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.
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