Zappia wins frosty final in Summer Slam

John Zappia’s Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro claimed the opening round of the Summer Slam season in chilly conditions at Perth Motorplex on Saturday night.

Mild daytime conditions allowed Zappia to turn in a top qualifying performance early in the day, as he led the field with a 5.799 at 407kmh in the second session.“We had great air during the day but I was getting a bit aggressive with my launch revs,” said Zappia, who still uses a traditional clutch setup that requires the driver to moderate the throttle while staging.

“On our first run the Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer rattled hard, so I pedalled it and punched second gear for a 5.82.“The second run was quite similar, though we had pulled some timing out of the tune up to settle it down. It rattled a bit further out on that run but we recovered and managed to top qualify by a tenth of a second.”

An uneven field resulted in Zappia earning a bye run for the elimination round, giving the team an opportunity to try a new ratio in the B&J transmission. The change appeared to work, as Zappia carded low ET of the event with a 5.751.“We still had some tyre shake, but it was a lot easier to manage. I shifted to second and lifted just slightly off the throttle but was back in quickly for what would be our quickest run of the day.

Zappia’s performance earned him a place in the final against Matt Abel, with the rapidly cooling conditions creating an unpredictable racing surface.“Unfortunately by the time we got to the final it was really cold, I think everyone was shivering!” Zappia said.

“The air was excellent and the track was cold, but not dewy.

Matt and I left with similar reaction times but then suddenly I was pointing right and almost heading into Matt’s lane. I had to get off the throttle big time and straighten back up. As I got back into the throttle I could see Matt ahead, and he was wheelstanding away on every gear change. I didn’t think I had a chance of catching him, but then right before the finish line he got close to the wall and backed off. I shot past but I honestly didn’t know if I had beaten him to the line. I waited to hear from my crew on the radio and they said I got the win.

I really thought I had given the win to Matt, but then Matt gave it back. It was one of those thrilling races where the lead changes and  it keeps fans on the edge of their seats.”

Zappia’s victory was matched by his nephew Brodie in Junior Dragster, who defeated Zara Board in the final. “I think this might be the eighth time we have both won at the same event, and hopefully we can add many more as Brodie is in his second last season in Junior Dragster,” the senior Zap said.

Despite the success, the event did end on a sad note, with the news that one of Zappia Racing’s biggest fans passed away during the night. Frank Earnshaw, also known as ‘The Man With The Sign’, could regularly be seen on the terraces of Perth Motorplex, holding a variety of signs that commended racers on their performances.“Frank was actually the uncle of a former crew member of ours, so we were very sad to hear of his passing,” Zappia said.

“Our sympathies go out to all of his family and friends.”

Zappia Racing will next be on track for the 47th Goldenstate Championships on November 26-27, a round of both the Summer Slam and the Australian Drag Racing Championship for Top Doorslammer and Top Bike, as well as the Summit Racing Equipment Sportsman Series.

Photos: Phil Luyer High Octane Photos and Ian Moore







Doorslammer king John Zappia ready to defend the crown

There is no accolade John Zappia has not earned in drag racing, from championships to world records. But the Spearwood-based driver doesn’t see any reason to slow down yet as a new season beckons at Perth Motorplex.

The Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer has been freshened up for the Summer Slam season, which begins this Saturday, November 6, following several events in the Northern Territory.

“After coming back from a great road trip to Hidden Valley Drag Strip and Alice Springs Inland Dragway, we gave the whole car some love so we could be as prepared as possible for the Summer Slam,” Zappia said. “Given the uncertain interstate travelling situation right now, Summer Slam is going to be our primary focus for the season ahead.”

Seven cars have entered for the first event of the season, with Zappia set to contend with Mathew Abel, Steve Aldridge, Daniel Gregorini, Kelvin Lyle, Stuart Moresby and Frank Taylor at the opening event.

Zappia had the opportunity to do some testing at the Shannons Powerpalooza, where he scrubbed in some new Hoosier tyres and clocked a pair of five-second runs.

