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WA Top Doorslammer Championship Win for Zappia

Western Australia is the blown alcohol capitol of Australia, with a large contingent of teams competing in the local Top Comp bracket in Top Doorslammer, Top Alcohol and Competition classes – with many record setters and national champions among the group.

The standard is high, the knowledge deep, and anybody is encouraged to join the ranks and compete. There are enough Top Doorslammers in the West to run a dedicated local meeting – and last weekend the Perth Motorplex ran the WA Drag Racing Champs, featuring Top Doorslammer and Top Bike.

Eight cars presented for racing, in a three round format with A and B Finals. Eight times National Champion John Zappia in his Fuchs Monaro was the hot favourite, with Daniel Gregorini in his Camaro nipping at his heels, and Wayne Keys steady in the five nines in his roots powered Monaro.

Pino Priolo in his 37 Chev Coupe is a regular in the national series and is also a five niner, and Mark Chapman in his gorgeous Fury starting to get a handle on his setup. Rounding out the field were Steve Aldridge – still getting a handle on his angry Chev, Owen Ducker in his roots powered 36 Chev – and newcomer Paul Carey in his ex BSR Falcon sporting a quad cam small block.

Saturday was a very hot day, with temperatures searing into the 40’s C (104 F) and two sessions of qualifying saw Keys at the top of the list with a 5.996 @ 237.88, followed by Chapman on 6.07 @ 237.12. Zappia sat out the first qualifier due the heat and track condition, and then in the compulsory qualifier had the blower backfire that produced a spectacular fireball, but were still able to qualify in 5th position.

“We had a fuel system component fail causing a fuel mixture problem” said Zappia, “It actually did quite a bit of damage to a piston, and blower pulleys. We were under the pump getting ready for the first eliminator when a thunderstorm came over the Motorplex and caused postponement of the meeting to the next day. It was a get out of jail free card for us”.

The thunderstorm was very spectacular with lightening flashing and the rain pouring down around 7:30pm closing the meeting. Racing resumed on the Sunday and seven cars faced each other at 1.30pm in moderately hot conditions.

Keys had the bye after Ducker failed to qualify and managed a 6.227, Chapman 6.142 disposed of Carey 6.891 who snapped a blower belt; Priolo 6.454 took the win against Aldridge 8.816 who went up in smoke; and Zappia 5.798 was too strong for Gregorini 16.014 who overpowered the track.

“That was a nice pass and set us up for an A Final against Chapman. The crew turned the car around and we headed for the staging lanes anticipating a good result. But the track was a little tricky, and Mark Chapman is getting down the track pretty consistently this season so I had to make sure that I didn’t overpower the track”

In the A Final Zappia reacted quicker and went straight through for the win with a 5.815 @ 248.20mph to Chapman’s 6.203 @ 234.78mph. The B Final saw Wayne Keys 6.222 @ 234.08mph defeat Pino Priolo 6.723 @ 144.21mph.

“Congratulations for Mark Chapman for his A Final runner-up – it’s great to see new guys coming on well in Top Doorslammer. Big thanks to all sponsors and my dedicated crew for keeping the Fuchs Monaro running strong. 3 wins in 3 weekends from Perth to Sydney and back to Perth. Also congratulations to Brodie Zappia for coming runner up in Jnr Dragster”.

The Fuch Monaro will be on display at the Narrogin Rev Heads event from the 20th to 22nd November and will be doing some ear popping start ups for the crowd.

For more details see http://www.narroginrevheads.com.au/

Photos Courtesy: Phil Blondel, Perth Motorplex, and WA Police “Polair”

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WA TD and TFM Championships

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Zappia well prepared for Round 1 of Top Doorslammer (Updated)

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.

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Photos:
Colin Balshore http://www.4style.com.au, Luke Nieuwhof www.dragnews.com.au

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Pro Showdown @ Perth Motorplex

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

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Zappia runs 5.718 – quickest ever TD pass in Australia

Reigning Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia ran the quickest doorslammer pass in the county over the weekend at the Perth Motorplex. He reset his own local track record and also went under his own Australian National Record in preparation for the upcoming Round 1 of Top Doorslammer.

The run is not an official Top Doorslammer pass, as the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro was competing in a Group 2 event, but it has serious merit both in this country and internationally. The pass is still recognised by the Perth Motorplex and will lower the TD index for future meetings. Top Doorslammers in Australia weigh 2700 pounds minimum, and run a D Series PSI screw blower at 108 maximum over drive.

