Zappia wins Nationals and ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship

Reigning Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion, John Zappia pulled off the greatest comeback in the history of doorslammer this weekend, to win his sixth consecutive title coming from 42 points behind and winning the Nationals Final. The Australian Nationals was the last and most prestigious event of the extended ANDRA 2012/2013 season held at Sydney Dragway, and the two top contenders Zappia and Kapiris were locked in an emotional battle in the event lead up.

“Coming into the event, it seemed like an impossible assignment – having to win the event, and Peter having to either not qualify or loose in the first round” said a jubilant Zappia, “but we stayed positive and focused, and the fairy tale did come true. The team, sponsors, supporters, friends and fans are all very excited with the result”.

The track proved a little tricky for the eighteen teams attempting to qualify for the top eight, and elapsed times were a little off the pace as most struggled with tyre shake and uneven traction.

“This is our first event win this season, and to do this against my old mate Victor Bray and equal his six straight Championship wins was a highlight. We both pioneered doorslammer racing in this country, and to make that final pass together was historical. It was a fitting matchup as the record of six consecutive wins was achieved against the person holding the record. Our deepest commiserations go to our good mate Peter Kapiris who led the series all year and just fell 19 points short to run a valiant second for the second year in a row”.

Qualifying was run on the Saturday, with good weather conditions for most of the day. On Zap’s first pass in the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro he suffered vicious tyre shake and had to pedal to a 6.002 @ 248.61mph. That put him at No 2 behind Gary Phillips on 5.99.

The Second run saw Zap run an awesome 5.86 @ 250.46mph to secure No 1 position, ahead of Kapiris on 5.90. The last qualifier was slightly quicker with a 5.83 @ 250.74mph that earned him valuable top qualifier points.

“We felt we had a mental advantage over Pete by top qualifying – showing him that we were quickest and he would have to step it up to catch us. As it turned out the Sunday track proved a little trickier than the Saturday track, and we never dipped into the “five eights” again”. “The tension was high on race day, and we watched in amazement as Peter Kapiris shook, pedaled but never recovered against Victor Bray who had a big hole shot advantage with a 0.030 reaction time. I knew we had a chance at the championship right there and then. In our first elimination run, the Crusher with a pedaling 5.951 @ 248.75mph put away Sean Mifsud and his Duster”.

“We put a little more in the motor for round 2 to try and get over this tyre shake, but it did it again and luckily Phillips had the same problem. Our 5.975 @ 248.48mph got us through to the final. Victor got through over Sutton with a hole shot and slower time to set up a repeat of the final in Perth”.

We felt for Peter Kapiris as he watched the final with a camera focused on him, with such tension and trepidation as Zap and Victor lined up. We were in a similar position last year but luckily Robin Judd did us a favour and defeated Peter Kapiris to give us the championship. “Victor got me on the tree, but the Crusher surged ahead until the dreaded tyres started to rattle hard. I thought ‘Not again!’ – so punched second quickly and the car went crazy. I could not see Victor in my peripheral vision and tried to steer the car straight, and run through for a 6.071 @ 246.98mph – not a very good time but considering I had to pedal twice and pull the car away from the wall, I was happy to get the win

“The feeling of jubilation after winning was just amazing. It has been a long and hard season, and to finally get a win and take the ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree home to all our Perth Sponsors and Supporters was priceless”.

“Thank you to Fuchs Lubricants for their Co-naming Rights Sponsorship for the year. We look forward to more racing with their partnership in the coming seasons. Also a big thank you to Striker Crushing and Screening, K Trans WA, Procomp Electronics, Speedmaster, PRG (Process Resource Group), Beta Spuds, Southside Engine Centre, Noonan Race Engineering and PPG because without your support we would not have been able to win our sixth consecutive ANDRA Championship. We would also like to thank our supporting sponsors who all contribute to making Zappia Racing the most successful Top Doorslammer team in Australia. We look forward to your ongoing support”.

“I rang Craig Pedley who was away on Striker business, and let him know that the car he owns and has never driven has just won a fourth consecutive championship. He was rapped”.

“A big thank you to all the crew, management team and supporters who are close to me. We work hard technically, but mentally as well – staying positive and striving for better performance each time we race and having a win makes all the hard work worth it”.

The event will show on national television on SBS Speedweek in the next couple of weeks – check your local guides for details or keep an eye on Zappia Racing on Facebook.