“We changed tyres between runs, so each pass had a fresh set of rubber,” he explained. “We shook the tyres on our first run and pedalled for a 5.94, while the second pass got out of the groove, so that was also a pedal job on a 5.87.

“We find that our tune up works best with tyres that have been scrubbed in, and the best way to do that is with big burnouts and full runs! So that’s what Powerpalooza was all about for us.”

We would also welcome back our long time Sponsors, Fuchs Lubricants, WA Suspensions, Crow Cams, Noonan Race Engineering, Hoosier Tyres, Muscle Car Warehouse, Shacks Automotive Paints, Motec, Speedflow, Taylor Tyres, Striker Crushing and Screening, K Craft Bullbars, CP-Carrillo, Applied Automotive, B&J Racing Transmissions, Avtrac, Total Seal Piston Rings, and Final Drive Engineering.

As well as giving the Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer a shakedown, Zappia Racing also had Rae Lockwood driving Zap’s Holden VP ute on track at Powerpalooza,.

Zappia said his fiancé, “Rae did really well, and after a tyre spinning 10.00 @ 136mph, on the first pass, we pulled some timing off the line and she won the B Final with a 9.89 on her 9.89 dial-in.

“This is a 92 ute that we were getting ready for Street Machine Drag Challenge in Victoria, but with that event being postponed we are going to have some fun at the Motorplex too,” Zappia said, That’s pretty good in a naturally aspirated street car!”

This weekend’s season opener features not just the Summer Slam, but also Jet Dragsters and a full round of the WA Drag Racing Championship. The feature program begins at 5.30pm.



Shift issue holds back Zap after top qualifying

John Zappia’s rollercoaster season in the Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro Top Doorslammer continued on Saturday at Perth Motorplex, after a gear shifting gremlin cost the team a chance at making the final of Summer Slam round two.

Zappia’s day began well with a 5.886 pass in the first qualifying session, which came despite two pedals of the throttle.

“The car launched reasonably well, even though we had it set to what we thought was a bit soft,” he said. “At the top of low gear it started to shake, it auto shifted into second and continued to shake so I gave it a big pedal. It was really strong in the back half of the run as the air was good and the car was making good power.”

The twilight compulsory qualifying session followed, where Zappia echoed his earlier run’s time with a 5.883 to top qualify for the event. But this time there were greater issues than tyre shake to battle.

“We backed the clutch off a bit and thought the track would be better later in the day. The car left harder and rattled the top of low gear, so I pedalled it and got back on it and it carried on in low gear. It kept revving and then I realised the Dananni Hotshots/Tony’s Auto Wreckers Monaro wasn’t shifting. I got off the throttle again then it shifted 2nd  so I floored it, and it shifted 3rd and finished the run.

“We got back to the pits and looked at the data and saw that it reached 11800RPM proving that the rev limiter also failed. We inspected the engine and found all the push rods were damaged and the lash caps had flown off, along with damaging the tips of the valves. It was the highest revs I’ve ever done on an engine.”

There was a lot of damage for the team to fix, but amazingly everything else in the Noonan 4.8 Hemi survived, including the Reid rockers, Carillo Rods and Pistons and the Crow Cam.

“We decided to try and fix the motor as it was going to be quicker and the clock was ticking down to the elimination round,” Zappia said. “We changed the heads and put the blower back on, but by the time we got it all done we were about three minutes short. We watched the field going through pair-by-pair and once our scheduled opponent Ryan Moresby was given the fire-up signal we knew it was over.”

The team were obviously disappointed to not get a chance to race Moresby, but Zappia is already looking to adapt his strategy to return to the winner’s circle.

“We are going to put the manual shift buttons back in, because I can’t guarantee this issue won’t happen again. I think I was driving better when I was shifting manually, where I also had the option to shift earlier if I needed, and I have never over-revved it that bad in my life. We know we can be consistent with manual shifting.”

