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Three wins in a row for Zap

Reigning Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia is back in the winning groove after taking out Round 7 of the ANDRA Pro Series over the weekend at Hidden Valley Drag Strip in Darwin, Northern Territory. The win comes on the back of wins at the X Champs in Sydney, and the Winternationals at Willowbank that has placed him in a position with the best possible chance of another back-to-back Championship.

“We had another great weekend of racing” said a jubilant Zappia, “The Striker Crushing/Fuchs Lubricants Monaro is really on fire at the moment, running very sweet and predictable and the crew and I have a handle on the car at this level of performance”.

“We really could not have asked for more – top qualifier; lowest ET, quickest mph, event win, and the track record! Apart from a broken valve spring, we had a super reliable event on what was a terrific track”.

Qualifying on the Friday night was between ten competitors – two local Darwin based teams and the rest travelling from various states around Australia. It’s a long trek to Australia’s most northern capital city, but the locals were out in force with their attendance and great hospitality.

Zappia was the only driver to break the five second barrier in qualifying with a 5.978 @ 246.89mph, and a 5.917 @ 251.96mph. The third qualifier was called off due to an oil-down in the braking area late in the evening.  Local driver Mathew Able managed second in his 57 Chev with a 6.08 @ 250.83mph, with Bishop and Gregorini close behind.

“I pedaled on both those passes as the car was moving around a lot and rattling the tyres. The track was much better than we thought – our sixty foot times were slow, so we stepped the car up for eliminations”.

Round 1 saw Zappia 5.845 defeat archrival Grant O-Rourke 6.686, while other winners were Kapiris 5.976 def Gregorini 6.021; Bishop 5.980 def Priolo 6.125; and Abel 5.977 def Dack 7.070.

“That was a great run – sixty foot time was better, and the 254.14 mph was a personal best for the team. We are making good horsepower and finally learnt how to make it stick reliably to the track”.

Semi finals were two great match ups with the quickest cars in Australia represented. Stuart Bishop in his auto Camaro 5.950 took out Abel 6.219, and Zappia 5.901 took out Kapiris 6.005.

That left a stunning final to be run between the top two championship runners – the “top end” fans could not have asked for a better race.

“Another straight pass on a track that just kept getting better. We gave it even more clutch for the final hoping to run another “five eight”.

Unfortunately Stuart Bishop had difficulties on the start line with his trans brake not holding and pulling him through for a red light and giving Zappia the win with a 5.877 pass.

“The Crusher ran like a dream in the final. I was not sure what was going on the other lane while staging. In the end I just ran my own race off my tree and came up with the win. It was a great event for our team and all our sponsors who have made this possible”.

Zappia takes his lead in the Championship out a little with three more rounds to go – the Spring Nationals in Adelaide, and Australian Nationals in Sydney both in October and the Nationals in Calder in December.7

“The dedication of our crew and supporters who give so much depth to this team is showing with the reliability getting much better compared to earlier in the season. We were chasing regular five sevens and five eights earlier to stay ahead of the pack, and that took some time to get out head around how to achieve that. We believe we can go quicker with some more development, and keep up our winning run.

Also enjoying the Darwin event was John’s nephew Brodie who won the Junior Dragster event at his first meeting outside the Motorplex. The event was in a Chicago Shootout format with every racer having three qualifiers and three eliminations with the best-performed racers going through to the final. Brodie was up against current No 1 JD driver Brayden Naylor and won with a 0.032 hole shot to a 0.123 light. This made for a first ever Zappia double and added to the team enjoyment of the top end trip. Brodie now heads to Alice Springs for the Sportsman Series round and hope to continue his good form.

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Zappia Top Qualifies in Darwin

From www.dragnews.com.au

Like Phillips, John Zappia maintained his dominance in Top Doorslammer and looks odds on to win his third Championship round needing only two passes of 5.978 and 5.917 to lead the field even before an oil down put an end to proceedings and chalking off his third run.

It didn’t matter however as Zappia was to be the final pass of the session and it looks like a tough ask to catch him.