Qualifying Order: ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.831 @ 250.74;KAPIRIS – DODGE SARATOGA 5.906 @ 256.26; FABIETTI – 2006 MONARO 5.932 @ 246.57; DACK – FORD BA 5.936 @ 245.14; PHILLIPS – STUDEBAKER 5.990 @ 242.76; SUTTON – CORVETTE 6.044 @ 242.67; V BRAY – 57 CHEV 6.045 @ 236.59; MIFSUD – 70 DUSTER 6.089 @ 241.67.

Non – Qualifiers: GOONAN – CAMARO 6.101 @ 236.09; MICALI – DUSTER 6.144 @ 215.62; PRIOLO – 37 CHEV 6.145 @ 238.81; B BRAY – MONARO 6.423 @ 176.95; DUPOND – 67 MUSTANG 6.497 @ 213.00; CANNULI – 68 CAMARO 6.574 @ 210.70; WILSON – 65 CORVETTE 6.761 @ 231.32; GRADDEN – SARATOGA 6.844 @ 216.45; BISHOP – 67 CAMARO 6.909 @ 167.45; CARBONE – 68 CAMARO 15.168 @ 30.92.

ROUND 1: ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.951 @ 248.75 DEF MIFSUD – 70 DUSTER 6.074 @ 243.03. PHILLIPS – STUDEBAKER 6.678 @ 167.88 DEF DACK – FORD BA 11.399 @ 75.38. V BRAY – 57 CHEV 6.089 @ 242.45 DEF KAPIRIS – DODGE SARATOGA 6.577 @ 176.60. SUTTON – CORVETTE 6.053 @ 236.17 DEF FABIETTI – 2006 MONARO 6.181 @ 243.19.

SEMI FINAL: ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.975 @ 248.48 DEF PHILLIPS – STUDEBAKER 6.183 @ 239.95. V BRAY – 57 CHEV 6.072 @ 234.49 DEF SUTTON – CORVETTE 6.024 @ 242.93.

FINAL: ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 6.071 @ 246.98 DEF V BRAY – 57 CHEV 6.204 @ 233.88.

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Zappia Runs 5.75 and Wins Fifth Straight Championship

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.”


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Zappia claims fourth straight Top Doorslammer Championship

The 2011 Winternationals ended with an anti-climax with rain again disrupting racing during the event, in an unprecedented year of natural disasters and heavy rain in the east coast of Australia. The ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Series qualifying was completely washed out forcing the original qualifying order to be used, and the heavens opened up again on Willowbank International Raceway just prior to the finals – forcing another cancellation.

John Zappia in the Procomp Motorsport Monaro earned enough points after his round one victory to claim his fourth straight Top Doorslammer Championship, despite losing to Mark Belleri in round two.

“We are absolutely thrilled to take out the Championship”, said Zappia, “It’s a great win for Procomp Motorsport who have backed us as Naming Rights sponsors this year, and for Craig Pedley from Striker Crushing and Screening who kindly allowed me to drive his ?Crusher? HQ Monaro race car for the season”.

“We went into the Winternationals with a 53 points lead over Mark Belleri and were quietly confident of getting enough points to win our 4th Championship but the weather gods were not kind to the east coast as has been the story for the majority of this season. We ran an off the trailer pass of 5.914 at 234.78mph to qualify in second place behind an improving Peter Kapiris who ran a 5.859 at 246.44mph”.

“We then stepped up the tune and after several rain delays ran a wheel standing 5.82 which would have placed us top qualifier, but again the rain came down and as the session was not completed. The run was disallowed and the qualifying order was set as per the first qualifying round”.

“We came to the Winternationals Take 2 pretty confident, but the two scheduled qualifiers set out for the Saturday never eventuated as the rain again threw the meeting into confusion. We had made some adjustments to the balance of the car to try and put the power to the ground a little better, but in round one with no prior qualifiers or testing, I just blew the tyres off and was lucky to escape with a win?. Normally the 6.337 at 245.54 mph would not be enough to win an elimination round but luckily Andrew Sutton had wheel standing problems of his own and only ran a 6.358 at 231.83 mph”.

“We backed the car down for Round 2 against Belleri, but the Crusher shook and got out of the groove forcing me to pedal. Not enough for the win, but the crew and I still had huge smiles on our faces after knowing we had the 4th consecutive Championship and Gold Christmas Tree to take home. This time we ran 6.014 at 245.36 mph to Mark Belleri?s 5.915 at 245.27 mph”.