“I was a little uncertain whether the track could hold the setup I had in the car” said Zappia, “It was 3pm in the afternoon – our first pass off the trailer, but Gerry told me the track was there after measuring it with our Track-Meter, so we left the setup and went for it”.

Running sub 1.0 second sixty feet times is not something Zappia has been known for – rather his mid track and quick finishes. But Zap rattled off a 0.980 at the 60 foot and carried the front wheels to the 330’ in 2.538 seconds, 3.771 to the 660 at 200.99mph, and past the new finish line read out boards at 5.718 @ 252.80mph.

“The shortened wing has definitely helped in our top end speed and given us more flexibility with our setup” said Zappia, “Awesome run from the driving seat! The front wheels were in the air through the second gear change then continued to lift the left front wheel to the 330. The car weighed in 20 pounds overweight, so we still have options to try and reduce the weight to get closer to the 2700lb limit”.

The crew made the necessary changes, and had to repair a broken clutch pedal in the process. Thanks to Clyde Carstairs from Bravo Resources for his magic repairs and welding.

The compulsory qualifier at 6pm in the Top Comp bracket saw the “Crusher” Monaro launch with an even bigger wheel stand and shake – forcing Zap to double pedal to straighten the car, and pass through for a low 6.044 pass at 246.57mph.

“I think the oil down before our bracket may have upset the traction on the left rear slick and forced the car to drive to the left. Ultimately it does come down to the track surface on the day and how accurately we can adjust for that, but overall we are excited about the potential”.

The meeting came to an abrupt end after an external power transformer exploded and burst into flames at around 7.45pm, cutting most of the power to the Perth Motorplex. The meeting is rescheduled to be finished on Friday the 2nd of January 2015 starting from 4.30pm. Gates will be open from 4.30pm with competitors allowed to test the track between 4.30 and 6.30pm before continuing with the elimination rounds.

Zappia Racing will go over the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro in fine detail in preparation for the completion of the rescheduled event, as a lead in to the first round of Top Doorslammer action on the 9th and 10th Jan for the Home Group WA Nitro Slam event. Rod Britton and his track staff have been preparing a great racing surface and this should give the crowd some great racing in the upcoming events.

“Thanks to the many sponsors, supporters and fans that came up in the pits and congratulated the team on the run. There is a sense of excitement in the team as we continually push the boundaries in our racing”.

The crew at Zappia Racing work hard on every single detail of this car to get it all running as smoothly as possible. The team is lucky to have a diverse crew who have experience in most facets of drag racing and combined with John’s knowledge and driving ability, make a team effort that enables them to get the results they do.

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Photos:

Paul Carey http://www.aeroracing.com.au, Jon Gall  https://www.facebook.com/JonGallPhotography ,Colin Balshore http://www.4style.com.au, Drag News http://www.dragnews.com.au

 

 

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Zappia Wins Nitro Thunder with track record 5.776

John Zappia is on a winning streak after winning the Top Comp bracket at the Perth Motorplex on the weekend, and re-setting the track record with a stunning 5.776 pass in the A Final. Following on from winning the first WA Top Doorslammer Championship last meeting, Zappia continued to prove the new shortened wing and gearing changes are starting to work as the team head into the start on the new ANDRA season from the 9th-10th January.

Top Comp is a Group 2 class exclusively run at the Motorplex, with supercharged dragsters, altereds and sedans running off local indexes based on track records. It’s a tough class, with some of the quickest blown alcohol vehicles in the country and allows all teams to run three times in front of the crowd, with A and B Finals decided by the 4 quickest passes at the 8.00pm eliminator.

Shane Weston in the Top Alcohol dragster top qualified with a 5.612 off a 5.630 index, followed by a stunning 5.942 by Wayne Keys in AA/AP trim on a 5.930 index. Murray O’Conner was the first of the Top Doorslammers who were off a super tough 5.89 index with a 5.922 pass, followed by Zappia on 5.940 and Gregorini on 6.043.

“We suffered tyre shake in the first two passes” said Zap, “I had to pedal and managed a 6.136 @244.56mph and 5.940 @ 247.93mph in qualifying. Our match up in the first eliminator was Steve Alridge in the Chev Top Doorslammer, so we had to make sure of a win and it had to be good enough for a finals berth”.

Zappia managed a pedaling 5.977 @ 247.25mph to take the win, as did Gregorini with a quick 5.955 @ 242.58mph to take them both to an A Final – a repeat of the last meeting event final.