“The conditions are a bit tricky here,” said Zappia. “The times we are doing people should be catching us. Kapiris has run 5.80s here; Matt Abel has run 5.86 so it’s only a matter of getting their cars to find the track.

“At the moment we’re going good. I pedalled it in both runs; short shifted and did a couple of little things wrong. We’re still in a good position, we’ve got the number eight qualifier tomorrow so we don’t need to push our limits more than we need to.”

Local Northern Territorian Matt Abel was Zappia’s closest rival qualifying second with a 6.018 from Stuart Bishop, a charging Daniel Gregorini who only made it into the eight car field on his last pass, Peter Kapiris, Pino Priolo, Marty Dack and Grant O’Rourke who will take on Zappia in Round 1 tomorrow for the umpteenth time this year.

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Zappia wins coveted Winternationals title

Zappia wins coveted Winternationals title

John Zappia has won this years prestigious FUCHS Winternationals Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer event at Willowbank International Raceway in a dominant performance against his 15 opponents.

“That was one of the best race meetings we have performed at,” said a jubilant Zappia after the event, “The weather was great, crowds were huge, and the Willowbank Staff provided us with a very good track that allowed us to match our car to the track superbly. The car was super consistent and reliable all weekend.”

“We were thrilled to win the event for Fuchs – our Co-naming Rights Sponsor and main sponsor of the event. They have shown faith in us and provided valuable sponsorship, and all the hard work our team have put into the car has rewarded us all with the win. We presented Wayne Hoiles, Fuchs CEO, with the winning Gold Christmas Tree as a show of gratitude for the continued support and high quality products. The proof of the quality of the Fuchs Lubricants is evident that in 7 runs, all between 5.763 and 5.869 we did not need to do any maintenance on the motor, diff or gearboxes. After the first the 5.76 runs we checked the bearings and they were like new.”

“We were set up in a prime position alongside the Fuchs PR marque and alongside the Lamatina Top Fuel Racing team, and it was great to meet so many of the Fuchs Staff, clients and Distributors who were invited to the meeting. A special mention also to our major Sponsors Speedmaster who continue to support our racing efforts.”

Qualifying for the event was a highlight for the National Champion, when the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro ran three consecutive “five seven” passes to claim top qualifier, low ET, and Top Speed points (Q1 – 5.766 @ 252.10, Q2 – 5.766 @ 250.78, and Q3 – 5.763 @ 253.33) Phillips 5.884, Kapiris 5.921 and O’Rourke 5.925 were closest out of the 16-car field, with the top 8 all under six seconds.

“It was like the car was on rails. We have been working for 12 months on trying to get a consistent ‘five seven’ car, but the track has always been the problem – keeping the power to the ground. Southside Engine Centre have assisted us in getting our engine package super reliable at this new horsepower level, and the track surface came together nicely to allow us to produce those spectacular runs.”

Round 1 saw Zap with a solo run due to Travaglini unable to present. Zap managed a pedaling 5.809 @ 252.71mph after experiencing a little tyre shake.

“The crew turned the car around with minor servicing and very minute tuning adjustments, and we matched up against danger man Stuart Bishop – my main opponent so far this year and running second in the championship.”

“We both had to pedal after shake, but the Crusher really responded well on the run and a 5.828 @ 252.57mph was too good for Bishop’s 6.137 @ 235.06mph. That meant another tough match up against in-form O’Rourke in the semi – there was no way I could slip in concentration on this one.”

The track seemed to be catching teams out on finals day in Top Doorslammer, with non-representative passes by many. In the Semi fellow West Aussie Gregorini won a place in the final by defeating Cannuli (6.762 @ 208.01mph) with a 6.024 @ 240.94mph pass. Zap did his magic again with another pedaling 5.869 @ 252.28mph win over O’Rourke 7.009 @ 142.19mph after he got into trouble with shake.

“The Crusher was really handling like a dream – other than that niggly shake that we just could not seem to eliminate through adjustments or tuning. Was great to get the win and match up against my fellow Perth Motorplex competitor Daniel in the final.”