Zappia currently sits third in the Summer Slam points, just five points shy of the tied leaders Stuart and Ryan Moresby.

“It’s an all-Dananni Hotshots top three right now which is really cool, and with two events down and four to come it’s a close championship. We have Muscle Car Warehouse joining us again this season so the car looks great with the fresh paint supplied by Shacks Automotive Paints – keep an eye out for some glamour photos soon thanks to Richard Hathaway.”

The next appearance for Zappia Racing will be at the December 12 Outlaw Nitro Challenge where he will be competing in Top Comp, while the next round of the Summer Slam will take place on January 2.

Photos thanks to Phil Blondell

Qualifying Order































Zappia clarifies radial plans as he concentrates on Summer Slam

John Zappia is adding to his stable of race cars with a pair of new projects to dabble in the exciting world of radial tyre drag racing, though his focus remains squarely on his Dananni Hotshots Holden Monaro Top Doorslammer ahead of a new season at Perth Motorplex.

The first project is a Holden VP ute using Hoosier radial tyres that will be driven by Zappia’s partner Rae Lockwood, aiming for nine second times on the quarter-mile. The second project is a steel-body Holden HQ Monaro that is currently just a bare chassis.

“I bought the HQ Monaro 2 door from Victoria, though we still have to work out how to get it here with all the COVID stuff,” Zappia said. “It’s a mild steel chassis with standard body specifications and will probably find a place in Radial racing, Supercharged Outlaws or AA/Gas. We will set the car up for both a LS motor and a Hemi.”

“Western Australia doesn’t really have a place for big-show radial cars like the Kenda Series in Queensland. We do have a radial class but it is moreso for street-style cars.

“If I want to do a big show radial car we have Zap’s Rat sitting there ready to go, but it’s not as if we have $50K events like they do in the USA.” There is only one other blown hemi radial car which is run by Simon Travaglini from All Fast Converters with his BA Falcon.

And so Zappia’s focus remains on the Western Australian Summer Slam Series, where he hopes to back up his 2019/2020 championship win in his 5.5 second Dananni Hotshots Monaro, nicknamed ‘Crusher’.

“We’ve got a full volunteer crew and it’s not reasonable to expect those people to quarantine for two weeks just to go racing on the east coast, so right now our main target is the Summer Slam,” he said.

“We will be aiming to represent our co-naming rights partner Dananni Hotshots in the best way possible and we are always looking for other sponsors in the Western Australian community to get behind us for the Summer Slam Series.”

While winter has seen less racing than normal for Zappia, he has kept busy by getting a new merchandise shop online as well as setting up his workshop to handle more parts sales.

“It has been a good time to finish off projects I have been meaning to get to,” he said. “The race season here in Perth can’t come soon enough.”

We will start the season off in Perth at Powerpalooza on the 31st October and will have all our merchandise and model cars available to sell. Hope to see as many sponsors and supporters get behind the Perth Motorplex for the start of a new racing season.

Photo: Phil Luyer

2020 Calendar



John Zappia’s new Noonan engine combination paid off immediately at Perth Motorplex on Sunday as he wrapped up the win in the Summer Slam bracket as part of the ANDRA Grand Finals.

Zappia’s Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro qualified second with a safe 5.770, before stepping up for a 5.724 win against Frank Taylor in the elimination round and then a 5.760 pass to win the final, after opponent Daniel Gregorini left before the green light with a mechanical issue.

Zappia finished second for the Summer Slam championship overall, despite missing two events of the seven round series. He made the final of every event he attended and won three of those five finals. In fact, Zappia has made the final round of every single Summer Slam event he has attended since the series begin in 2016 – thirteen in total.

“The national series was our priority if there was a clash of dates with the Summer Slam series we opted for the national series. The Summer Slam series has been a great initiative in Perth thanks to Kelvin Lyle and his company Direct Mining and Industrial for sponsoring the series and hopefully it will be bigger and better next season” he said.

“You only have to look at the numbers the field are running. The opportunity to go racing so much is giving everyone the data they need to go fast.”