The Winternationals event signals the end to the 2010/2011 racing season for Zappia Racing, who had a mixed season of racing. Two early departures in meetings was uncharacteristic, but a sign of the difficulty of mastering this class of racing. Zappia?s 2010/2011 Championship was built on a solid base of two strong wins and a runner up, enabling a narrow win ahead of Mark Belleri, Maurice Fabietti and Robin Judd.

Season 2011/2012 promises to be even harder as other teams have been showing good form at the end of this season. Teams such as Peter Kapiris, Ben Bray, Russ Pavey and Murray O?Connor as well as the usual consistent performers in Mark Belleri, Maurice Fabietti, Robin Judd and Gary Phillips will make next season a real battle and we will have to be at our best from the opening meeting to continue to be at the top of the Championship standings.


“A big thanks to a very dedicated Zappia Racing Team Crew and supporters. It takes a lot of work and support from a large number of people to run this operation at the top level. I set high goals and our expectations to win are high, but that must be backed up with attention to detail, painstaking research and hard work in the workshop and at the track”.

“The Championship win has been made possible by sponsorship from our Naming Rights Sponsor Procomp Motorsport and Procomp Electronics, and our Major Sponsors. Striker Crushing and Screening who have been extremely supportive with a whole range of financial and logistics support. Fuchs Lubricants Australia stepped up their program with us this year, and their quality oils and lubricants along with financial incentives. K-Trans Racing from Perth were new sponsors this year and a very welcome addition and greatly appreciated. Beta Spuds and Southside Engine Centre are long time local WA sponsors who are very loyal to the team and their support is very important to us. Noonan Race Engineering has been providing excellent engine parts and machining, and PPG supply the paint that gives our cars such great finishes”.

“Those Major Sponsors are joined by a whole list of Supporting Sponsors who tirelessly donate time, resources and supplies to help us achieve our goal of being number one in Top Doorslammer. Our vision and drive are very clear to all around this team, and we have ambitions for next season that will keep all of us on our toes”.

“We believe that both the performance of our cars and the future of Top Doorslammer racing can jump up a level in the seasons to come. We are working hard in the background to achieve both of those, so we can continue to deliver an excellence viewing spectacle for our fans and sponsors”.

“Our venture into eighth mile racing was a success, and we will continue to support the series, and visit regional tracks in Australia”.


John Zappia was crowned 2009/2010 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion

Zap goes 5.80

John Zappia was crowned 2009/2010 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion last weekend, after he successfully defended his back to back title by winning the final of the Castrol EDGE Winternationals against point’s leader Robin Judd, with a 5.817 @ 246.93 mph and reset the National Record with a blistering 5.805 @ 246.08 in his semi-final win against Ben Bray.

“I love it when a plan comes together” said a jubilant Zappia, “We set some pretty high goals going into the last event, and to almost achieve them all is a testimony to the maturity and standard of our team. We aim high, and work hard at a lot of one percent details on the car and thankfully most of them actually work”.

Zap Top Qualified after running 5.866 @ 241.07mph, 5.831 @ 245.90mph and 5.810 @ 247.02mph. In the first round Zap had an easy win against Bishop who tried to gamble on the starter’s finger and ended up with a massive red light and Zap running 5.852 @ 244.52mph in the Striker “Crusher” Monaro. Round two saw Zap put away Benny the Kid Bray with a 5.805 @ 246.08mph – resetting the National ET record.

The Final saw Zap with a hole shot over Juddy and win with another “five Eight” – his sixth for the event – 5.817 @ 246.93mph and confirm his status as Australia’s king of doorslammer tuning and driving. Zap is also $12,000 richer as winner of the Karcher Tri-State Shootout. The $20,000 prize money is shared between the top three competitors in the Shootout with a breakdown of $12,000, $5000 and $3000.

“This win is mainly for Craig Pedley and Striker Crushing and Screening, who have given me the opportunity to race professionally with their naming rights sponsorship. Jumping into Craig’s “Crusher” Monaro doorslammer gave us the opportunity to move reliably into the five eight second region and maintain a dominant position in performance”.

“Many thanks to Fuchs Lubricants, whose support for the Pro Series racing and our team has been superb, with incentive bonus dollars as part of their sponsorship package an added motivator for us. It’s a credit to Fuchs Lubricants that the car performed at that level all weekend and there was next to no maintenance on the engine. Local sponsors United Industries and Beta Spuds have been extremely supportive in our efforts, and allowed us to run all our local meetings at the Perth Motorplex”. Also thanks to Dave from Mi Camcorders who has helped in filming our runs and giving us more insight into the handling of the car, and also for adding some glamour to the pits and staging lanes with the promo girls.

