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Zappia on track for East Coast Nationals

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John Zappia is on track for a big 2015 East Coast Nationals event in his Fuchs HQ Monaro Top Doorslammer after recent events. Sixteen Top Doorslammer Teams have registered for the event, with some tough competition for the champ.

“We are going to have to be on the ball this weekend,” said Zap, “O’Rourke, Kapiris, Belleri and others are hot on our heels and marching into the five eights more easily now. We have a five seven car though, but a lot will depend on track and weather conditions and how it all comes together”.

Last weekends much talked about blower vs turbo shootout ended up a victory to the blower guys with Zap dominating the day in the APSA Extreme Class.

“My first APSA event at Perth Motorplex running in Extreme Outlaw class, and I managed to get the Fuchs Monaro down to 2,696 lbs – only 4 lbs lighter than for legal Top Doorslammer weight. Was able to add a bit more overdrive on the D PSI blower, but struggled with tyre shake and had to peddle all runs but still managed 5.77, 5.80, 5.76, and 5.78 in the final for a win over Shane Catalano”.

“We had a win over Paul Mouhayet’s Moits turbo Camaro running a 5.80 @ 406mph to his 5.90 @ 402mph, settling that score on the day. My best speed for the night was 253mph (407kms). Big thanks to all my sponsors, my awesome crew, and fans. Got my first APSA Trophy to add to my collection”.

Zappia leads the 2015/2016 Top Doorslammer Championship after winning the last round at Darwin. He gained enough points with the win and low ET to head the Top Doorslammer Championship points table with 199, ahead of O’Rourke with 170 and Kapiris on 152.

Live coverage of the event is available online at www.dragnews.com.au and the Twitter feed to your mobile, and will be live from 3pm AEDT Saturday and 12:30pm AEDT on Sunday at http://www.epicentre.tv/promoter/400-thunder/..

Tickets and details at www.sydneydragway.com.au

Qualifying Sat 7th Nov 2015

Q1 – 3.16pm

Q2 – 5.16pm

Q3 – 7.16pm

Eliminations Sun 8th Nov 2015

Round 1- 1.25pm

Semi     – 3.13pm

Final     – 4.52pm

Top Doorslammer Field

1 Mark BELLERI NSW 67 HOLDEN
2 Ben BRAY QLD 2639 CHEV
3 Paul CANNULI NSW 226 PLYMOUTH
4 Pat CARBONE WA 1386 CHEV
5 Bill GOONAN QLD 1239 CAMARO
6 Geoff GRADDEN NSW 1936 CHRYSLER
7 Peter KAPIRIS VIC 4 DODGE
8 Frank MAMONE NSW 670 HEMI
9 Charlie MICALI NSW 3583 PLYMOUTH
10 Grant OROURKE QLD 1067 PONTIAC
11 Pino PRIOLO WA 144 CHEV
12 Johnny ROSO ACT 169 CAMARO 69
13 Andrew SEARLE QLD 1257 FORD
14 Robin TAYLOR VIC 1670 CHEVROLET CAMARO
15 Jeffery WILSON NSW 1004 CORVETTE
16 John ZAPPIA WA 846 HOLDEN

 

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Photos courtesy Phil Blondel  https://www.facebook.com/phil.blondel?fref=ts

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Zappia charges back to lead the ANDRA Championship with Darwin win

Reigning eight times ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the second round in Darwin over the weekend, to wrestle back the lead in the 2015/2016 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship after winning a great final race.

The event was staged at Hidden Valley Raceway – an Australian Government funded racing facility in northern Australia – and drew a good crowd of fans to see the racing over two days.

“We as a team are pretty happy right now” said a jovial Zappia, “We had a setback at this event in the first round here when we overpowered the track and glanced the wall, losing the semi-final. So we were keen to make up for that with a steady performance over this meeting. That all went pear shaped when we snapped a valve and damaged the LH Noonan head in the Fuchs Monaro in the first qualifier”

Qualifying on the Friday night was good, with six racers managing five second passes – testimony to a good track and great preparation. Bump spot was 6.057 and five unlucky racers had to settle for the Chicago Shootout, which is run between the Elimination races and allows non qualifiers to gain some valuable points towards the championship.

“Our first run resulted in a huge blower backfire as an inlet valve let go and did some damage. Back in the pits the crew found the damage was restricted to one head. We could have thrashed and made Q2, but decided to change both heads as a pair. These heads were on Frankenstein – our old freak engine that is our number 2 backup, so they had to be removed and fitted onto the best engine that was in the car and already set up.”

Zappia consequently missed Q2, but lined up in a situation he has been in many a time – not qualified and one run to get in the field. The champ has a history of doing well under pressure, and he did it again – going straight to number 1 with a 5.907 @ 248.43mph. This was short lived as the in-form Grant O’Rourke thought better of that and rattled off an impressive 5.838 @ 249.12mph to top qualify, followed by local Darwin racer Matt Abel who ran second with his 5.870 @ 236.59mph.

Saturday night racing in front of 3,500 eager Darwin race fans saw some exciting Top Doorslammer match ups and wins. Zappia was back in the five eights with a win over Belleri; Carbone had a hole shot win over Abel despite a slower time; Kapiris threw everything at Phillips and had another hole shot win with the slower ET; and O’Rourke put away Bray to advance to the semis.

The semi-finals saw Zappia fine tune the Fuchs Monaro to a 5.842 @ 250.09mph win over Carbone who broke, and Kapiris’ come back to form with a 6.008 @ 223.76mph win over O’Rourke’s 6.182 @ 230.65mph.

“We had the HQ back in the groove and matching the track and conditions, but knew we had to hot it up to a five seven to defeat Peter Kapiris. I was pretty confident we had the power, even though his super sleek Saratoga has huge speed. First to the finish line always wins.”