The final was a great close race, with Gregorini super sharp on the lights with his two stepping screw set up – 0.072 to Zap’s 0.136. But the huge power of the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro soon hauled him in and took the win with a 5.833 @ 252.90mph to 6.062 @ 236.26mph.

“Fantastic to get the win – I still had to give it a quick pedal in the final, but the car is strong and top end speed is consistently high now. We now improve our position on top of the Championship ladder as we move into the last few race meetings.”

“A big thank you to the crew for a stellar effort this weekend, especially my fulltime mechanic Gerry Andrijich who does an amazing job on the clutch and gearbox and all the work he does in the workshop. The depth of experience shows, and our preparation has been well done. A special thank you to Gerry and Diz for the years of help and support and we wish them well in their future. You are both still an integral part of Zappia Racing and are welcome to be a part of the crew whenever our timetables coincide.”

The team head back to Perth to freshen up Crusher, before heading north to Darwin in the Northern Territory for Round 7 of the ANDRA Championship.

On a sad note, all at Zappia Racing wish Ben Bray a speedy recovery after his horrific crash and also send our best wishes to all the Bray family.

QUALIFING ORDER:

1. JOHN ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.763 @ 253.33
2. GARY PHILLIPS – 53 STUDEBAKER 5.884 @ 242.98
3. PETER KAPIRIS – DODGE SARATOGA 5.921 @ 251.95
4. GRANT O’ROURKE – 68 PONT FIREBIRD 5.925 @ 245.72
5. MARTYN DACK – FORD BA 5.931 @ 241.54
6. DANIEL GREGORINI – 68 CHEV CAMARO 5.933 @ 243.68
7. ANDREW SUTTON – CHEV CORVETTE 5.941 @ 241.37
8. BEN BRAY – HOLD MONARO COUPE 5.967 @ 243.59
9. RUSS PAVEY – CORVETTE 6.087 @ 237.00
10. BILL GOONAN – 70.5 CAMARO 6.093 @ 209.07
11. PINO PRIOLO – 37 CHEVY 6.135 @ 241.28
12. VICTOR BRAY – 57 CHEV COUPE 6.138 @ 233.03
13. STUART BISHOP – 67 CAMARO 6.041 @ ERROR
14. MAURICE FABIETTI – 2006 HOLDEN MONARO 6.143 @ 225.63
15. JOHN CANNULI – 67 CAMARO 6.151 @ 229.66
16. SIMON TRAVAGLINI – BA FALCON 55.717 @ 160.38

ROUND 1: JOHN CANNULI 8.657 @ 111.18 DEF GARY PHILLIPS 0.000 @ 0.00; STUART BISHOP 5.975 @ 238.93 SOLO; ANDREW SUTTON 5.944 @ 244.92 DEF BILL GOONAN 6.104 @ 229.82; GRANT O’ROURKE 6.484 @ 225.48 DEF RUSS PAVEY 7.734 @ 188.60; DANIEL GREGORINI 19.292 @ 48.27 DEF PINO PRIOLO 0.000 @ 0.00; MAURICE FABIETTI 5.823 @ 242.84 DEF PETER KAPIRIS 5.904 @ 244.74; JOHN ZAPPIA 5.809 @ 252.71 SOLO; VICTOR BRAY 6.359 @ 221.89 SOLO.

ROUND 2: GRANT O’ROURKE 9.463 @ 96.03 SOLO; JOHN CANNULI 6.139 @ 208.01 DEF ANDREW SUTTON 25.235 @ 41.69; DANIEL GREGORINI 8.539 @ 119.31 DEF MAURICE FABIETTI 15.076 @ 52.84; JOHN ZAPPIA 5.828 @ 252.57 DEF STUART BISHOP 6.137 @ 235.06.