“Our list of sponsors is long, because we take on a lot of advice and technology from suppliers who are keen to work with us and gain the advantage. Mickey Thompson supply us with their wheels and a good inventory of tyres, and we have been working with Noonan Race Engineering with their billet heads using Victory Valves. We use two sets of components that make it possible to go five eights reliably – Santhuff suspension, and B & J Transmissions”.

Heading the Zappia Racing crew on race day was engine guru Graham Jones from Southside Engine Centre who has been involved with Zappia for his full 26 years of racing. “This is a huge team effort with lots of people involved – in the lead up to events and on race day. The crew worked well together, with a heap of tools from Force Tools on hand. We rely on our knowledge and data systems for detailed analysis, but we are forever learning and incorporating new technology and ways of getting more power”.

Holding his two ANDRA Gold Christmas Trees and the $20,000 Karcher cheque, John Zappia was all smiles.

“Thanks to everyone that’s given us a hand with the car – the crew has done an awesome job all year. The stress everyone copped after crashing and getting up on the wall over here (Willowbank) was huge, and we managed to come back and still run fives with a car untested. But once we realised we could do that, we thought we can put this new car (The Striker “Crusher” Monaro) together and it’s going to run fives straight away, which it did on it’s first pass and ran five eight on it’s fourth pass. A year later we are running back to back eighties and eighty ones like clockwork”.

“A big thanks to all our race fans that have supported us with encouragement and purchased our merchandise. I sign a lot of autographs and myself and all the crew enjoy talking to the fans in the pits. We hope you enjoy the One HD ANDRA Pro Series coverage of the event, which will be coming to you soon. See you next season for more Top Doorslammer action”.

“We are also looking for a Naming Rights Sponsor for next season. Striker had done a three year deal with us – they will still be a Major Sponsor, but we need a Naming Rights Sponsor for a one car, or a two car team for bigger and better things”.

John Zappia:
2009/2010 Australia ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion
2009/2010 Winternationals Top Doorslammer Winner
2009/2010 Winternationals Top Doorslammer Top Qualifier
2009/2010 Karcher Tri-state Shootout Winner
ANDRA Top Doorslammer National Record Holder 5.805

2009/2010 Perth Motorplex Top Comp Champion

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Zappia racing for third straight championship

Nine points separates the top two ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer racers coming into the final round at the Castrol EDGE Winternationals this weekend with defending Champion John Zappia aiming for his third championship in a row.

Zap dominated the last two seasons of doorslammer racing, but this year two racers have excelled in their performances and stepped up to the top level – Robin Judd and Maurice Fabietti. The season has been a thriller so far, with each final being an unpredictable event.

The final round continues that thrilling competition with any one of the three a chance at winning the Championship, and with the added bonus of a cash payout in the Karcher shoot-out.

“We are leading the Karcher shoot-out by 20 points and we intend to stay in front there, and we are only nine points adrift in the championship chase so there is plenty on the line at the Winters,” said Zappia.

Zappia Racing will present Craig Pedley’s Striker Crushing and Screening “Crusher” Top Doorslammer for the first time at Willowbank International Raceway. The stunning HQ Monaro has proven to be a very straight running race car since its debut this season, and is the current ANDRA National Record Holder at 5.815 seconds, and has run an even quicker 5.814 second pass in Perth at a local meeting.

“We know our Zappia Racing Team confidence is high, and we produce the goods on race day” said Zap, “We beat Juddy in the semi last round, but Maurice got me in the final. It’s going to be close, and the team with the best package on any particular run will win”.

“We top qualified at last years Winters in Zap’s Rat, and ran five 5.9 passes in a row and won the event. The Crusher is a quicker car than the Rat, and the conditions at Willowbank suit our car and setup better. I have never been more relaxed and confident going into this weekend’s event”.

“We have been in four of the five finals this season, but took runner-up more times than the win. So we are out to make amends this weekend with a focused professional performance”.

Racing schedule for the event:

Friday 11th June 2010 – Qualifier 1 from 12.00 pm EST. Qualifier 2 from 2.45 pm EST

Saturday 12th June 2010 – Qualifier 3 from 11.30am EST. Qualifier 4 from 2.20 pm EST

Sunday 13th June 2010 – Round 1 from 10.30 am EST. Round 2 from 12.45 pm EST. Final Round from 3.00 pm EST


Zap wins coveted Top Comp Championship.