Kapiris got the jump on Zap with a .065 light compared to a .081 – but by 60 feet the stout power of the Zappia Racing 502 hemi saw Zap in front and surge to a 5.786 @ 250.74mph win over Kapiris 5.897 @ 253.71mph. A huge spectacular drag race, and one the Darwin fans really appreciated.

“The ANDRA stewards were again at our pits and checked our engine capacity, overdrive ratio, Motec outputs and Powergrid setting and got a clean bill of health with everything being to spec”.

“A great win for the team and Fuchs, and one we dedicate to Noeleen Hale who passed away recently. Noeleen was a part of my family and race team for years, and a dedicated drag racing fan.”

“Another big thank you to Adrian from Pedder’s Darwin for the loan of his cars and his help crewing. Also thank you to Matt Abel for the loan of his F250 and the accommodation for the crew. The hospitality and atmosphere at Hidden Valley is second to none and each year we look forward to racing there”.

Zappia gained enough points with the win and low ET to head the Top Doorslammer Championship points table with 199, ahead of O’Rourke with 170 and Kapiris on 152. The team next head to Adelaide for the Spring Nationals and round three of Top Doorslammer on 17/18 October.

Looking forward to seeing as many of our Sponsors, supporters and fans at Adelaide International Raceway to make this another outstanding event.

QUALIFYING:

G O’ROURKE – PONTIAC FIREBIRD 5.838

M ABEL – 1957 CHEV 5.870

J ZAPPIA – HQ MONARO 5.907

P KAPIRIS – SARATOGA 5.926

G PHILLIPS – STUDEBAKER 5.966

M BELLERI – MONARO 5.973

P CARBONE – CAMARO 6.036

B BRAY – CORVETTE 6.057

 

NON QUALIFIERS:

P PRIOLO – CHEV 6.339

M O’CONNOR – XM FALCON 6.544

D GREGORINI – CAMARO 6.844

R TAYLOR – CAMARO 7.273

P CANULLI – DUSTER 10.844

ROUND 1:

G O’ROURKE 5.927 @ 246.75 DEF B BRAY 6.087 @ 240.94

P KAPIRIS 5.956 @ 243.72 DEF G PHILLIPS 5.954 @ 245.00

P CARBONE 6.026 DEF M ABEL 6.003 @ 247.97

J ZAPPIA 5.861 DEF M BELLERI 10.403 @ 82.14

SEMI FINAL:

P KAPIRIS 6.008 @ 223.76 DEF G O’ROURKE 6.182 @ 230.65

J ZAPPIA 5.842 @ 250.09 DEF P CARBONE .000

FINAL:

J ZAPPIA 5.786 @ 250.74 DEF P KAPIRIS 5.897 @ 253.71

Photos:

www.dragnews.com.au

www.highrpm.com.au

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Zappia resets TD Track record in Darwin

Hidden Valley Drag Strip in the remote northern city of Darwin hosted Round 1 of the new Australian ANDRA Championship Series, and what a show it was! Huge crowds turned out to watch Top Fuel for the first time, Top Alcohol and Top Doorslammer racing and the buzz around Darwin was high during and after the event as fans turned out in force to watch the action.

Reigning back-to-back 8 times Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia was top qualifier for the event, but was eliminated in the semi-final when the track went away and he dramatically grazed the wall.Paul Cannuli in the roots powered Duster came out winner for the event, holding his first ANDRA Top Doorslammer Gold Christmas tree aloft.

“It was one of the best drag racing meetings we have been to,” said an enthusiastic Zappia, “We would have liked the win, but that didn’t happen – but we got enough points to stay in the running for the championship. We encourage competition and Grant O-Rourke proved he could step up this weekend, and Cannuli was persistent to the end – and that was great for racing”.

Zappia set the pace in the Fuchs Lubricants Monaro in early qualifying with a 5.791 @ 250.74mph off the trailer to lead the field, ahead of O’Rourke on 5.866 @ 247.02mph. Like a bracket car – Zappia ran a 5.781 @ 250.97 in Q2 to slightly better the Q1 result and re-set the Darwin track record for TD.

“On both runs I had to pedal the car, so there was more in it if the track stayed there. Unfortunately the Zappia Racing Crew discovered a crack in the tri-drive that drives the magneto, fuel pump and oil pump. We could have run Q3, but we decided to sit it out and repair the drive. We had a nervous moment as O’Rourke ran a five seven and got really close to our top qualifying time. It was great to see Grant run those numbers and prove to others that it is possible with hard work and persistence”.

Q3 saw O-Rourke improve to a 5.794 @ 249.53mph and Belleri third with 5.922 @ 234.29mph, but the rest of the field were all six second times. Bump spot ended up 6.105, with surprise non-qualifiers Abel, Bishop and Gregorini having to earn extra points in the new ‘shootout’ for all non-qualifiers – an innovative initiative from ANDRA, in consultation with the Australian Top Doorslammer Association.

Round 1 on Saturday saw four match ups that had plenty of interest. Zappia rolled out another impressive track record 5.770 @ 250.97mph to defeat an improving Pat Carbone. Paul Cannuli got into the fives to defeat Murray O’Connor; O’Rourke continued his power display to put away the struggling Peter Kapiris, and Belleri ran his new Fabietti Monaro ride into the semis as Ben Bray overpowered the track.

“The car was running great, with just small pedals to overcome tyre shake. We stepped it up for the semi final, but were a little nervous after watching O’Rourke win his round, but all over the track. On my run at around sixty feet I pedaled after tyre shake but didn’t hit second gear – next thing I know the car turned savagely right and grazed the wall. That happens when the traction is different under each rear tyre – we thing the track went off towards the edge”.