ROUND 3: DANIEL GREGORINI 6.024 @ 240.94 DEF JOHN CANNULI 6.762 @ 161.77; JOHN ZAPPIA 5.869 @ 252.28 DEF GRANT O’ROURKE 7.009 @ 142.19

FINAL: JOHN ZAPPIA 5.833 @ 252.90 DEF DANIEL GREGORINI 6.062 @ 236.26

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Zappia Wins X Champs in Sydney

Reigning 6 times back-to-back ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia this weekend stamped his authority on his bid to win another straight championship, when he won the X Champs in Sydney Australia and leapt to the top of the points table.

“What a defining moment in our championship race” said a jubilant Zap after the event, “Going into today I have to say I was completely lost in my tune up after yesterdays qualifying – as were many other teams. I am a weather watcher, and my online programs were telling me finals day was going to be just like the day we tested during the week were we did a pedalling 5.9. So I went back to that tune up, and that decision ended up underpinning our days consistent racing”.

Earlier qualifying on the Saturday, where temperatures got down to as low as 14 degrees C (57 degrees F) saw a lot of teams struggle to put down representative passes.  Sixteen cars presented for qualifying to get into the eight-car field. Only two sessions were managed due to the early rain, and later cold temperatures.

Zappia ended up third in qualifying behind Phillips and in-form Bishop. The Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening HQ Monaro managed a pedalling 6.016 @ 247.38mph, and another pedalling 6.04 @ 246.57 later in the day. After qualifying was abandoned due to cold weather, surprise non-qualifiers were Belleri, Fabietti, O’Rourke and Ben Bray.

“So we went back to Wednesdays tune up, changed a gearbox and lined up against Marty Dack for Round 1. I cut a good .054 light and ran a straight 5.84 @ 251mph to Dack’s red lighting 6.12 @ 223.17mph”

“Just a few quick repairs on the Crusher and a very few fine adjustments to the tune and we presented against my old mate Victor for Round 2. The car ran straight with a hint of shake but I just drove through it for a 5.82 @ 251.72 – fastest speed for the event. Victor got out of it after shaking I think – I never really saw him in my vision.”

So the final was set between rivals Peter Kapiris and John Zappia. A much-anticipated finish, with Kapiris keen to bolster his chances at another Championship – and Zappia wanting to extend his dominance. The Zappia Racing crew turned the car around and presented for the finals.

“I was quietly confident against Pete on the run as he was not as quick as he can be but was still wary of him pulling out a fast run. The car launched well (1.02 60 feet time), but rattled a little bit so I punched second and it hooked up hard moving to the right – a little like Zap’s Rat used to – so I yanked it back hard and ran it through for a 5.79 @ 250.83mph win over Pete’s 5.98 @ 229.66mph. I wiped off some mph with the wander, but a strong back half made up for it”.

“Absolutely fantastic to get the win. Our hard working crew put in a great effort – and they are very calming around me, such is their experience and manner of working”.

With qualifying points, 100 points for winning the event, and gaining low ET and quickest speed John Zappia has leapt to the top of the 2013/2014 Top Doorslammer Championship table above Bishop and a handy break over Kapiris.

“Great result for the team, but still a lot of work to do as it’s a long season. Today was super consistent with 5.84, 5.82 and 5.79 runs and our engine package super strong. A big thanks to Ray Treasure and Sydney Dragway for giving us a killer track this weekend. We were glad we could give Fuchs Lubricants the win, and Craig Pedley from Striker will be over the moon his car has won another Gold Christmas Tree”.

Zappia Racing will head to Willowbank Queensland in a month for Round 6 of Top Doorslammer at the Winternationals.

QUALIFIED: STUART BISHOP – 67 CAMARO 5.916 @ 247.66; GARY PHILLIPS – 53 STUDEBAKER 5.954 @ 242.89; JOHN ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 6.016 @ 247.38; PETER KAPIRIS – DODGE SARATOGA 6.069 @ 249.63; ANDREW SUTTON – CHEV CORVETTE 6.101 @ 217.88; MARTYN DACK – FORD BA 6.103 @ 236.26; VICTOR BRAY – 57 CHEV COUPE 6.111 @ 219.94; JOHNNY ROSO – 69 CHEV CAMARO 6.227 @ 233.68