John Zappia won his first Western Australian “Top Comp” Championship after the results of the last A Final were run at the Grand Final event at the Perth Motorplex last weekend. In a nail biting run for the Zappia Racing Team, Maurice Brennan in the AA/AP Commodore could have won the Championship, but was beaten by close friend and Top Comp Rookie Jeffrey Clark in the BB/D dragster handing the Championship to Zap by five points.

“It’s great to win after being runner-up last year”, said John Zappia, “The Top Comp Eliminator is very competitive here, and winning the Championship is a coveted trophy. It’s the first time I have won a local Championship at the Perth Motorplex, although we did pretty well in the Ravenswood days with the original Zap’s Rat”.

Zap presented for the Grand Final event in the Striker “Crusher” Monaro Top Doorslammer, and in good air managed an off the trailer 5.824 @ 243.24mph in the first qualifier.

“No doubt about Craig Pedley’s car, it is consistent and reliable in its application of our tune and settings. Unfortunately we had a failed lifter, and the crew managed a complete engine change in time for the second qualifier”.

“The car started to shake a little on this pass and the data logger shows I pedaled the car three times, hit second gear and the car took off for a 6.053 @ 241.28mph. Not bad considering”.

The 5.824 placed Zap seventh in the qualifying list 0.586 under the Top Comp Index of 6.410. Jeffrey Clark top qualified with a 5.924 on a 6.750 Index – 0.826 under his index!

“First Eliminator against Rob Young in the BB/GA Torana saw the air come around to about 500 feet, and the track temp drop. My hot tune up was too much for the track and blew the tyres off on the hit, running out the back door with a 6.704 @ 237.46mph for the win. It was enough to gain 120 valuable points, and put the pressure on Maurice Brennan to win his final”.

Jeffrey Clark and Maurice Brennan met in the A Final to decide the Championship. In what turned out to be a pedal fest, Jeffrey managed the win and left Zap at the top of the points table.

John Zappia finished first on 735 points, followed by Maurice Brennan on 730 points, and Jeffrey Clark finishing third on 690 points.

“It was a magnificent debut for the Striker Crusher Monaro – with a string of five eights during the year, a Top Comp win, a local Top Doorslammer win, and a Runner-up. Many thanks go to our loyal local sponsors, supporters and fans. It takes people power to run a Group 1 car so often, and so many people are willing to put their hand up – or in their pocket for this Team”.

“We reward our sponsors and supporters with consistent quick times, and winning events and championships makes it all worth the effort”.

Since the first sub six second pass at WSID in 2007 the Zappia Racing Team have run a total of 194 sub six second passes, and of these 35 passes have been in the 5.8′s. A lot of this can be accredited to the effort of the crew and the quality of the parts used by the team and the quality of the oils and fuel. Special thanks to all the Sponsors who either put in dollars and/or quality products to allow Zappia Racing to be one of the most consistent and competitive teams in Drag Racing.

The Zappia Racing Team head to Western Sydney International Dragway, NSW for the Nitro Champs on 30th Apr/2nd May 2010 featuring Top Doorslammer Round 6 where we hopefully we can close the gap on Robin Judd for the Top Doorslammer National Championship.


Zap’s Winters Story

John Zappia finished the 2008/2009 season on a high last weekend, by Top Qualifying and winning the Final in Top Doorslammer at the Winternationals. It was a demonstration of power and consistency – typical of his teams performance all season in which the Striker Monaro Top Doorslammer remained unbeaten.

“What a season” said a reflective Zap this week, “Everything came together this season after years of preparation and testing, and it’s a credit to all of us in the Team. I wanted to win this Winternationals for so many reasons, but we had to work hard for it. We had a component failure in the first qualifier, and had to change an engine after the second run, which we did in record time.”

Sixteen teams started qualifying on the Friday, and fellow West Australian Robin Judd led the pack with a 5.912 @ 241.8mph, and Fabietti and Benny Bray both managing fives. Zappia was last out and just blew the tyres off on the hit, causing him to abort the run.

“We had a component failure in the lock-up clutch mechanism, and I guess we were lucky it happened then and not later in racing. We repaired the car, and having watched the other cars and the way the track was biting, I put a tune in I knew would be on the money, and something the Mickey Thompson slicks could handle.”

Second qualifying session saw Zap move to the top of the qualifying ladder with a 5.901 @ 242.33mph in true Zappia style. The engine suffered damage on the run though, and the crew were faced with an engine change in a short time frame. An oil down just helped the crew fire the car up quickly, and race to the staging lanes. A 5.922 @ 242.33mph was not to shabby on a new untested engine”.