The final saw Paul Cannuli defeat Grant O’Rourke – both cars struggling to get down the track.

“We are still happy with the result. With extra points coming from Top Qualifying and Top Speed we have ended up third in the ANDRA Championship on 88 points in a revised point system for this season, behind winner Cannuli on 105 points and O’Rourke on 92. There is plenty of time to make that up this season”.

“A big thank you to Adrian and Karen for the loan if the cars and their help with the car and merchandise and Matt Abel for the accommodation for the crew”.

“Thanks to Scott MacLean and Ray Treasure and the Hidden Valley Drag Strip for putting on such an awesome event, and for the people of Darwin for showing their support. Drag racing in regional Australia is alive and well, and we look forward to returning for Round 2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship on 14 – 15th August 2015 to put on another great show for the fans”.

1. J ZAPPIA 5.781 @ 250.97

2. G O’ROURKE 5.794 @ 249.53

3. M BELLERI 5.922 @ 234.29

4. P CANNULI 6.005 @ 237.42

5. M O’CONNOR 6.056 @ 242.45

6. B BRAY 6.072 @ 236.75

7. P KAPIRIS  6.089 @ 232.71

8. P CARBONE 6.105 @ 236.13

NON QUALIFIERS:

9. P PRIOLO 6.203 @ 231.87

10. M ABLE 6.350 @ 227.65

11. R TAYLOR 6.561 @ 160.12

12. S BISHOP 6.729 @ 166.11

13. D.GREGORINI 12.799 @ 156.05

14. M DACK

ROUND 1:

J ZAPPIA 5.770 @ 251.72 DEF P CARBONE 6.029 @ 240.77;

P CANNULI 5.931 @ 242.28 DEF  M O’CONNOR 6.215 @ 236.05;

G O’ROURKE 5.906 @ 248.29 DEF  P KAPIRIS 6.234 @ 210.01;

M BELLERI 5.927 @ 235.97 DEF  B BRAY 16.111 @ 49.55.

SEMI-FINAL:

P CANNULI 5.977 @ 239.44 DEF J ZAPPIA 7.615 @ 124.25 (HIT WALL);

G O’ROURKE 7.105 @ 204.08 DEF M BELLERI 10.531 @ 81.33

FINAL:

P CANNULI 6.097 @ 240.12 DEF G O’ROURKE 6.194 @ 239.95

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Photography thanks to www.highrpm.com.au

-       Mike O’Neill

-       Jeremy Horvath

-       Ed Forman

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Zappia wins 8th Back-to-Back National Top Doorslammer Championship

ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia made a clean sweep of the 2015 Fuchs Winternationals in a dominating performance that saw him Top Qualify, Win the Final Round, Low ET and Top Speed for the meeting, reset the National Record and win his eighth back-to-back Championship.

“A great season” said a jubilant Zappia, “Reminds me of our 2008/2009 season where we remained unbeaten after venturing consistently into the five nines. Here we are six years later and we are running five sixes – an amazing advancement for our team”.

The shortened 2015 ANDRA Top Doorslammer season was one that John Zappia and the Zappia Racing crew will remember for a very long time.

Prior to the season starting the team were informed by ANDRA that the grandfather clause for the original extended wing would expire and the wing would need to shortened by 250mm (10”) before being allowed to race in the new season, which commenced in January 9th 2015.

The team decided to cut the wing back in October 2014 to give us 2-3 meetings to fully test the Monaro with the shortened wing prior to the first National meeting.

The Fuchs/Striker Monaro performed exceptionally well and broke the track record at Perth Motorplex and continued to break track records at every meeting the team went testing. This gave the team a lot of confidence coming into the season proper and they enjoyed an almost perfect season dropping only one point and being undefeated for the 2015 season and winning an 8th Back to Back Championship.

The longer wing was considered an unfair advantage by a few other Doorslammer teams but proved to be a key element in the Fuchs/Striker Monaro being able to go quicker and faster at every track the team raced this year.

All this effort culminated in winning the 2015 ANDRA National Top Doorslammer Championship and the Fuchs Winternationals with a new ET National Record of 5.693.

“We had issues with the track all weekend; it just kept getting better and better … we just couldn’t keep up with it,” admitted Zappia. “The rattle kept getting worse and worse. The first pass was the best, and it just kept getting more and more challenging with each run. We were trying to back up the 5.73 and knew if we left it alone we were going to have an issue, but didn’t want to overpower the track either.”

“John truly is an amazing driver” said Richard Zappia – Zap’s brother and data manager for the team, “I look at the data after each run and can see John’s amazing ability to detect early shake and pedal the throttle in just the right way to keep the car’s momentum going forward. We have a throttle sensor and he can micro manage that pedal just the right amount and number of taps, and with the B & J Transmission super tough and smooth it makes runs competitive instead of an abort”.

John Zappia opened the event with a provisional record at 5.730 @ 252.37mph, but in subsequent passes battled tyre shake even though remaining consistently in the 5.80s. In the first Elimination, Zappia ran a pedalled pass of 5.756 @ 252.90mph which was enough to back up the 5.73 first pass and reset the Australian Top Doorslammer National Record.

The second elimination against Mark Belleri was quite stressful for both John and the crew who were looking on. Mark left before the tree had been initiated and may have had trouble with the sun on the Xmas Tree, bringing back images of the 2013 X-Champs but luckily John remained in stage until he saw the green and took off for the win with a big pedal and getting a little sideways and running through for a 5.917 @ 249.90mph

This setup a classic final of Zappia versus Bray in Ben’s comeback from his unfortunate accident at the same event the year before.

It was nearly the final that didn’t happen as Zappia confirmed his team went to adjust the clutch and stripped one of the threads. After trying unsuccessfully to tap the thread in situ they were forced to pull the tail shaft, gearbox and clutch-can out just 20 minutes prior to the final round call.

