bike Championship.

The big guns hit the track from 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

For more Westernationals coverage, go to WA Drag Racing

 

Zap’s Rat III

THE REVIVAL by Kim Soia – Perth Street Car Magazine Vol 4 No1 1996 (used with permission and copyright applies)

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The events that followed were a testament to how well liked and popular John Zappia is. Although the Statesman body was ruined, the chassis was only bent in the front half and all the remaining mechanical components survived the crash. When Rick Matson from Legend Boat Builders assisted with funds to fix the chassis, others began to offer their help in a complete rebuild. Pacific Performance in Queensland helped John obtain a 1995 Pontiac Firebird Funny Car body from Jeff Burnett. This was the only option at the time as another Statesman body would take at least 12 months to hand make; which would have been unfair to the sponsors. The Pontiac is currently the fastest and sleekest body shape in modern drag racing which made it even harder to pass up. Murray Anderson Race Cars then replaced the front half of the chassis and bolted up the new body. The new roller was sent by train back to Perth and two weeks later Zap’s crew had finished Zap’s Rat III.

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Only six weeks after the demise of Zap’s Rat II, Zap’s Rat III appeared at Ravenswood for its licensing runs. The car put down an easy 6.60 at 218.5mph and went home in one piece! At the 1996 Nationals, Zappia qualified 7th with a 6.16 at 227mph in his new class – Top Alcohol. This class is for supercharged Funny Cars and dragsters (rails) which run on methanol fuel only – no nitro is permitted. Top Alcohol is a very tough class of racing and unfortunately, John was defeated by Stan Tindall’s rail, 5.98 to 6.19. Tindall was later beaten in the final by Gary Phillips who put down a blasting 5.87.

Top Alcohol is a whole new learning curve, so John and his crew were happy with their first Nationals meeting in the new class. Zap realises that 5.80 second passes around 240mph are what is required to win in Top Alcohol and he is confident of achieving these levels given more time and testing. After being so dominant in Top Doorslammer for so many years, John has the desire and skill to succedd at this top level.

Many people think that Zappia’s racing is fully funded by his sponsors but he assures us that this is not true. He operates his team on a very tight budget and makes many of the cars components himself. John has a volunteer crew who give their all at drag racing venues around the country. The cost of racing has risen considerably since his move to Top Alcohol due to the prominence of the screw-type superchargers. These PSI and Whipple blowers have permitted incredible performance gains in recent times but come at a great cost – between $15,000 & $20,000 each.

So there you have it, a complete history of one of W.A.’s most famous and fearless drag racers. From humble beginnings in a 194 Torana, to the domination of A/gas, through the halcyon days of Top Doorslammer to the present challenge in Top Alcohol, John Zappia has achieved a cult status and plans to continue breaking the records that few even pursue. John plans to be the first alcohol driver to run a 5 second pass at Ravenswood and to aquire one of the two remaining positions in Goodyear 5 Second Club.

We have no doubt that with his remarkable record and huge crowd pleasing burnouts that Zappia will achieve these goals. Best of luck to John, his crew and sponsors.

Many thanks to Perth Street Car Magazine for permission to reproduce this 1996 article.

Zap’s Rat II

NEW SURPRISES – SERIES II by Kim Soia – Perth Street Car Magazine Vol 4 No1 1996 (used with permission and copyright applies)

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As mentioned previously, John began planning the Statesman by September of that year. Series II was going to be an all new car, but a continuation of the famous Zap’s Rat theme. Series II was always going to be a doorslammer, but it had to have a state of the art centre-steer chassis capable of putting down the huge horsepower produced by the TFX engine. It took six months of hard work to hand fabricate the slippery VR Caprice body as extensive modification of the original steel Statesman panels was required. This was a steel bodied, operating doors funny car. The build was made much easier thanks to the assistance of many friends and sponsors. Cockburn Exhausts built the pipes, Diverse Metals tinned out the new body and gave it opening doors, Southside Engine Centre prepared the engine and mechanicals, Amcap BBK supplied the Holden panels, ICI Autocolour supplied the paint for Base Autos to apply and Syndicate Signs covered the graphics and logos.

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The final chapter of the Series II Funny Car is a very sad one which many fans will remember as a tragedy for the car but a lucky escape for John Zappia. The 554 cubic inch, blown TFX alchohol engine Funny Car was not finished until 2.00pm on the afternoon of its first race meeting versus American Jim Shalpi’s 1957 Chev. Zappia’s car was still to be licensed before it could legally race that evening.

In its first ever pass the Series II ran an easy 6.88 at 209mph. Tragically the chutes failed to open and at 7.00pm Zap’s Rat II hit the “safety zone” at the end of the track at over 200mph. The brakes were unable to slow the car before it hit the grass and shot sideways. Series II rolled 3 1/2 times, destroying the beautiful irreplaceable body and bending the state of the art chassis. Thankfully, John Zappia was unhurt, but the car was a mess.