Zappia faced off against Bishop in Round One, but was too strong with a 5.999 @ 239.49mph to the Bishop’s Camaro 6.176 @ 233.64mph. Benny Bray was Zap’s opponent in Round Two, and a 5.930 @ 240.77mph was enough to take the win after the Castrol Monaro broke a gearbox and coasted to a 7.914 @ 119.30mph.

The consistency of our runs can in some way be contributed to our B&J gear boxes which have performed brilliantly all year with no maintenance required between meetings.

The stage was set for another Zappia versus Judd final – the fifth such finals match up for the season. The Blue Collar versus the White Collar – a classic battle of the super quick West Australians.

“I staged the car as usual – these cars are a little hard to get exactly right on the start line – and knew I had to react well to win. I cut a 0.477 light (0.077 at Kwinana or WSID) and never saw Juddy out my window – the Rat just took off and ran a 5.909 @ 242.85 mph for the win.”

Robin Judd indeed had a slow 0.752 start, and his 5.943 @ 245.63 mph would not have been enough for the win as the three car length advantage showed. These two West Australians have indeed set the pace and stepped up a notch this season in Top Doorslammer. Interestingly the 5.8’s run by both finalists in previous meetings proved more difficult to run at the Winternationals. The track was super sticky and there was a considerable head wind for most runs.

“I was thrilled with the win, and meant I had achieved so many goals I had set for the meeting, and the season. We take home the two trophies as well as a brilliant Karcher High Pressure Cleaner, which will get plenty of use in the workshop. Many thanks to the management of Karcher for sponsoring the bracket and their involvement in Drag Racing.”

“I must thank some key players in this Teams success, both who could not attend the Winters this year. Graham Jones from Southside Engine Center must take credit for using his drag racing wisdom and setting in motion the game plan to get consistent this year, and didn’t it show with amazing bracket car like times.”

“In order to achieve that plan, we needed support and some systems, and Striker Crushing and Screening Director Craig Pedley stepped up to the plate with his naming rights sponsorship and cash injection used for inventory. He demanded proper systems and accountability in the team, like he has in his successful business, and those were implemented by myself and the Team. The result was success and a move away from the backyard mentality to professionalism – and that also showed.”

“The crew have responded amazingly, and winning makes drag racing so much more enjoyable for them – the hard work and travel certainly can be a burden.”

“I think we have proved a point this meeting and season – we know what we are doing in Top Doorslammer. We will prove next year that we can do similar things with two cars, and maybe some customer cars. We hope to get the chance to compete against the best in the world, if the opportunity presents itself and the terms are right.”

“Drag Racing is such a fantastic motor sport, and our Sponsors Striker Crushing and Screening, Fuchs Lubricants, United Industries, Force Tools and many of our other sponsors are getting their money’s worth, and we thank them for their involvement”.

“Thanks to all the Zap’s Rat fans who continually come to watch us race, visit us in the pits and give us so much encouragement. You have bought our merchandise and wear it proudly, and thanks for that. We will open an online store soon so purchases will be easier for fans”.

“See you all next season, where the burnouts will be long and smokey and the HQ Monaro’s will be even quicker. Blown alcohol Doorslammer action at it’s best”.


Zap Wins Winters!




Zappia Racing set for Winters

John Zappia – the man that has set the pace this season in Top Doorslammer with stunning pace and consistency – has arrived in Queensland with his Zappia Racing team ready for the Castrol EDGE Winternationals this weekend.

Undefeated so far this season, Zap is all set to unleash his magic again for his sponsors and fans in the Striker HQ Monaro, with his famous long smoky burnouts and wild driving style.

“We are really looking forward to the Winters this year” said Zap, “We were knocked out in the Semi last year, so we would like to make amends for that. We would love to keep our unbeaten record for the whole season going, just to make a point. The crew have been amazing this year – like a Formula One Team in discipline and performance”.

“Some of the other racers are capable of surprising us but having said that, we don’t look over our shoulder when we race – the crew and I are committed to being out in front and winning by doing the basics very well, and finding all the one percent advantages”.

Zap has sufficient points to win the 2008/2009 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, his second Championship in a row, without even qualifying but that is not the way Zap thinks.

“The season is not over until the final is run, so it’s back to our usual routine for the qualifying sessions. Despite our strong consistency this season, Top Doorslammer is still a very difficult bracket to master and so much depends on the track condition. The last round in Sydney showed us that as I really had to drive the car to get it down the track. I am confident the Mickey Thompson tyres can handle the typically sticky Willowbank track”.