“We tapped it, and rethreaded it and finished it all with three minutes to spare,” Zappia said. “We started the car, lowered it off the jacks, towed around and got to the start just in time. Also thank you to Ben for the Sportsmanship shown in giving us time to get to the start line after hearing of our clutch issues”

“We had tyre shake and pedalled on every run except the final. We took a gamble as we thought we were going the wrong way, so let’s just try something, as whatever we did on the second run didn’t work. On that run it went back to a 5.91 second run and we knew Ben could run 5.91 and that he can cut lights, so we thought let’s try something we haven’t tried. We threw at tune at it, it took it, I punched second gear and didn’t have to lift. That was the first full-throttle pass of the weekend and I told everyone that if I could hold it flat it would run a 5.6 and it went a 5.69,” said Zappia, who then became emotional, adding: “This is for Craig Pedley from Striker Crushing and Screening – thank you for 10 awesome years, it has been a fantastic ride Craig – this win is for you.”

Zappia Racing team had to hold off on the celebrations until a full ANDRA tech inspection was completed. Four ANDRA stewards were present to inspect everything from the MoTeC computer download which had to be compared to the Powergrid settings, removals of the supercharger and Noonan heads to inspect bore, bore spacing and capacity and clutch to ensure it was mechanically operated and within spec. After getting a clean bill of health we were able to go to the winner’s presentation and start the celebrations.

“None of this success would be possible without the support and quality products from all our sponsors”.

“Firstly Fuchs Lubricants for their ongoing co-naming rights sponsorship and the quality of their products. It’s a credit to their products when you can do 6 passes at 5.91 or better and not have to replace or fix a single component. Even after the 5.693 pass the bearings still look like new”.

“Striker Crushing and Screening have been with us for the past 10 years and without their help we would not be where we are professionally and in performance. Due to the downturn in the Mining Industry, Striker will not be with us as Co-naming rights sponsor next year but we still hold a special bond with them for their support”.

“Speedmaster for their product sponsorship and allowing us sell and improve performance of many street , burnout  and hot rod cars”.

“Noonan Race Engineering for the Heads and Rocker Covers that not only perform above anything else on the market but also look like a work of art”.

“MACA Ltd who joined as a major sponsor this year and hopefully will continue for next season”.

“Appealing Signs who have repaired the vinyl wrap on several occasions to keep it looking presentable for our sponsors and supporters”.

“Hoosier Tires who produce tyres that are consistent and reliable and help with maintaining our consistency”.

“Santuff shocks whose shock absorbers have to stand-up to the rigors of being pounded at the start line and also to help overcome the dreaded tyre shake”.

“B&J Racing Transmissions who supply the best transmissions and ratios that are reliable and efficient. Running the ETs that we run and not having to repair or rebuild transmissions between runs is something we have only been able to do since using B&J Transmissions”.

“Aurora Bearing Company for the rod ends and bearings we use that helps our rear end keep the car straight and fast”.

“Southside Engine Centre who have been with us from the beginning and always provide the best machining and repairs to our engine blocks”.

“KCRAFT Bullbars for the very solid and attractive bullbars that keep the kangaroos and other wild life from damaging our transporter”.

“We would also like to thanks all the minor sponsors who are an integral part of Zappia Racing and every contribution, whether monetary or by service and product is greatly appreciated and contributes to our successes”.

“We are now looking forward to the 2015-2016 season and our assault on the ninth straight championship starting in Darwin on the 17-18th July for round 1 of Top Doorslammer followed by a second Darwin meeting on the 14-15th August for round 2 of Top Doorslammer”.

“We are also looking for additional sponsorship to help the Zappia Racing Team maintain our dominance and to get to our goal of 10 straight Championships. We are looking at either increasing the level of current sponsorship or we have several packages available including Co-naming rights sponsorship with Fuchs Lubricants. Anyone interested in coming on board with this history making team please contact either myself John on 0400197171 or Richard on 0413067554”.

QUALIFIERS:

1. J ZAPPIA 5.730 @ 253.37;

2. G O’ROURKE 5.881 @ 246.53;

3. B BRAY 5.911 @ 235.02;

4. M BELLERI 5.948 @ 239.82;

5. M DACK 5.980 @ 239.48;

6. P KAPIRIS 6.024 @ 242.98;

7. P CANNULI 6.031 @ 243.99.

8. R PAVEY 6.051 @ 243.99

NON QUALIFIERS:

9. G GRADEN 6.055 @ 229.66;

10. J DONNELY 6.09 @ 230.21

11. J ROSSO 6.105 @ 241.54;

12. P PRIOLO 6.094 @ 240.00;

13. J DONNELY 6.09 @ 230.21;

14. J WILSON 6.134 @ 230.57;

15. S BISHOP 6.192 @ 236.51;

16. R TAYLOR 6.215 @ 217.25;

17. D.GREGORINI 6.312 @ 185.05;

18. B GOONAN 6.793 @ 202.42;

ROUND 1:

J ZAPPIA 5.756 @ 252.90 DEF R PAVEY 11.354 @ 75.42;

P CANNULI 6.643 DEF  G O’ROURKE 6.018 @ 244.87 (RED);

B BRAY 5.931 @ 236.92 DEF  P KAPIRIS 5.964 @ 247.97;

M BELLERI 5.937 @ 240.17 DEF  M DACK 10.722 @ 78.25.