“We knew we were not far off with our combo. We did a ratio change and added more clutch as the track was killer and came out hoping to improve on our previous passes and run into the five sevens as we did in the previous meeting”.

In a spectacular A Final, Zap left first with the quicker reaction time and with the help of a 0.999 sixty foot time roared to a track record 5.776 @ 250.00mph to narrowly defeat Daniel’s impressive 5.919 @ 244.56mph.

“That was a great race. Everything came together nicely on that pass – the crew were excellent at doing a quick B & J Transmission change between rounds, and we got our wheel speed closer to what we like and was able to hold it flat for the whole run”.

“Special thanks to all the crew and sponsors, track staff and Clyde from Bravo Resources for his trackside weld repairs”.

“Sponsorship and Advertising opportunities Minor or Major now exist with Zappia Racing for the new ANDRA Top Doorslammer Season starting January 1st 2015. So get on board with the Zappia Racing Team in our quest for an 8th Straight Championship and take your products and services to gain maximum exposure, trackside and on TV, Magazines, Facebook and Twitter Media”.

Contact John Zappia for more info.

Photos:
Phil Blondel and Shane Everingham from Dragsmedia

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Zappia Wins WA Drag Racing Top Doorslammer Championship

Fresh off winning a seventh back-to-back ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship in Sydney, John Zappia presented for the WA Drag Racing Championship meeting at the Perth Motorplex and won the final.

Zap and his team headed back to Perth from Sydney a week ago with the damaged Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro – after a hard hit on the LH wall in Sydney, and faced with extensive repairs. He was also directed by ANDRA to cut the rear wing ten inches shorter as the Top Doorslammer design grandfather clause would expire at the end of 2014.

“The crew and our supporting sponsors worked very hard to get this car ready for the event” said Zappia, “We were keen to test our new rear wing design, in preparation for the new Top Doorslammer season. I am pleased to say that our design was a success, and we ran a Motorplex personal best speed of 252.80 mph and kept our directional stability.”

“Our qualifying runs saw the car launch to the right – the first pass I clicked it off early, and the second compulsory qualifying run at 6pm I pedaled the car and ran it through for a 5.967 to capture second spot in the qualifying order”.

The crew set about making the necessary suspension changes, and prepare for the first eliminator against Aldridge. The run was important, as it would determine entrance to either the A or B Final depending on ET.

“Staging better, and into a stiff headwind the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro launched better and I was able to hold full throttle all the way to win with a 5.804 @ 252.80mph. That was good enough for an A Final berth.”

“The A Final saw me up against Gregorini in the Camaro. Into an even stiffer breeze the car went right off the launch, so I pedaled and wrestled the car back finally into the groove and drove it straight out the backdoor for a 5.835 @ 252.80mph win over Daniel’s 6.043 @ 241.93mph”.

“That was a great comeback for the team after our Sydney incident, and positive development with our aero package. Many thanks to Clyde at Bravo Resources for the chassis and rear wing work, Brett at Windrush Motorsport Composites for repairs, Jamal from Current Trendz for late night sign work, Nobby from Hiltone Body Works for the paintwork and all the crew that put in late nights to make it all happen”.

“It was great to have Craig Pedley (Managing Director of Striker Crushing and Screening) at the track to see his modified Crusher Monaro perform so well and win the event in his presence”.

“We now get ready for the Nitro Thunder event at Perth Motorplex on the 29th November and will try to improve on what we have already done in preparation for the start of the 2015 ANDRA Championship series which starts on January 9 & 10 for the Home Group WA Nitro Slam event”.

Qualifying:

DACK – BA FALCON 5.938; ZAPPIA – HQ MONARO 5.967; KEYS – MONARO 6.016; GREGORINI – CAMARO 6.03; ALDRIDGE – CHEV BELAIR COUPE 6.312; PRIOLO – 36 CHEV COUPE 6.330.

Eliminations:

GREGORINI – 5.951 @ 241.93 DEF KEYS – 5.956 @ 241.28

DACK – 5.975 @ 240.00 DEF PRIOLO – 6.351 @ 232.55

ZAPPIA – 5.804 @ 252.80 DEF ALDRIDGE 21.189 @ 26.17

B Final:

KEYS – 6.040 @ 228.42 DEF DACK – 6.485 @ 162.74.