After a 1000 feet shut off pass to perform a systems check on his first qualifying run, Zappia returned for a 5.77, where he battled tyre shake in what has been a constant theme for the team at Perth Motorplex this season.

“We worked our butts off for two weeks to put together two new Noonan motors,” Zappia said. “We were still finishing them off on Saturday morning before leaving for the track to setup.”

“With the ANDRA Grand Finals being a two day event, we did our maintenance overnight and were able to go over everything closely for race day where we were due to take on Frank Taylor.

“Unfortunately Frank had some problems after his burnout and we had to take the solo. The car got through first gear without rattling the tyres which was fantastic, though I short shifted at 8900rpm. The Noonan horsepower took over from there and we were able to take the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro to a 5.72 win light, which was low ET of the event.”

The impressive run secured a finals spot for Zappia, where he would take on Daniel Gregorini.

“The final against Daniel was a strange one. As all the stage beams came on, Daniel rolled the beams with a mechanical issue. I was distracted to the sound of the early launch or the red light. Not sure, but it messed up my own staging routine. I was carrying about 1300 revs more than normal and the car crept forward, so as I went to launch the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro it moved further forward and had too many revs for our normal launch. The additional revs created too much wheel speed so I had to pedal it to drop the front end and punched second gear for a 5.76/255mph, which was our best speed of the weekend.”

Zappia said the team was taking a conservative approach with a new engine, though the track and air conditions were outstanding.

“There was 5.60 potential in that air and we are starting to figure out how to make it go through without shaking. We’ve struggled at Kwinana with tyre shake but showed a lot of improvement in eliminating the tyre shake issue we have had,” he said.

“The air was killer. I didn’t do the air justice because we were just taking small steps with the engine to bring the performance back in.”

With the Perth season now at a close, Zappia Racing will focus on the 400 Thunder Professional Drag Racing Series, where Pro Slammers will next compete at Sydney Dragway for Nitro Thunder on the 3 – 4th of May.

“It will be a great opportunity to catch up with our East Coast Sponsors, fans and supporters and hopefully achieve finals success in what will be a hotly contested event.”

Photos thanks to Haley Turns










John Zappia has claimed the 2013 Slamfest Series title at Palmyra Raceway this weekend as rain unfortunately saw the Mackay finale washed out just before the semi-finals were due to be run.

In front of a strong crowd West Australia’s Zappia was awarded the Series win courtesy of his points lead heading into Saturday’s final round of the 2013 series, claiming victory over 2012 Series winner and organiser Peter Kapiris (Victoria) with Queensland’s Ben Bray in third.

“This is never how you want to see these things decided but at the same time I am very happy to have claimed the Slamfest Series title here in Mackay this weekend,” said Zappia.

“The FUCHS Striker-Monaro was running as well as possible in the conditions and I was pleased to see everyone keep their cars off the wall and be able to take them home to fight another day.

“The team worked really hard to make sure we were in the right position on the points ladder when it came to the final round, and while I would have loved to have given the Mackay crowd a real big show Saturday evening it just wasn’t to be!”

The decision to abandon the event was made in the early evening, after multiple attempts to get the on-track action started amidst continuing showers at the Mackay drag racing facility.

At the time of the cancellation, qualifying and one complete round of racing had been completed and the four quickest winners from that round – Grant O’Rourke, John Zappia, Russell Pavey and Ben Bray – were preparing for the semi-final. Series organiser Kapiris lamented the weather while thanking the Mackay locals for turning out to support the event.

“We brought in a temporary grandstand this weekend in anticipation of a strong crowd, and the fans made sure we were not disappointed,” said Kapiris, whose idler pulley ceased on the start line during round one.

“With the overcast weather and the rainy conditions leading up to Saturday, I was very much impressed with the amount of people we hosted at Palmyra Raceway and I am just wish we had been able to put on the full show for them Saturday to thank them for their support of our event and our Series.