NON QUALIFIED: MARK BELLERI – 67 CHEV CAMARO 6.252 @ 177.81;  PAT CARBONE – 68 CHEV CAMARO 6.27 @ 239.06; MAURICE FABIETTI – 2006 HOLD MONARO 6.288 @ 232.59; GRANT O’ROURKE – 68 PONT FIREBIRD 6.343 @ 236.88; GEOFF GRADDEN – CHRYSLER SARATOGA 6.435 @ 236.67; BEN BRAY – HOLD MONARO COUPE 6.644 @ 162.14; JEFF WILSON – 65 CORVETTE SPLIT 7.821 @ 147.79; DANIEL GREGORINI – 68 CHEV CAMARO 8.188 @ 118.25

ROUND 1: VICTOR BRAY 6.22 @ 224.6 DEF GARY PHILLIPS 9.77; PETER KAPIRIS 5.93 @ 251.20 DEF ANDREW SUTTON 6.65 @ 196.99; STUART BISHOP 6.12 @ 236.75 DEF JOHNNY ROSO 6.39 @ 234.66; JOHN ZAPPIA 5.84 @ 251.20 DEF MARTYN DACK 6.12 223.17.

ROUND 2: PETER KAPIRIS 5.90 @ 245.18 DEF STUART BISHOP 7.12 @ 129.10; JOHN ZAPPIA 5.82 @ 251.72 DEF VICTOR BRAY 10.92.

FINAL: JOHN ZAPPIA 5.79 @ 250.83 DEF PETER KAPIRIS 5.98 @ 229.66.

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Zappia Racing at the X Champs

John Zappia has presented the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro at the 2014 X Champs at Sydney Dragway this weekend for Round 5 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship.

“We tested during the week and were pretty happy with the results,” said Zappia, “We ran a pedaling 5.90 and got some good data, and a feel for this track. We should see some quick times this weekend”.

Scheduled times for the event are as below:

Qualifier No 1: Saturday 12.06pm WST

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Qualifier No 2: Saturday 3.06pm WST

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Qualifier No 3: Saturday 6.06pm WST

Round 1:          Sunday 11.54am WST

Round 2:          Sunday 2.00pm WST

Final:               Sunday 4.12pm WST.

Drag News Australia are providing LIVE coverage of the X-Champs from Sydney Dragway at http://www.dragnews.com.au/index.php/news-all/features/2285-x-champs-live-from-sydney-dragway

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Zap the quickest and fastest in Doorslammer Round 4 at Calder

Round 4 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship has been run in Australia’s southern state of Victoria at Calder Park, and cold weather took it’s toll on the result with the abandoning of runs on both nights.

The final on Saturday night was cancelled by ANDRA due to safety concerns on the cold track. John Zappia and Stuart Bishop were due to meet in the final, but a draw was declared and runner up points assigned to both racers.

“We got the maximum amount of points under the situation so we earned 97 points and Stuart earned 88 points and we feel we got the moral win,” said Zappia. “We came here to play a game and we won the most points”.

The first qualifier on Friday afternoon saw the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro all over the track and running a 5.55 @ 176mph over the 1,000 feet distance. The other twelve teams also struggled with the track with Stuart Bishop running quickest with a 5.26.

“The transition from concrete to asphalt really unsettled the car. It immediately shook the tyres and I had about five pedals and came close to the wall as the Crusher navigated all the bumps”.

The second qualifier was cancelled due to very low track temperatures on Friday night, so the second qualifier was run Saturday afternoon. Zappia ran a better 5.27 @ 217mph with a couple of pedals, and Bishop Top Qualified with a 5.13.

“The start line concrete was actually very good, so we hotted up the Crusher for the 1st Round against Mark Belleri in the Camaro. The Straight Line Data billet barrel valve and fuel blocks we use allow some excellent finer adjustments. We managed a 1.02 sixty foot launch and ran straight until the transition – where I had to do a quick pedal – then set Low ET and Top Speed for the event with a 5.08 @ 222mph win over Belleri”.