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After the crash, the option of a soft sand safety barrier at the end of the track was discussed but John explained that the Monaro had ventured onto the grass several times in the past and that he was able to steer it out of trouble. So the hard grass had helped him. He also explained that soft sand can cause Funny Cars to end over end at high speed. Even in lower speed incidents it is possible for a $70,000 engine to fill up with sand, so a hard surface is preferred.

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Zap’s Rat I

The Zappia Chronicles by Kim Soia – Perth Street Car Magazine Vol 4 No1 1996 (used with permission and copyright applies)

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John Zappia has a long history of crushing his opposition with achievements such as 1990 Drag Racer of the Year, 1995 Top Doorslammer Champion, the World’s first Super Stock car in the sevens, the first doorslammer in the sixes and the second racer in the 200mph club. John Zappia has defended West Australian honour against the Eastern States and America on many occasions. In the 1989-90 season Zappia won every time he staged the car. Serious domination! Zap’s Rat was the 1990 National’s winner and top qualifier in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1995.

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Zap’s Rat was equally impressive against big reputation USA teams. In the 1992 Australia vs USA Ravenswood Doorslammer Series, he overpowered Wayne Torkelson’s 1959 Thunderbird. In 1994 Zappia crushed Kurt Kuhns 3-0; blasting a 6.57 ET to Kuhns’s 6.62. He has run a personal best of 6.54 at 218mph.

John Zappia began racing in a 14 second 194 CI Torana seventeen years ago. He progressed into a steel bodied HQ 4-door running a 383 small block, turbo 400 and a nine inch diff, which ran a best time of 12.86 at 113mph in 1981.

In 1982 John fitted a big block 454 LS-7 into the 4-door HQ. This only resulted in a marginal improvement to 12.75 at 121mph due to the car’s insistence on doing 1/4 mile burnouts. Due to this disapointing performance and the fact that the 4-door was now too radical for the street, John was forced to think again.

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The original Zap’s Rat, 2-door Monaro body was purchased for $350. John kept the LS-7 and initially decided to race in A/Modified production. However, on a trip to the last Castlereagh ADR Grand Finals, Zappia decided a pro-chassis car would better suit his aspirations and so the story really began. In late 1984, the white, all steel, HQ put down it’s first pass – 9.39 at 148mph. This early LS-7 powered Zap’s Rat went on to a best of 9.11 at 151mph with the engine out to 460 cubes.

In the 1986/87 season, Zappia was determined to smash the 8.67/154 AA/Gas record. To destroy this record a blown 427 big block was employed. The first pass on this engine yeilded an 8.69 at 164mph. On the second meeting with the 427, Zap’s Rat became the world’s first Super Stock Car in the sevens – 7.98 at 174mph. This configuration made over 100 passes with only minor troubles. During the 1988/89 season USA chassis guru, Tom Alston, proclaimed Zap’s Rat to be the world’s quickest ladder-bar rear end car.

During the 1989/90 season, the HQ went faster. Zappia decided to progress from a big block Chev to a JP-1. John had to spin the Chev to 8,500rpm to run 7.9′s with a 5.1:1 diff. With the JP-1 he did not go over 7,300rpm and ran 7.3s and 7.4s with a 4.3:1 diff.

In 1988/89 the chassis was similar to the latest in US Pro-stockers. Not a bad effort considering that Zappia designed the entire chassis at home. John copied ideas from US magazines and then logically thought through the geometry. Many experts protested that the car needed a four-link rear suspension, but John felt the car would need to be modified too much to accomodate such a set up.

Consequently, Alston asisted John to improve the ladder bar suspension rather than replace it. Alston suggested that the single ball-joints were a weakness, so Zappia utilised double heim joints on the front bars with two diagonals also fitted forward of the rear axle assembly.

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The chassis comprised a rectangular section main frame with heavy-wall chrome moly front down-tubes and sub-assemblies, with Spax coil-over adjustable shocks front and rear. The steering is rack and pinion while the roll cage is a full Funny Car style but right hand drive. The cage is a six-tube, head and shoulder encircling affair. Front brakes are Kawasaki motorcycle discs and calipers on HQ stub axles. Rear brakes are Wilwood four-spots.

John recalls, “At the first meeting of the 1989/90 season the car ran a 7.69 off the trailer. It was a radical change and caused such savage wheelstands that I had to back the launch revs down from 4,000rpm to 2,500rpm”. The JP-1 conversion resulted in a bigger 14-71 blower and higher compression. Using this configuration Zappia dominated the 1989/90 season with a best of 7.63 in the 2892 pound AA/Gasser and a 7.36 result in the 2620 pound BB/Altered configuration (while carrying 220 pounds extra weight for this class.)