“While we didn’t get to run a full event, there were some great performances early during qualifying and the first round, with Grant O’Rourke definitely the in-form racer and John Zappia a very deserving Series champion following a consistent effort throughout the season.”

For O’Rourke and his wife Debbie – also a drag racer – the weekend’s action signals the end of an era for the O’Rourke Motorsport Team.

“We were really happy with the performance at the weekend at Palmyra Raceway, to top qualify and be on our way to our good showing before the rain put paid to the racing felt really good,” said O’Rourke.

“The Slamfest Series finale was actually our last event in the O’Rourke Monaro, which has now been sold and, like the O’Rourke Motorsport Team, is about to start a whole new chapter in its life which we will be very excited to release more information about very soon!”

For full results from the final round of the 2013 Slamfest Series as well as information on the Series, please go to [] or [SlamfestAustralia on Facebook]

The 2013 Slamfest Series saw Top Doorslammer racers from around the country compete across the eighth-mile distance at Australia’s regional tracks for the fourth year running, taking in Heathcoate Park Raceway, South Coast Raceway (Portland), Benaraby Raceway (Gladstone) and Palmyra Raceway (Mackay). Information regarding 2014′s plan for the Series will be released in the near future, in the meantime, for more information, please visit [] or [SlamfestAustralia on Facebook]

Slamfest Media Release


Zap’s 3.844 sets new track record in Benaraby

Round Three of the Australian Slamfest was held at Benaraby Raceway in Central Queensland last weekend, with a huge local crowd turning out to watch some exciting 1/8th mile Doorslammer action. Ben Bray took the event win to catch up his father Victor in the 2013 Slamfest Series Point score in equal third position on 190 points, behind Peter Kapiris on 215 and leader John Zappia on 260 points.

Zap re-set the Benaraby Raceway track record on his first test pass off the trailer with a super quick time of 3.844 @ 200.89mph.

“We were pretty happy with that straight off the trailer” said a smiling Zap, “I made some small adjustments for the first qualifier, and the Crusher went to the right and hugged the centreline. I was so involved in keeping it off the cones that I forgot to hit third gear, so it hit the limiter in second and a slightly slower 3.866 @ 189.08mph was the result. Still good enough for top qualifier though and low ET for the meeting”.

“Round 1 was up against fellow West Aussie Murray O’Connor, and on the hit we both had tyre shake and went up in smoke. I pedalled and thought I had a chance until the big Hemi went silent and all I could do was watch my opponent sail on through for the win”.

“Turned out to be an ignition wire that shook loose so no major dramas there. The Zappia Racing Team had a blast over the weekend, as all the Slamfest events usually are. Great local crowds, friendly racing and good times. A well organised event that is sure to continue to grow. We picked up 50 points on the weekend to continue leading the series, so look forward to the next round”.

Qualifying order: 1. ZAPPIA HQ Monaro 3.866 @ 189.08; 2. V BRAY CHEV 4.013 @ 190.68; 3. O’ROURKE MONARO 4.017 @ 189.08; 4. B BRAY MONARO 4.067 @ 187.50; 5. PAVEY CORVETTE 4.121 @ 177.87; 6. PHILLIPS STUDEBAKER 5.342 @ 98.47; 7. GOONAN CAMARO 8.224 @ 50.62; 8. O’CONNOR FALCON 9.206 @ 48.86; Broke – KAPIRIS SARATOGA 4.180 @ 186.72.

Round 1: B BRAY 4.025 @ 190.68 def PAVEY 8.451 @ 55.56; PHILLIPS 3.928 @ 192.31 def O’ROURKE 4.199 @ 183.67; V BRAY 3.993 @ 186.72 def GOONAN did not stage; O’CONNOR 4.786 @ 179.28 def ZAPPIA 6.209 @ 82.72

Semi Final: B BRAY 4.125 @ 187.50 def V BRAY 5.748 @ 83.33; O’CONNOR 4.034 @ 172.41 def PHILLIPS 4.185 @ 188.28. Final: B BRAY 4.311 @ 153.06 def O’CONNOR 11.182 @ 41.13

“We head on to Palmyra Dragway just out of Mackay for Round 4 of the Slamfest Series on 13th July, so head on over for some great Doorslammer action”.