Ben Bray 5.26 defeated Dack who crossed the centreline. Bishop 5.15 defeated Fabietti 6.38, and O’Rourke 5.64 holeshot won over Victor Bray 5.62.

“We gave the car a little more of a tweek in the tune up to face O-Rourke in the Semi-Final, and we underestimated the track and we were slow in the sixty feet but managed a 5.11 @ 221 win over O’Rourke’s 5.99 with just the one pedal”.

Bishop 5.20 took care of Ben Bray 5.74 to book a final against the National Champion but that was not to be. He gained 88 valuable points to lead the Championship with 253, with Zappia jumping to second with 97 points from the weekend to sit at 235 points.

“For the Championship we are happy with the result over the weekend. We would have loved to get the win for Fuchs, and Striker Crushing and Screening but feel we did them proud with our team effort”.

“We are really looking forward to Round 5 at Sydney Dragway at the X Champs on 2-4th May, as the track there can hold the horsepower we are making and cold temperatures doesn’t affect the track like at other venues”.

“The Winters in Round 6 in early June has a killer track as well so we hope to build on the data we get from Sydney”.

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Zappia gets to B Final in Perth

Zappia Racing presented for the Nitro Funny Car Challenge at the Perth Motorplex last weekend, entered in Top Comp in the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro, and made the B Final before rain caused the meeting to be cancelled.

The meeting was a chance for the “Crusher” to complete more runs ahead of Round 4 of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship in Calder, Victoria.

Zap’s first pass at 6pm was part of the twenty-car field’s compulsory qualifier, and a pedaling 5.943 @ 249.30 placed him third in the qualifying table, 0.053 over his 5.890 index.

“We have a niggly tyre shake problem on this track” said Zap, “I had to pedal to get through that and managed a fair pass considering”.

The Zappia Racing Team took to the Crusher during the break to make the necessary changes, as they faced Jon Ferguson in his AA/FC funny car at 8.30pm.

“The track actually came around a lot in two hours, and unfortunately we did not hit it hard enough, and I had to pedal again as it rattled the tyres. A 6.065 @ 245.90mph was enough to get us into the B Final against Pilkington in the AA/FC funny car. Western in the TA/D was to meet Championship leader McClure in the BB/FC in the A Final before a weather change brought rain, and the meeting was cancelled”.

“We were looking forward to that final – we are using a new on board ignition computer that requires a little more finesse compared to the six shooter we have been using for years. I reckon I had it figured out. Ultimately it will give us more control over the new engine package, which really makes extraordinary power for a sedan race car”.

Eleven cars have entered Round 5 at the Southern Nationals at Calder Park, named “Slam Fever” and proudly sponsored by Essendon Chysler Fiat on 4 – 5th April 2014.

“We are looking forward to presenting Fuchs and Striker Crushing and Screening before the fans in Melbourne and expect a good crowd. The normal three qualifier and elimination rounds are scheduled, so we have the time to gradually get on top of the track there”.

“Calder Park holds a special place in our hearts for the team. We ran the old HQ Zap’s Rat there in 1995 at the first Top Doorslammer Exhibition meeting, top qualified and defeated Brendan McSweeney in the final in the legendary “lawn mowing” incident. We have come a long way – our personal best at that meeting was 6.54 @ 218mph using a 554 Walt Austin Hemi, and we have the National Record at 5.745 – just under eight tenths quicker!”

“Our last meeting at Calder was straight after we ran the world’s first doorslammer five second pass in 2005, when we match raced against Lucky Belleri in his Camaro. At that meeting we re-set the track record to 6.32 @ 231mph for the quarter. This coming meeting will be over 1,000 feet, where the ANDRA National Record is yet to be set – a minimum of 4.81 and 235 mph has been applied. We are hoping to dip into the “fours” for the meeting for sure”.

Zappia Racing have new merchandise available for fans attending the Calder event Ð just make your way to the Zappia Racing pits and get Zap to sign your purchase.