SEMI-FINAL:

J ZAPPIA 5.917 @ 249.90 DEF M BELLERI 0.00 @ 0.00 (RED);

B BRAY 6.174 @ 225.30 (RED) DEF P CANNULI 6.012 @ 211.63 (CROSSED C/L)

FINAL:

J ZAPPIA 5.693 @ 250.97 DEF B BRAY 6.662 @ 159.53

PHOTO: Courtesy www.dragnews.com.au and Fuchs Lubricants

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Zappia ready for Winternationals and Championship Number 8

Reigning and seven times back to back Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia is on his way to Willowbank Queensland, Australia for the biggest drag racing event outside of North America – the 2015 Fuchs Winternationals. The event is the final round of the short 2015 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, and Zappia is fully prepared to race.

“We come into the Winters with a large lead in the championship” said Zappia, “But we have prepared thoroughly just like every other time we race, and we are coming to Willowbank hoping to win if luck goes our way. The Zappia Racing crew is treating this event as any other event and have prepared very well hoping to take out the event and the 8th Championship”.

Zap leads the Championship on 353 points, 136 points ahead of Fabietti, and eighteen Top Doorslammer teams have nominated to compete in this year’s event.

“The competition for qualifying will be intense amongst all the racers. The track is usually killer at Willowbank, and we have great data from last year’s event where we top qualified and won the event. We did 7 runs – all between 5.763 and 5.869 with no extra maintenance on the motor, diff or gearboxes. A credit to the quality of Fuchs Lubricants and B@J Gearboxes. That happens when all the hundreds of small elements in the car are right, the ratios, the tune and the driving is right. I think we may see some surprises this year, as a few new Top Doorslammer racers make their mark”.

We hope to win The Winternationals for both our Co-naming Rights Sponsors, Fuchs Lubricants and Striker Crushing and Screening, who have been with us through out this run of seven straight championships. We will have the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro on display for Fuchs pre-event:
Wednesday 3 June 2015:
Meet and Greet at the Burson Auto Parts Booval store
Address: 196 Brisbane Road, Booval
Time: 4.00pm to 6.00pm

“Craig Pedley and Striker have been great sponsors for Zappia Racing over the years and we feel sad that due to the mining downturn they will not be with us for the 2016 season as co-naming rights sponsors. We will be hoping to attract a new sponsor for the start of Round 1 in Darwin on the 17/18th July 2015 to join Fuchs as a Co-Naming Rights Sponsor for the 2016 season. The show must go on, and we want to reach our goal of ten championship wins”.

“Being the championship leader puts added pressure on the team, not from within our own camp but from other people within the drag racing community who are skeptical of our achievements. We spend many hours testing and racing in local events and have data for over 600 runs. There are lots of comments and innuendo being pointed at us about our performance levels, and that’s only natural – human nature so to speak. Our HQ Monaro is the most scrutinised Top Doorslammer in the field as we get scrutinised by ANDRA every time we top qualify or win a meeting. They check engine capacity, overdrive ratios, computer downloads, fuel and total car weight. We invite their inspections as we race to the rules and let our results do the talking”.

“The advances teams worldwide are getting are not in the electronics. It’s just plain old engineering, and being bold enough to try something different. Top Alcohol has been even in performance for years, and then all of a sudden teams are going really quick – setting world records. We have been doing that more gradually over the years – little gains here are there. Hopefully we will continue to make advances at the Willowbank track and have a successful meeting”.

“We will also be paying Noonan Engineering a visit during the trip. We have just fitted their new super lightweight Hemi rocker covers on the car, to match their heads we run. Noonan’s Engineering products are being recognised worldwide and we are happy with the success we are having with their quality products”.

Zappia Racing welcomes all fans to the pit area to watch the crew work on the Monaro and get the new merchandise personally autographed by Zap.

Qualifying starts on Friday 5th June with Q1 at 4.04pm Eastern Standard Time.
Saturday sees Q2 at 1.13pm and Q3 at 3.22pm.

Eliminations are on Sunday 7th June, with Round 1 at 11.51am, the Semi-final
at 3.00pm and the Final at 5.40pm.

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Zappia makes it Three from Three with a Win in Adelaide

Seven times back-to-back Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the VPW Pro Series 1000 event this weekend, making it three from three in his chase for championship No 8 straight.

Adelaide International Raceway hosted the ANDRA sanctioned event, promoted and run by Racing Onn Promotions, running the shorter 1,000 feet compared to the full ¼ mile of 1320 feet.

“Rino did a great job preparing this track” said Zappia, “It held the power well, but is still tricky to drive on. The Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro rattled the tyres all weekend, and I had to really drive it as the car moved around”.

“We are excited about the win here in Round 3 of the Championship. It gives us a 136-point lead with two rounds to go. We still need to stay focused as we are far from safe and need to complete the season leaving nothing to chance”.

Qualifying on the Saturday saw perfect weather for the 12 teams presented.  Off the trailer it was Pat Carbone who headed up Q1 with a 5.013, followed by Marty Dack 5.236.

“In my run the car launched good with a 1.01 60 foot time, but it rattled – I hit second and it rattled hard again. A second pedal and some fishtailing to correct saw the 5.26 good enough for third quickest”.

“We did some slight adjustments for Q2 and came out for a long smoky burnout when the throttle cable broke. I managed to idle back and sit out the round watching nervously”.

Nervous he was as Bishop went to second with a 5.096, Priolo third 5.134, O’Rourke 5.174, Fabietti 5.239, Kapiris 5.240 – leaving Zap on the bump spot in eighth.

“We left the car alone for Q3 as we reckon we had the settings right. First pairing out saw Goonan take my bump spot with a 5.210 and knock me out. Nothing like some pressure to qualify! But our setup proved spot on as the Crusher went dead straight to run a 4.882 to number 1 spot, giving us Top Qualifier, Top Speed and a new Adelaide Track Record”.