After the Palmyra meeting we head back to Perth and get the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro freshened up for the final two rounds of the National Championships to be held in Adelaide International Raceway on the 21st -22nd September the final round in WSID on the 1st – 3rd November.

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Zappia Wins Portland Slamfest

John Zappia, Australia’s quickest Top Doorslammer driver, has won round two of the Slamfest in Portland Victoria last weekend to snatch the lead in the series from rival Peter Kaparis in a thrilling final race.

Slamfest is high excitement eighth mile racing on regional tracks in Australia, where huge local crowds enjoy the quickest Doorslammers trying to get down the unpredictable tracks.

Zappia Racing changed their plans about coming to Portland after getting to the final in round one, and mixing with the Slamfest community. “It’s great to take the win for Fuchs Lubricants at these country tracks” said a jubilant Zappia, “Fuchs are the track sponsors down at Portland, and the Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro performed well most of the weekend”.

“We missed the first test pass due to finding a bad oil leak from the rear of the motor. It was quick work by the crew after taking out the gearbox and lifting up the engine to change an O-ring behind the motor, and get it all ready for qualifying”.

“On the first pass I had to pedal twice for a 4.193 @ 179.53 mph to gain third qualifier position behind Victor Bray and Peter Kapiris in the list of nine teams”.

“That put us up against Ben Bray in the first eliminator, and that was a nice straight 4.016 @ 185.64 mph, which was under Victor Bray’s 4.07 track record”.

“In the Semi Final up against Grant O’Rourke I had to pedal twice, and the car still went 4.065 @ 183.40 mph and took the win over Grant – who had to abort his run”.

“The final was up against Peter Kapiris, who put Victor away in the Semi. He got the jump on me at the start, and the Crusher went out of the groove – one tyre black tracking and the other shaking. My vision was so blurred early in the run I could hardly see, but once my vision cleared Pete had dropped out of sight, and I drove around him – punched top gear and pulled the car back to the centre of the track as I was out to the right”.

“A great win for the team and another track record at 4.015 @ 184.35 mph, and we were also fastest on the day with a 185.64 mph”. Zappia Racing now head back on a high for the Westernationals – Round three of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship – at the Perth Motorplex, where Zap is keen to climb back up from third position on the ladder on 118 points. Kapiris leads with 160 points over Victor Bray on 122 points.

“We are on the money with our tune at the moment and making plenty of horsepower – so we look forward to the Westernationals on the 2nd and 3rd of March”.

Fans can watch the Portland Slamfest in Western Australia on Sunday 24th Feb 2013 at 11.30 am – eastern states fans check your local guides.

Run from the end of the track


Zappia Racing heading to Portland Slamfest

Zappia Racing head to Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Victoria to compete in Round 2 of the Slamfest, after a strong performance at the Top Fuel meeting at Perth Motorplex last weekend.

“We managed a respectable 5.85 @ 249.00mph in the first eliminator” said an enthusiastic Zappia, “We missed out on a B Final by 0.013 seconds, and the weekend was testing for many teams as the track was a little difficult in the conditions”.

“First pass on the Friday night in Top Comp saw the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro overpower the track. We are making plenty of power with this combo, and I had to pedal and get back on it and drive it out the back door so we could get some data. A 6.037 @ 245.23mph – pretty good speed there”.

“Second pass we made some changes to the car to try and get her through the middle part of the track, but again I overpowered, had to pedal and get back on. 5.973 @ 248.61mph got us 7th in the field in a 19 car field – 0.287 under our index”.

Overnight the Zappia Racing crew serviced the Crusher, and made preparations for the next round of racing. The Top Comp bracket in Perth finds the four winning racers of the first round who are furthest under their index meeting up in an A Final, and B Final.