A Final:

ZAPPIA – 5.835 @ 252.80 DEF GREGORINI 6.043 @ 241.93

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Photos:
Perth Motorplex www.motorplex.com.au and High Octane Photos www.highoctanephotos.com

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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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Zap runs 5.8 at Nitro Max

Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia ran at the Perth Motorplex Nitro Max event this last weekend, and completed his testing program for new parts with a 5.833 – a positive sign leading into Round 1 of the 2014 Championship at the Pro Showdown in two weeks.

“We fitted some new parts and had trouble putting it to the track early” said Zappia, “But as we worked through the adjustments and changes it came together for a good result”.

Zappia entered the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro into Top Comp Eliminator – Australia’s toughest blown alcohol local competition. Of the 18 competitors entered, five were current ANDRA National Record holders, and nine were Group 1 classes nominated.

“Top Comp a tough bracket no doubt. Being a national event, ANDRA were using the national indexes instead of the local track records, so it was a little tougher for the Group 1 cars”.

“Our Friday qualifying runs were both interrupted with tyre shake, forcing me to pedal. A 6.044 @ 246.57mph and a 6.260 @ 241.28mph gave us plenty of data to study. We made a few adjustments and set ourselves up for the Saturday night compulsory qualifier at 6pm. We sat 7th in the field on Friday, 0.216 under our 6.260 index”.

The 6pm run saw Zappia have trouble again getting the Crusher to stick to the track with the dreaded tyre shake forcing Zap to pedal twice, and pass through for a 6.10 @ 245mph.

Zappia lined up against local Top Doorslammer campaigner Daniel Gregorini for round one, and the dreaded red light bit the champ that night. 0.033 seconds too soon was all it took for Zap to miss out on an A Final – his 6.000 @ 245.57mph good enough in theory. Gregorini blew the tyres of for a non-representative run.

“I told myself not to get too keen on the start, but that’s drag racing. It’s all down to the seconds and fractions of seconds. I still had to pedal on that run, so the times were still reasonable”.

We approached the track organisers regarding a grudge run, and because the event was so well run and ahead of schedule, a time slot was allocated for Gregorini and I to test. A Pro Tree was also requested, so we could simulate our upcoming Top Doorslammer Round 1 event.

“It all came together in the last run, with our tuning adjustments getting closer to what we are looking for. Despite me falling asleep at the lights, the car ran a strong 5.833 @ 250.00mph – our fastest speed at this track”.

“Considering the extreme heat (44 deg C) the weekend was one of the best meetings for several reasons, with a brilliantly prepared track and Top Fuel racing in the fours all weekend”.

Round 1 of the 2014 ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship starts Jan 31st – Feb 1st with the Pro Showdown at the Perth Motorplex.

“We are also preparing for a change in qualifying procedures at the Westernationals, where two rounds of the championship are staged in the one event – Round 2 and Round 3. Using the three round format, we only get one qualifying pass. The pressure will certainly be on competitors to get in the field, with crew chiefs pondering their options for outright performance, or a safe reliable setup”.

“We are aiming for a better start in this years championship to give us a good chance at our seventh back-to-back championship. The Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro will present at the next event in a new paint scheme to showcase our naming rights sponsors in a fresh way”.

“We hope to see as many sponsors and supporters at the Motorplex to help start our campaign in the 2014 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Season in a positive way”.

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Zappia Test n Tune Perth

Over two days this past weekend, Perth Motorplex opened its doors to the wild blown alcohol cars Perth is renowned for, to the first test and tune for the new season. John Zappia and his “Crusher” Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro ventured out for some testing ahead of his showdown with ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship leader Kapiris in the final round in Sydney.

“The track is a little green this early in the season” said Zap, “A lot of hard hitters had trouble getting down the track – including us. The last pass was a 5.907 @ 248 with a pedal, which ended up quickest for the weekend.

The 5.907 had a .996 sixty foot time, our best for 12 months. That was impressive. It was something new, and opened our eyes to possibilities. It never ceases to amaze me how much we learn about these cars – we make huge power – but our latest development has been in getting the first 100 feet right. Tyre shake is still a problem but we have a better understanding of how to overcome it.

“We have always been lazy in the first 60 feet so our testing this week was to improve this area of our runs. Sydney is a good track, so it will be interesting to see how the Crusher goes”.

Zappia Racing announced a new Supporting Sponsor K Craft Bullbars from Welshpool WA, who fitted out the teams Transporter with one of their custom polished aluminium bull bars complete with LED lights. This awesome K Craft Bullbar is protecting the new fiberglass front end custom built by Boris Pacey from Borcraft Industries, giving the 87 Scania prime mover a modern new look, as well as improving fuel efficiency.