“As an Added bonus, we would really like to win the Karcher Pressure Cleaner prize for winning the event. Would be a great tool for the workshop back in Perth”.

“Big congratulations to Victor Bray for his achievement of 30 years in the Sport. He has won more Championships than anybody in Doorslammer, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I started my career in the original Zap’s Rat in 1984 with an injected 454 in A/GAS, a total of 25 years, although I did have a break from the sport for a few years”.

“We are entering the most exciting times in our sport in Australia and Internationally, and our sponsors Striker Crushing and Screening, Fuchs Lubricants, United Industries, Force Tools and many of our other sponsors are really impressed with the quality of the ONE HD TV programs from ANDRA”.

“There is also a lot of talk regarding International drag racing possibilities at the moment, and we are involved in those developments in the early stages. As a full time professional drag racer, the opportunity to take our Aussie ingenuity overseas and prove ourselves against the world’s best would be an exciting prospect”.

The Castrol EDGE Winternationals is Australia’s largest and most prestigious drag racing event, and the largest drag racing event outside of North America.

The inclusion of Craig Lowndes and Jamie Whincup match racing each other should also prove an added draw card to what will be a huge meeting.

First qualifier for the event is scheduled for Friday 5th June at 5.30pm EST. Fans not attending the event can listen live on www.speedfm.com.au or check the www.zapsrat.com.au web site for regular short updates.

Second and third qualifiers are scheduled for 12.00pm EST and 2.30pm EST on Saturday 6th June. Sunday 7th June features all the eliminations, with Round 1 at 12.30pm EST, Round 2 at 2.19pm EST, and the Final 2 – 3 hours later as the finals progress.


ANDRA Championship Gold Christmas Tree for Zap

John Zappia made a strong semi-final finish in the Final Round of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship at the Winternationals to finish off his career best season with 642 championship points – 142 points ahead of the competition, and collect his first Championship ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree.

For this likeable Perth local it was a dream come true, and a thrill for his many fans and sponsors who have proudly stood behind his efforts during the last five years to reclaim his position as Australia’s Mr. Doorslammer.

“To stand in front of my team, and drag racing peers, and collect my Championship Trophy was a proud moment for me, and made all the hard work worthwhile”, said Zap this week, “I had the vision to achieve this years ago, and to have so many people believe in me and support me both financially and morally is humbling. We started with very little, and so many things have fallen into place for us along the way with our success on the track”.

The Winternationals was probably the most exciting and record setting event in the history of Top Doorslammer in Australia, with Robin Judd running a World Record 5.907 to Top Qualify, a 6.102 bump spot in qualifying, and four racers dipping into the fives.

“Top Doorslammer is hot at the moment in Australia, and about to get hotter as many of the teams come to grips with their cars and break into the fives. It was exciting to be a part of the action at the Winters. We had high goals coming into the event, but the Striker Monaro ended up running fairly consistently over the weekend without any record setting runs. Just goes to show how difficult it is to tune these cars”.

Zap ran a safe 6.107et @ 238.86mph first qualifier alongside Benny Brays first five second pass, and a 6.073et @ 240.00mph second qualifier despite rolling six inches on the start line. The 6.020et @ 239.49mph third run saw Zap use up all the track to get to the finish line and settle in at number three in the qualifying order.

“That’s not a bad start really, as our best event wins usually build off a solid base like this and just gradually get quicker and quicker as the air comes around. But an unusual thing was happening on this very sticky Willowbank track. Our chassis setup that worked perfectly in Sydney and Perth was a little off on this track. Zap’s Rat is very finely tuned in the suspension, and we found ourselves with some decisions to make, and those were informed guesses, not from known data.”

First eliminator was up against veteran Gary Phillips, and both cars ended up all over the track – Phillips into Zap’s lane, handing the win to Zappia Racing with a slow 7.969et.

“We had the car pretty hotted up for that pass and I guess Phillips did too, and I shook hard on launch so much my vision was blurred and after a pedal I almost put it into the wall. I got off and saw Phillips enter my lane a full car length ahead and got off. What a wild ride!. A win is a win though”.

“The Semi Final was up against Benny Bray, and we backed the tune down a little to at least get down the track. But Benny what hot this meeting, and got me on the tree. My sixty foot time was slow and a slight half pedal meant a 5.9 was required to chase him down. A 6.033et @ 242.45mph was not enough to beat Benny’s 6.011et @ 233.77mph”.