“I looked very hard at all our data, did some serious thinking and discussions with the crew on how to get the car down the track. If we managed a 5.80 we reckon we were in with a chance for the final”.

“I pulled a killer 0.009 start light and the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro just hauled straight down the groove and set the timers off at 5.859 @ 247.25mph – 0.401 seconds under our index. Just not enough to get a finals berth”.

“I looked at the data and thought there were a few ways I could have driven the car a little better, but in the end it’s what you run that counts. In a way we learnt a lot on that last pass – we took out some tune from the engine, but still ran a 5.8 pass – awesome!”

“We pack the Zappia Racing Transporter up and head off to Fuchs South Coast Raceway this week for Round 2 of the Slamfest to be held on 15th – 15th Feb 2013. I am keen to make up for last year where my old mate Victor Bray put me on the trailer in Round 1. We are second in the points, and I am keen to put in a good eighth mile performance. “.

“The start line is killer down there, but the transition to asphalt caught a few racers out last time. With a little hindsight and data behind us, we should be able to get down quickly”.

Fans can tune into Facebook and Twitter for regular updates during the meeting.

ANDRA Drag Racing Twitter – @ANDRA_NEWS

Slamfest Australia Twitter – @SlamfestAU

ANDRA Facebook –

Slamfest Facebook –


Zap’s Wild Slamfest

The quickest Slammers in Australia were at Heathcote Victoria last weekend for Round One of the eighth mile Slamfest Series, and produced some wild rides that entertained the crowd. Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia was keen to snatch the win and the local track record, and after some great racing almost pulled it off.

“What a great weekend” said a jubilant Zappia, “We ended up in the final against Peter Kapiris after a little carnage in the semi, and did some quick passes and some crazy drifting ones as well”.

The teams were allowed a qualifier in the afternoon, and Zap brought out the super quick Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro and managed a drifting, pedalling, off it early 4.21et for the eighth.

The compulsory qualifier saw Zap run a 3.966et @ 188.21mph and Top Qualify, 2 hundredths quicker than Kapiris’ 3.984et @ 191.16mph, and Victor Bray not far behind with a 4.18et @ 174.76mph.

“That was a good pass – full throttle all the way, but using up most of my lane. That gave us Marcus Chambers in the draw – two HQ’s side by side. Unfortunately Marcus was not able to get his car ready in time so we ran a solo pass. The car went to the right, so I hit second and yanked it back and it fishtailed and drifted it’s way to a new track record 3.944et @ 192.64mph – backed up by the 3.966 earlier run”. Kapiris disposed of Ben Bray, Victor over Mamone, and Brunner over Pavey in the other Round One races.

The Semi Final in the Chicago Shootout format saw Zap up against Brunner, and Kapiris up against Victor Bray. It was Kapiris that set Low ET for the meeting with a 3.825et @ 162.10mph to defeat Victor’s 4.053et @ 184.20mph. Zap just managed to get the win after his car went silent mid run – his 4.316et @ 167.47mph just too good for Brunner’s 4.471et @ 161.99mph.

“The car just went dead after an excellent straight launch and managed to coast to the win. The crew found the crank trigger wheel had exploded and sent the crank trigger flying – putting a hole in the sump on the way out. We had spares, so fitted those and started up ok to find the gearbox had let go as well. Many thanks to Pete and the Heathcote track officials who waited for us to put our spare gearbox in for the run. Totally wrong ratios for the track, but at least we could give the final a go”.

“The car left very slow in the final with a 1.169 sixty feet time and shook badly – so I lifted and pedalled and got after Kapiris, who had to lift later in the run. Congrats to him though, his 4.154et @ 167.54mph was too quick for my 4.447et @ 177.58mph”.

“The Slamfest meeting was fantastic as usual, with a good crowd and fellow racers really enjoying themselves. We head back to run four meetings in Perth including the Westernationals, before heading back to Sydney for the Nitro Champs in early May”.