Dack improved with a 4.973 to go to second, Carbone finished third with his off the trailer 5.013, Fabietti’s 5.081 was enough for 4th and O’Rourke improved with a 5.152 to stay in 7th spot.

“Overnight the crew serviced the car and we basically left it alone for the round 1 match up against Goonan. It rattled hard in second though and a pedal on the throttle settled it down to run a winning 4.90 @ 230mph to Goonan’s 8.244 @ 73.57mph”.

Other Round 1 matchups saw Fabietti 5.074 @ 211.89mph win over Bishop 5.366 @ 207.78mph; O’Rourke 5.064 @ 222.55mph over Dack 5.535 @ 187.03mph; and Priolo 5.127 @ 221.13mph over Carbone 5.191 @ 209.82mph.

Round 2 Semi-Finals saw some great matchups with four of the top five championship contenders facing off.

First match up saw local Perth racer Pino Priolo take out ex Perth racer Grant O’Rourke in a pedal fest – 5.374 to 5.434. Second match up was series No 1 versus No 2 – John Zappia and Maurice Fabietti.

“The car rattled hard again in second and I had to pedal but got lucky as Maurice slid out of the groove with a 6.464. My 5.001 was enough to get a finals berth”.

“The track was just getting better and better, so we put more clutch in it for the final against Pino. We have raced him plenty of times over the years and he is consistently creeping down on his times. Definitely had to be careful in this race”.

The final saw the champ Zappia too strong for Priolo taking the win with a 4.910 @ 229mph over a 5.247 @ 216mph.

“The big power and setup of the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro was strong all weekend. We are making good progress with getting better traction results – I think we underestimated the track a little. Luckily the B & J transmission we run allows me to have confidence with pedaling the throttle over and over again – they rarely damage parts”.

“Big thanks to the crew who work hard to get the setup right. All the 1% things that can make a difference when combined together”.

Zappia now leads the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship on 353 points, ahead of Fabietti 217, Priolo 165, Dack on 155 and O’Rourke on 145.

Zappia Racing now head back to Perth Western Australia to take part in the Perth Motorplex Grand Final on the 11th April, before heading back to Sydney for Round 4 on 1st – 3rd May.

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Photos courtesy Hayley Turns – Outlaw Images

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Champion Zappia Wins 2015 Westernationals

Seven times back-to-back Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the 44th Westernationals held at the Perth Motorplex this weekend and increased his lead in the short 2015 season to 85 points.

The prestigious Western Australian event was a difficult playing field for the 18 teams that contested Round 2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, with hot weather and tricky track conditions testing most drivers and tuners. Bump spot for the event was a tough 6.045 for only eight qualifiers who managed to go quicker.

“It’s a great result for the team” said Zappia, “We have started poorly in previous championships, but this double win has taken us ahead of the rest and given us some breathing space”.

Zappia placed the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro into second position in qualifying with an off the trailer 5.892 @ 249.30mph – which included an off and on the throttle pedal.

The remaining qualifying runs were unable to improve with a 6.147 @ 245.23mph pass hindered by tyre shake, and a 5.981 @ 245.23mph in the rescheduled Saturday pass at 11am. In form Peter Kapiris captured top qualifier with a 5.877 @ 239.36mph and appears to have found some form after struggling at the last event.

“In round 1 against Wayne Keys the Crusher shook a little earlier requiring a pedal of the throttle, but powered on to a 5.863 @ 251.39mph win over Wayne who overpowered the track”.

Fabietti, Gregorini, and Kapiris all won their first round races.

The Zappia Racing crew turned the Crusher around for Round 2 against Gregorini – another fierce battle of the West Aussies who battle each other regularly at the Perth Motorplex.

“This was a great pass despite me still having to pedal with tyre shake, and the 5.776 @ 252.10mph gave me lane choice for the final. Daniel also overpowered the track and was not able to complete a competitive pass, giving us the win”.

Peter Kapiris scored a win against Maurice Fabietti after Fab had a slow reaction time on the line.

This set up an epic final against the two quickest qualifiers – Zappia and Kapiris. Kapiris coming back into form after a period of non-qualifying, and Zappia very quick in his quick and fast Monaro.

“I spoke to Naming Rights Sponsor and Crusher owner Craig Pedley who was monitoring the results from Malaysia, and he said the car is on fire – leave it alone. As a tuner that is sometimes hard to do, but we left it alone for the final hoping that the track conditions suited”.

In what has been described as one of the best Top Doorslammer races in history, Kapiris got the advantage at the lights with a 0.117 reaction against Zap’s 0.140 – but by 50 feet the Crusher was ahead thanks to an epic 0.959 sixty foot time and Zappia won with a 5.784 @ 252.10mph to Kapiris’ 5.814 @ 248.61mph – a winning margin of 0.007 seconds or 80cms.

“Craig was right and that quick start proved to be an advantage. The car still rattled hard and I had to pedal with a bigger pedal than the 5.776 run, but we had the power to get through that and stay ahead for the rest of the run”.

“It’s a great result for all our sponsors and local supporters and fans. We have had great local interest after we made the five six pass, and also welcome new Major Sponsor John Lyas from Appealing Signs”.

Zappia also captured an additional 10 championship points for Low ET and Top Speed for the event.

After two rounds John Zappia leads the Championship with 235 points, followed by Maurice Fabietti on 152 points, Daniel Gregorini on 110 points, and Marty Dack and Peter Kapiris both on 108 points.

Zappia Racing will present for the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars event on 26th Feb – 1st March, where Zap will run the Crusher in the Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) Drag Demonstration down the main straight.

“It’s a great way to promote both Fuchs and drag racing in general to the huge V8 Supercar fan and sponsorship base. Big smoky burnouts are my specialty, so we hope the fans enjoy it”.