“The Winternationals is a special event in Australian drag racing, and this event was no exception with a buzz around the pits and many fans dropping by to watch the crew and buy our merchandise“..

“Special thanks go to the Zappia Racing Crew, who have worked tirelessly for this Championship win. Graham Jones from Southside Engine Center who masterminded this season’s strategy to achieve consistency. Our Sponsors have made it possible, and our thanks goes to all who have contributed – their reward is achieving number one in this country”.

“We managed two event wins, two runner-ups, and three semi-final finishes for the season and three Low Elapsed Time points and one Top Speed. With all the excitement of new teams achieving their first five second pass, it is worthwhile considering that we have racked up sixteen five second passes in Zap’s Rat, and our pace in qualifying this season was a step ahead of the competition”.

“Next season will prove to be the best in Top Doorslammer, and our assault on the 2008/2009 Championship will include a revamped Zap’s Rat, and I will be aiming for back-to-back Championship wins, and running 5.8 second passes are not out of the question. A second Striker Monaro, to be driven by Striker Director Craig Pedley will follow after licensing and testing. Having Craig driving the second Striker Monaro alongside me will also give me a big buzz and a sense of achievement. Craig and his partners has contributed to achieving the number 1 mantle both financially and supportively and to have Craig driving in the team and being competitive will be a great way of repaying him for his considerable contribution to Drag racing and the Zappia Racing Team. Pro-Mod and Top Doorslammer racers are gaining more and more knowledge on how to harness the 3,000 plus horsepower available to these cars and get them down the track quicker and faster”.

“From John Zappia and all the Zappia Racing Team – see you all next season for Even more Top Doorslammer action!”

2008 CASTROL EDGE WINTERNATIONALS Zap out to break records

Newly crowned Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia is at the Willowbank track this week for the Winternationals and Final Round of the Top Doorslammer Championship, and will be going all out to try and set some very fast times and speeds.

“Winning the Championship has taken the pressure off the team to be consistent and relatively conservative in our tune”, said Zap, “So we can hot up the Striker Monaro this meeting and try and set some records and thrill the fans. This weekends racing should be very exciting, with eighteen racers trying to squeeze into eight spots in eliminations”.

After being the first driver to run a legal 5 second pass, Zap is currently the fourth quickest Doorslammer in the world, with US Pro-Mod drivers John Russo currently first in the Firebird on 5.895, Josh Hernandez in the Camaro on 5.912, Jay Payne in the Camaro on 5.920, and Zappia in the HQ Monaro on 5.922. John wants the number one spot back and will be trying to do it this weekend at the Winters.

“If the track is the usual Willowbank standard, I am confident we can go quicker than we have ever before. We have learnt a lot in the last three months, have found some extra power, and modified the chassis the take that extra power. I would like to at least reset the Australian Record, but my competitive nature means I will give it all we’ve got”.

Zap has dominated this year’s Top Doorslammer Championship in Australia with two event wins, and two runner-ups and two thirds – enough to gain 582 points by Round 6 at the Tin Tops and be declared Champion by ANDRA. Brett Stevens is second on the point’s table with 415, ahead of Ben Bray on 355 points.

“Striker Crushing and Screening deserves all the exposure from the Championship win, as the Naming Rights Sponsor on Zap’s Rat, has made it all possible not only with the financial help but also with the systems and professionalism they have put in place. The experience of thirty years of drag racing by Zappia Racing and Southside Engine Centre has been allowed to mature and show full potential in this team. We now have a purpose built Race Workshop, the time to prepare properly by being Professional, and the inventory to add depth”.

“Thanks must also go to all the long term sponsors and helpers who have all been a part in the success of Zap’s Rat and a special thanks to Rentco Transport Equipment Rentals who started the ball rolling with major sponsorship in 2005 when Zap’s Rat ran the first five”.

“Next year may even be better for Zappia racing, as the second HQ Monaro Top Doorslammer driven by Striker Director Craig Pedley is completed, licensed, and tested at the Perth Motorplex. The new car has all the modifications incorporated in Zap’s Rat, and more advancement – with aviation quality composite manufacturing of the body, chassis refinement, and upgrading of component specifications”.

This weekend is a big event on Australia’s drag racing calendar, and the usual Zappia Racing crew will be on hand to guide wild man, and Mr Doorslammer John Zappia into the staging lanes for some serious Doorslammer action.

“We will be celebrating after the event regardless of the outcome – based on our efforts all this season, but I am hoping for some extra reasons and some real excitement for our fans”.