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Zappia wins B Final running 5.797 Track Record

The Westernationals has been run here in the West last weekend, where two rounds of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship were staged in the one event. Changing to a three round format proved popular with the local crowd with big numbers attending the event. Reigning Champion John Zappia gained valuable championship points with his team’s performance with a B Final win and top ET and MPH in Round 2.

“We were thousands off doing really well,” said Zappia, “but overall we are happy with the progress on our new package with new NRE X1 heads. Our 5.797 pass was our first “seven” in Perth, and reset the track record”

Round one qualifying was dramatic for Zappia and the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro, as he rattled the tyres on launch causing the car to head right towards the wall.

“I pedaled and hit second gear and the car powered back up against the wall – scraping the headers and door pretty bad. The crew managed to put a door from Zap’s Rat on Craig Pedley’s Crusher and head out for the first eliminator against Sutton”.

A pedaling 5.957 @ 249.3mph was enough for Zap to defeat the Corvette’s 6.423 @ 231.95mph, but missed out on an A Final by 0.005 seconds. The match up against O’Rourke in his Pontiac in the B Final was a chance for revenge as Grant has had a couple of wins over Zap lately.

“We were just about right with our tuning on the new combo, and I was confident the car would hook up, and it certainly did. A 5.797 @ 250.69mph dead straight and hitting all my shift points was a great win over Grant’s 7.533″.

Kapiris was winner of Round 2 with a win over mark Belleri. Round 3 on the Sunday saw a great qualifier by Zap to gain Top Qualifier position with a 5.863 @ 251.39mph. This also gave us top points for ET and MPH for the second night running.

“I probably short shifted a little on that run, but the mph gained us Top Speed points for the meeting. That put us up against our rival Peter Kapiris in the Saratoga in the qualifier – our first pairing since last years championship tussle. I was looking forward to the race, but he got me on a brilliant hole shot!”

Kapiris won the race with a slower 6.139 @ 241.28mph to Zap’s 6.036 @ 247.93mph thanks to a super sharp 0.084 light to 0.196.

“We both had to pedal on that run and I lost by 0.009 seconds for a finals berth. Congratulations to Daniel Gregorini who took the round win – his first in Top Doorslammer”.

Points standing after Round three sees Stuart Bishop leading with 165 points, followed by Pino Prioli on 157 and Zappia on 138.

“We are happy with the points and our standing in the championship at this stage of the championship. We have got a better start than in previous years and hope to gradually work our way up the points table. The owner of the Crusher and Managing Director of Striker Screening and Crushing Craig Pedley was at the meeting and was very happy with how we are going. His staff and clients in the corporate box got to see his car running quick times and getting the B Final win”.

Zappia Racing head to Calder Park in Victoria for Round 4 on April 4 – 5, then on to Sydney for Round 5 at the Nitro Champs in May.

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Zappia ready for the Westernationals

This weekends ANDRA Top Doorslammer Rounds 2 and 3 at the Westernationals in Perth will be very hot – both in temperature and competition, and the champ John Zappia is ready to give it all.

With forecast temperatures of 37 C (98 F) on Saturday, and 35 C (96 F) on Sunday the twenty Top Doorslammers will have to be on their game to master the tricky Perth Motorplex track in the new Three Round Format.

“We are very confident here at Zappia Racing” said a cool Zappia yesterday at the track, “We tested today with some new parts and managed some good results in the areas we were concentrating on”.

“First pass got out quick but shook and I aborted. Second pass again got out quick to 60 feet, but again shook. I pedaled it and wrenched it back off the wall and ran it through for a 6.10 @ 242mph using up a fair bit of the track”.

“We know this track well and it can be very tricky with the power levels we have in these Slammers using suspension rear ends. The track conditions can change from day to day, so the challenge for us and all other racers is to get a handle on the track and weather conditions as quickly as possible as we only have one qualifier then straight to Eliminations with the four fastest winners going into the “A” and “B” Finals”.