“With the upcoming season offering 11 rounds of racing in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Alice Springs – we need to be safe when travelling with all the kangaroos and wildlife we see on the road. K Craft and Borcraft Industries have come to assist and we thank them for that”.

“We are looking forward to the challenge ahead with 18 cars nominated for the Nationals in Sydney and with 42 points separating Kapiris and ourselves, anything can happen. If luck goes our way we could have a sixth straight championship and if not we will still have a pretty impressive record. Since we entered Top Doorslammer with Zap’s Rat 4 and then with Crusher we have come second twice, then won five in a row and this year we are well placed to finish in the top two”.

“A big thank you to all our sponsors, crew and supporters and one thing is for sure, we will fight this out to the end”.

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Zappia runs a 5.814 in Perth – quickest of the year

Zappia Racing presented the Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro for racing in Top Comp at the Perth Motorplex Nitro Funny Car meeting this last weekend, and narrowly missed out on a finals berth after a great 5.814 @ 247.93mph elimination run.

“The 5.814 is our quickest pass for this season and it has taken us a while to get a handle on the new engine package” said Zappia after the event, “We tried some new things this meeting, and went back over our extensive database of runs, and finally came up with a combination that worked”.

“We have run 25 full quarter mile passes this season, with over 50% of those in the “fives” – that’s pretty good racing. We have had 5 unrepresentative runs though (20%) with several of those at critical points in the event that have cost us wins and championship points this year. That is a result of us wanting to push the boundaries and move onto new territory in our racing. No “five sevens” yet this season, but we are working on that for the future”.

“Earlier in the day in the qualifying run, the car was just an animal – smoking the tyres and wheel standing, and I just had to abort the run. The brutal power we have developed is very aggressive and the key is taming the beast to get it down the track consistently”.

The compulsory qualifier at 6pm saw Zap having to pedal at about 200 feet out, and then suffer a simple mechanical failure on the throttle link that took power away – and he rolled through for a 6.695 @ 149.00 mph.

“The first eliminator race against Shane Weston in the AA Dragster was a cracker, but I red lit with a -0.029 reaction time to pass the win over to Weston. The 5.814 was good enough on my 6.26 index (0.446 under), as Shane went 5.836 on a 6.21 index (0.374 under). That would have given us a B Final – but that was not to be”.

“We are pretty happy with the days racing, and with one more meeting here in Perth on the 6th April, we are building to Round 4 of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship at Sydney with a tune and setup that should help us chip away at the Championship leaders”. John Zappia sits third in the Championship on 185 points, behind a rejuvenated Victor Bray on 208 points, and in form Peter Kapiris on 271 points.

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Zappia runs 5.87 at Night of Fire

John Zappia presented the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro at the Perth Motorplex “Night of Fire” last weekend after the Christmas and New Year break, and delighted the local crowd with some quick runs.

“We were keen to get back out racing” said Zap, “We had made some upgrades with the Santhuff shocks over the break and were keen to put down some good runs in preparation for a good years racing. We entered the Top Comp bracket where our index makes it pretty tough to win, but we always run fast and competitive and give it all we have”.

“First pass of the trailer with a safe tune was a 5.932 @ 247.25mph and was nice and straight. That put us three tenths under our 6.26 index and up against Gregorini who was in AA/AP trim and had a better 6.55 index”.

“The crew made the necessary adjustments to turn the car around and considering the heat – it was 30 degrees C (86F) out there at 6pm with around 2,500 feet of air. I tuned the Crusher up to try and take it up to Gregorini and even though we ran an excellent 5.873 @ 249.30mph, Gregorini’s 6.097 @ 239.98mph was too good on the day. There was nothing in the reaction time as I had a 0.064 to Gregorini’s 0.055. In the end it meant we had to run a 5.80 to win the Elimination.

“Videos of the run from behind and data showed solid improvements for us in the first sixty feet, and that will translate to better times as we try and tame the power we have and get it to the ground better this year. We tamed our tyre shake problems with the changes we made and this gives us confidence for the remainder of the 2012/2013 season”.

Zappia Racing has headed off to Heathcote Park Raceway in county Victoria for Round 1 of Slamfest scheduled for 19th Jan 2013. “We ran a best of 4.03 @ 188mph last year at the track – slightly under estimating the track. We hope to run the magic three second pass this time around and take another win. But it’s also about having a good time at Slamfest – with the other racers and the huge local crowd that turns up”.

Photo coutesy Phil LUYER – www.highoctanephotos.com