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The JP-1 displaced 482 CI by the use of a 1/2″ Keith Black stroker crank. Keith Black stage II heads using Manley 2.20 and 1.99 inch valves exiting gases into a set of Funny Car style pipes made by John. Venolia pistons and rods, Casale gear-driven roller cam, Crane overhead components and Manton springs complete the package.

The JP-1 used an Enderle 990 pump, Enderle magnesium Bird Catcher fuel injection system and a BDS 14-71 supercharger, overdriven between 44% and 52% using BDS drive components. The blower sat on top of an extensively modified Cragar magnesium manifold. The JP-1 produced an estimated 1400 BHP. The drive train in 1989/90 consisted of a three speed Lenco with a manual shifter, backed by a L&T three-disc clutch. The rear end was a severely narrowed Ford 9 inch with Strange components and 35 spline axles. The final drive ratios used varied from 4.3:1 to 4.8:1 depending upon track conditions. In the 1989/90 season, Zappia won the 1990 Nationals and was Drag Racer of the Year.

For the 1990/91 season, the JP-1′s cubic capacity was increased from 482CI to 526CI and fitted with new twin plug Veney billet heads and twin magnetos. In this configuration the engine produced 1700 horsepower. At the beginning of the 1990/91 season, Zappia had very specific aims, “we want to be running sixes at over 200mph before the season is out.”

John recalls, “At the first meeting of the 1989/90 season the car ran a 7.69 off the trailer. It was a radical change and caused such savage wheelstands that I had to back the launch revs down from 4,000rpm to 2,500rpm”. By 1992, Zappia ran sixes every pass and just got faster and faster. Racing against America’s Wayne Torkelson at Ravenswood Raceway, Zap’s Rat ran 6.80/208, 6.82/205 and 6.83/207. John, again, top qualified at the Nationals that year.

By 1993, Zap’s Rat weighed in at 1,224kg (2,693 pounds). The JP-1 was replaced with a Walt Austin Keith Black 540CI Hemispherical-headed monster producing 2,200hp using 12.1:1 compression and a high-helix 14/71 supercharger. A triple disc L & T slider clutch, a three speed air shifted Lenco and a Strange equipped 9 inch were used in conjunction with a Funny Car style solid rear end. John said, “If the car gets traction, it runs straight.” Prior to the 1993 Nationals, Zappia’s record stood at 6.78 at 214.28mph and he commented, “Here at Calder the car’s probably really leaning on it! The conditions would have to be perfect. It does 6.80′s easily.”

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In 1994, John Zappia won the Australia vs USA Doorslammer Challenge 3-0 against Kurt Kuhns’s 1959 Corvette. Zap’s Rat ran 6.56, 6.57 and 6.62 at 215mph. This was also the year that John started planning the new Zap’s Rat II to take over from the original Rat. It was necessary to have a chassis which could handle the ever-increasing horsepower the engines were producing. Kim Soia was instrumental in organising the production of the new chassis. John visited the USA in late 1994 to arrange shipment of the chassis and to purchase new engine parts for the ongoing horsepower wars.

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As it turned out, the new Statesman Zap’s Rat Series II could not be built for the beginning of the 1994/95 season so Zappia dusted off the Monaro and brought her out again. The Rat rose to the occasion achieving its fastest times and arguably greatest successes in 1994/95 despite many people believing it to be a spent force after 11 years of racing.

In the 1994/95 season, Zap’s Rat achieved 4 wins and 3 runner-ups from 10 events. Zappia was the 1995 Top Doorslammer Champion and using a 554 cubic inch TFX engine, producing 2,380, achieved it’s best performance of 6.54 at 218mph. Zappia was again top qualifier at the Nationals that year.

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The final run Zappia ever made in Zap’s Rat was at the Winternationals at Willowbank in 1995. The Monaro ran a strong 6.60′s pass but burst into flames near the end of the track. Zap kept on the power to the end of the track and still ran 199mph.

Zap stopped the car near the fire truck. The first person on the scene was Victor Bray who dragged John out of the car. The trick front fibreglass panels were singed black but the car survived the potential tradegy. Two weeks later, John sold Zap’s Rat to Kim Soia of Soia Seminars.

Interestingly, while Zappia was racing at the Winternationals ’95, racers from Cairns, Queensland, were interested in purchasing Zap’s Rat. Their mention was to paint it red and keep racing it in enemy colours. Zap was not particularly happy about the car’s future in the East. Kim and John knew that if this icon was sold interstate, a famous piece of WA automotive history would be lost forever. Eleven years of blood, sweat, tears and incredible success would vanish. John was saddened by such a prospect but needed to sell the Monaro to finish the build of the Statesman Series II Rat. Kim Soia purchased Zap’s Rat with the view to keeping it exactly as Australia’s drag racing fans will always remember it – in its final aerodynamic nosed, huge winged, record breaking incarnation. Don’t be surprised if you see Zap’s Rat being raced in the occasional doorslammer grudge match in the future. You can’t keep a champion at bay forever.