“We need to get the power in the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro to the ground, and as seen in the Pro Showdown, if you’re not at the top of your setup there could be upsets. ANDRA Series Round 2 racing starts this Saturday with qualifying at 5.30, elimination round at 7.30, and finals at 9.50pm. Sunday’s ANDRA series Round 3 racing has the same time slots. Two rounds of the ANDRA Pro Series on the same weekend!

We hope to see as many of our Sponsors and supporters at the track to cheers us on and to check out the new season merchandise.

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Zappia Sets Top Speed at the Top Doorslammer Pro Showdown

Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia qualified second fastest with a 5.928 and set top speed of 249.3 mph in the 19 car field at the Pro Showdown opening meeting of the 2014 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Bracket at the Perth Motorplex.

The conditions were tricky, with high humidity and a difficult track that seemed to stump crew chiefs and their tuning selections. Underdogs prevailed at the meeting that really should revitalise and encourage the growing number of teams.

“We had an interesting meeting to say the least” said a remarkably calm John Zappia after the event, “A few small component failures stopped our progress through eliminations. But we are upbeat – last year we failed to qualify for the first meeting, so we are better positioned if you look at it positively”.

The event was won by Queensland racer Stuart Bishop in his auto Camaro, ahead of local racer Pino Priolo in his 37 Chev Coupe.

“I always though Bishop had great potential – he is the leader in the auto cars, and has put out five eights in the past. Reliability was his hurdle, and they have overcome that this meeting. It was good to see Pino do well – he has plugged away consistently with his car over the years and is a worthy runner-up”.

Qualifying on the Friday saw Zap sneak into second spot with a 5.928 @ 249.30mph, after a pedaling 6.025 @ 247.25, and a second gear launch 6.304 @ 244.56mph. Top spot was claimed by Murray O’Conner in his XM Falcon with a 5.908 and the bump ended up being 6.013, with all but one team in the fives.

“I had trouble with the air system to the gearbox and my shifting mechanism. It is an in-house CNC designed component, and for some reason the super reliable part played up – both in qualifying and again in the first elimination”.

Round one on Saturday saw Zappia’s Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro matched up against Grant O’Rourke’s Pontiac Firebird. These two are long time sparring partners, with battles in Zap’s original Zap’s Rat HQ and Grant’s AA/G Torana entertaining crowds at Ravenswood and Kwinana.

“I was out first but went to hit second gear on my steering wheel and nothing happened. The poor old hemi hit the limiter and after bashing the shifter with my left had it finally changed into third gear and got going. But it was all over with Grant running a credible 5.992 @ 242.58mph to my 6.141 @ 241.93mph”.

Other winners for round one were Dack 6.442 over Fabietti 22.086; Bishop 6.029 over Belleri 10.057; and Priolo 6.095 over O’Connor 7.639.

“You can tell by the results that most teams had trouble putting the power to the ground. O’Connor’s quickest ET was 5.908 and my fastest speed of 249.30mph were both in qualifying. Race day was hard to master”.

Round two saw the super consistent Priolo 6.039 defeat Dack 15.72, and Bishop 6.408 defeat O’Rourke’s 10.37.

“Seeing Bishop win the final with a 5.972 over Pino’s 6.028 certainly gets one thinking about the future of auto’s in the class. Ben Bray has fitted an auto to his Monaro, but is working through the process of development. The US cars are having remarkable success with them. We will be staying with the clutch and B & J three speed for now – we don’t really have any issues with ours, and Jerry has the tune mastered”.

“We are very confident going into Rounds 2 and 3 at the Westernationals in a months time. We will rectify the small issues we had and hopefully get back to running our “five eights” and depending on the weather and track – dip back into the “five sevens”. Our local supporters have been deprived of seeing us run a “five seven” so it would be good to run one on our home track”.

The Westernationals format will be a three round series on both Saturday and Sunday nights with all racers running one qualifier, then an elimination round with the 4 fastest winners racing off for the “A” and “B” final. This is high pressure racing and anyone could end up in the finals on either night. Spectators will get to see at least 20 paired passes and two finals on both nights.

We hope to see as many of our Sponsors and supporters at the track to cheers us on and to check out the new season merchandise.

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