Round Three of the Championship is staged at Adelaide International Raceway on 14-15th March 2015 where the Top Doorslammers will fight over 1,000ft of drag strip for another ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree trophy.

Qualifiers

P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.877; J ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.892; D GREGORINI – CAMARO 5.920; M FABIETTI – HOLDEN MONARO 5.924; M BELLERI – CAMARO 5.943; M DACK – BA FALCON 5.974; W KEYS – HOLDEN MONARO 5.976; P PRIOLO 37 CHEV COUPE 6.045.

Non-Qualifiers

G O’ROURKE – PONTIAC FIREBIRD 6.064; S BISHOP – CAMARO 6.118; M CHAPMAN – PLYMOUTH FURY 6.145; M O’CONNOR – ZM FALCON 6.237; P CARBONE – CAMARO 6.416; R MORESBY – HOLDEN GRANGE 6.429; S CATALANO – STUDEBAKER 6.495; P CANNULI – CAMARO 6.617; O DUCKER – 1937 CHEVY 7.334; S ALDRIDGE – CHEV BELAIR COUPE 17.130.

Round 1

M FABIETTI – HOLDEN MONARO 5.901 @ 246.57mph def M BELLERI – CAMARO 7.266 @ 133.53mph; D GREGORINI – CAMARO 5.955 @ 246.57mph def M DACK – BA FALCON 5.947 @ 244.56mph; J ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.863 @ 251.39mph def W KEYS – HOLDEN MONARO 8.555 @ 99.44mph; P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.921 @ 238.72 def P PRIOLO 37 CHEV COUPE 8.059 @ 136.36mph.

Semi-final

P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.887 @ 246.57mph def M FABIETTI – HOLDEN MONARO 5.820 @ 247.93mph; ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.776 @ 252.10mph def D GREGORINI – CAMARO 28.897 @ 0.00mph.

Final

J ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.784 @ 252.10mph def P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.814 @ 248.61mph.

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Photos courtesy Phil Blundell Drags Media, and Drag News.

Introducing new sponsor Appealing Signs & Graphics

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Zappia Top Qualifies with a 5.683 @253.52 mph and wins Round 1of ANDRA Top Doorslammer with a 5.86.

In an extraordinary event at the Perth Motorplex that entertained the crowd to the fullest, the first Top Doorslammer match up in the wild west saw Maurice Fabietti and John Zappia tussle through the other fourteen teams and battle it out in the final.

Maurice was in form this weekend with several five eighty passes, and Zappia was on fire with a huge 5.683 @ 253.52 in qualifying, but struggling to get his power to hold the track. Maurice nearly pulled it off – getting a whole shot on the champ, and getting a car length in front by half-track. But that awesome power of the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro kicked in in second gear, and he roared past him at the finish line.

“It’s a great start to our 2015 championship campaign and sets us up nicely for the Westernationals here in a few weeks” said Zappia, “It’s only five rounds this season so each event is going to be critical”.

“It would have been nice to back up our 5.683 run but the track was a little tricky this weekend and we made some changes that went the wrong way – we have noted that in our data for future meetings”.

Qualifying on Friday night was spectacular with sixteen teams battling it out in near perfect weather – 26 degrees C (78 F), 29% humidity, and 1400ft density altitude.

Local knowledge seemed to play a part as six of the eight qualifiers (plus one ex sand groper) managed to get into the tough five-second field. Surprise non-qualifiers were Kapiris, Phillips, and Bishop.

Round one racing saw four match ups, with all teams struggling to get the power down. All passes were unrepresentative, with Dack defeating Gregorini; O’Rourke defeating Keys; Fabietti defeating O’Connor, and Zappia taking out Priolo. Zappia won his pairing with a 6.128, which was the quickest of the first round.

In the semi-final Fabietti turned in a quick 5.870 @ 246.57mph to dispose of O’Rourke who rolled the beams. Zappia was up against local Marty Dack.

“I knew this round was critical – Marty has gone five eight in his Falcon, and we had struggled a little since the quick run we did. The Monaro launched hard but shook – I gave it a tap on the throttle, shifted 2nd and ran a quick pass of 5.817 @ 251.39mph”.

“The Fuchs / Striker Monaro has a lot of power, but the tuning window is getting smaller – so our set-up decisions are getting more critical. I made some minor changes for the final but it was a repeat of the semi-final pass and got lucky with Fab blowing the burst panel”.

“I saw Fab nose over just before the finish line” said an animated Zappia, “I am not sure I would have got him otherwise. I had to pedal in first gear as the car shook, but it hooked up nice on the one-two shift and reeled him in”.

Zappia Racing would like to welcome MACA as a new Major Sponsor and hope they are happy with the start of our association. MACA Ltd is a mining and civil construction company with a team of over a thousand industry-experienced personnel, They offer contract mining, civil earthworks, crushing and screening and material haulage solutions tailored to the needs of your company. A big thank you to Craig Pedley from Striker Crushing and Screening who brokered the new sponsorship deal.

“Also happy to announce that Speedmaster have resigned for the 2015 season and would also like to thank Coch from Beta Spuds for their support over that last 11 years, who’s sponsorship was greatly appreciated”.

“A big thanks to our crew and support staff this weekend who worked tirelessly to keep the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro at the pointy end of the field. Also thank you to Clyde from Bravo Resources and Billy from Windrush Motorsport Composites for their efforts to repair the damaged front end before first round. Also want to thank Aurora Bearing Company and Santhuff Suspension Specialties for the new 2″ Double adjustable front struts that we recently fitted to the car prior to running our 5.718”.

“Our development program is working well – with a world-class 5.68 – a week after the 5.71, that shows us the potential of the car. I actually pedalled the car on that run as well, so it has more in it if I can hold my foot flat from start to finish. We still need to get our set up right to allow us to be more consistent based on varying track conditions”.

