The 2012 Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank International Raceway, Queensland Australia was the most dramatic event of the year for ANDRA Pro Series Australian Top Doorslammer teams – with inclement weather, extended race days, team withdrawals, nail-biting “championship on the line” runs, pending retirements, upset wins, and quickest passes in history – all playing center stage at various times of the event.
After all the dust had settled, John Zappia and his Zappia Racing Team claimed the ultimate prize of a fifth straight Top Doorslammer Championship in the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics “Crusher” Monaro.
“A very proud moment for our team” said John Zappia, “After getting knocked out in Round 1, we all had to watch in awe as our Championship played out in front of us with Peter Kapiris going rounds with a chance to overtake us”.
“In the end we got through, and it was a big moment for Fuchs Lubricants and Procomp Electronics as our co-naming rights sponsors. Our strategy and execution over the season has paid off for all of us”.
“It was fantastic to have Chris Lane from Striker Crushing and Screening at the event, as car owner Craig Pedley was away overseas as he has been for most of the season. He was thrilled with the team news, and 5.75 record breaking run”.
Zappia top qualified with Australia’s quickest pass – 5.750 @ 250.78 mph, in a field that ended with a 6.007 bump spot over two days of sometimes challenging conditions. “Everything came together on that pass – with excellent conditions for our car. Sticky track and great air suited our high horsepower combo”.
On Monday – elimination raceday, the heavens opened up and rain forced the event to be postponed to Tuesday. Unfortunately Mark Belleri withdrew from the event, which allowed Ben Bray into the field up against Zappia in a re-seeded Round 1.
“Benny got me on a hole shot on that race. We were quicker with a 5.814 @ 248.84mph to Ben’s 5.877 @ 245.32mph, but drag racing is all about first to the finish line – and his 0.046 reaction was killer to my 0.126. Congratulation on his getting it all together for that pass”.
“Sutton got though over Gregorini, Judd over Victor Bray – but the hardest to take was Kapiris getting through by beating Bishop. My heart was in my mouth watching the semi-finals, with Peter Kapiris in with a chance to take the Championship away from us”.
“We watched Sutton take out Benny Bray with a 5.984, then watched in trepidation as Judd 5.881 @ 250.83mph just took out Kapiris with a close 5.897 @ 252.00mph – guaranteeing our Championship win!”
“The whole crew were in the grandstand watching the race and erupted into cheers for Robin Judd and celebration at achieving the fifth straight Doorslammer Championship”.
“Now the final was nothing short of controversial, as Sutton tuned and drove the race of his career and took Juddy in a great race. Unfortunately the timing system failed to produce a correct result and after a protest by Judd, ANDRA awarded the race to Sutton based on what they could see from the video replay”.
“A big thanks to our dedicated crew and extended team members over the season – they have their reward for all the hard work. I rely of them supporting my drive, and goals myself and our sponsors set for the team. Our team enjoys unparalleled support from a great group of sponsors, and we thank them publically with gratitude”.
“It has been a mixed season, and it looked shakey early when we were behind on the points as Kapiris beat us in the semi of the Nationals Round 1 meeting, and then pipped us in the final of Round 2 at the Goldenstates. The Westernationals was our defining moment though – beating Judd to win the event. That set our Championship up after three rounds. We won Round 4 at Sydney, then reset the National record at Round 5 at the Nitro Champs and put away Kapiris to win that event. The 53 points from this event took us to 620 points for the season winning by 32.5 points from Kapiris, with Judd finishing 3rd a further 35 points behind Kapiris”.
“Zappia Racing will visit Darwin on 18th August 2012 for the Slamfest Round there, and then get ready for another exciting season of ANDRA Top Doorslammer racing in the 2012-2013 season (which starts in Sydney on the 2nd – 4th November 2012), where we hope to win a sixth back-to-back Championship to equal Victor’s record run of wins”.
NDRA Top Doorslammer championship leader John Zappia made the case for a fifth straight national title on day two of the Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway in Queensland, Australia’s biggest drag racing event.
Zappia scorched to a 5.75sec run in the second session of qualifying with his Fuchs/Procomp Motorsport Holden Monaro, the quickest pass in the history of the category. The Western Australian driver outpaced second placed Robin Judd’s 5.83sec and championship rival Peter Kapiris’s 5.89sec.
“It felt good but I didn’t think it would be that good,” he said. “We backed it off a bit from the first qualifying session and the track got a bit better; it started to rattle the tyres and I punched second gear where it started to fishtail a bit.
“It’s good to be the quickest again and so far it means we’re staying a few more points ahead of Peter (Kapiris) in the championship series.”