Zappia Racing return to the Motorplex for the 44th Westernationals and Round 2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship on 30th Jan 2014.

We would love to see as many of our Sponsors and supporters come to the track and visit our pits and say hello. There will be Zappia Racing Merchandise for sale and John will be only too happy to sign any of the Merchandise purchased.

NitroSlam! @ Perth Motorplex

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Photos courtesy of Perth Motorplex

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Zap Top Qualifies with 5.68 Pass

John Zappia stunned the local Perth Motorplex crowd on the qualifying opening night of Top Doorslammer Round 1 with a 5.683 @ 253.52mph pass that took him to the top of the qualifying order of 16 cars.

Eight teams qualified for today’s eliminations – all with sub six second runs, with surprise non-qualifiers Kapiris, Phillips and Bishop.

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Photos courtesy of the Perth Motorplex     www.perthmotorplex.com.au

Videos courtesy of Phil Blundel at Dragsmedia     www.facebook.com/dragsmedia?ref=br_tf

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Zappia well prepared for Round 1 of Top Doorslammer (Updated)

Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia got to the A Final in the recent Jet Car Max Re-run event at the Perth Motorplex in the Top Comp Bracket, after a stellar 5.743 @ 252.10mph eliminator win.

“The car is pretty stout at the moment” said a smiling Zappia, “The 5.743 was a back up of the 5.718 we did in qualifying the week before – so that has given us good data for our preparation for Round 1 of Top Doorslammer this weekend”.

Zappia started proceedings at the Jet Car Max meeting with a pedaling 5.81 off the trailer, and the team made the necessary changes to get the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro all set for the deciding eliminator at 8.00pm.

“The Crusher did rattle a little, so I short shifted and ran the car through for the win. In the final up against Weston in the Top Alcohol dragster, the car shook quite bad – I had to pedal and consequently a 5.941 @ 250.00 was not enough to win against his 5.657 @ 249.30mph”.

“The last few meetings here in Perth have been very successful for us, and we are quietly confident that the car will perform well. We have some super tough competitors in this round, who will be hungry racers longing for victory and to stop us from getting a good start to our campaign for a 8th straight ANDRA Championship”.

“The track has been well prepared by Rod Britton and his team so far this year, but still has its difficulties throughout race day that may catch out some teams – it has certainly caught us out with the current high temperatures and tight track”.

16 teams have entered for the Home Group WA Nitro Slam event, and 10 local Perth teams are presenting against 6 Eastern Staters.

“Perth drag racers are passionate about their blown alky racing – as we are at Zappia Racing – and it’s good to see the representation of Top Doorslammers teams. It’s a great show for the fans – plus they get to see some Nitro Funny Car and Top Bike action as well”.

Qualifying will start on Friday 9th January 2015 with Q1 at 6.00pm, Q2 at 8.00pm and Q3 at 10.00pm.

Eliminations follow the next day Saturday 10th January 2015 with Round 1 at 6.00pm, the Semi Final at 8.00pm, and Final at 10.00pm.

Sponsors and supporters are welcome to come down to the pits to see the car and meet John and the crewmembers and buy merchandise. Hopefully lots of fans will come along to support the many local Top Doorslammer teams.

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Photos:
Colin Balshore http://www.4style.com.au, Luke Nieuwhof www.dragnews.com.au

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Pro Showdown @ Perth Motorplex

ANDRA MEDIA RELEASE 7/1/15

ZAPPIA AIMS FOR TITLE #8, BUT KAPIRIS’ SPEED MAKES HIM NERVOUS

The signs are ominous for the rest of the field chasing 7-time Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia when Round 1 of the ANDRA Drag Racing Series begins at Perth Motorplex this Friday and Saturday (Jan 9-10).

As recently as two weeks ago Zappia drove the doors off his Fuchs/Striker Monaro on a 5.718 second run at the Motorplex showing why he has won seven Championships in a row.

“It was just lots of little fine adjustments,” said Zappia. ”We put the car on a diet and took some weight off the front of the car.

“It’s now wheel standing so we’re launching harder and it’s picking the front end up which is giving us more traction.”

More traction is the last thing his rivals want to hear but Zappia insists the gap is not so great with 2002 Champion Peter Kapiris making passes of 5.78 seconds previously.

“And he runs 5 or 6 mph faster than me,” added Zappia. “I’m not that comfortable. Anything can happen, whether I don’t react quickly or my car doesn’t react quickly, cutting a good light on a pro tree is a difficult task.

“Pete has run 5.78s numerous times and he’s run 257-258 mph which I can’t get near so that makes me nervous. There are a few guys running in the 5.80s so it doesn’t take much of a rattle.”

“At the level we’re at the car is less consistent because it’s on the edge, it’s closer to the edge where as we could run 5.81 or 5.82 five years ago within a hundredth every pass.

“But now it’s got more power so we’re closer to the edge and we’re trying to go a tenth quicker consistently so we may have to slow the car back to mid-5.70 to high 5.70s to try get that consistency.”

Zappia will be one of 16 drivers at the Home Group WA Nitro Slam vying to draw first blood in a shortened six-month season as the Championship returns to a fiscal year calendar.

He knows better than anyone that just one slip up in the chase can have a major impact on the final standings.

“We haven’t always started the best. So our focus really is on getting a good start and having no little silly things going wrong and costing us a race.

“We just want to qualify well and run a consistent car on race day so that we can go rounds.”

The ANDRA Drag Racing Series action featuring Top Doorslammer and Top Fuel Motorcycle gets underway from 6pm this Friday at Perth Motorplex and continues from 6pm Saturday night.

For more information and ticketing info, please click here

Image courtesy: High Octane Photos