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ZAPPIA’S SUMMER SLAM DOMINANCE CONTINUES

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

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ZAPPIA TESTS NEW IDEAS IN SUMMER SLAM

John Zappia has turned mad scientist recently with his Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro, testing a variety of theories in the Summer Slam Series at Perth Motorplex on Saturday.

Using his third-in-line spare engine, Zappia reached the final of the Summer Slam before a lean condition in one cylinder resulted in a blown burst panel, allowing Mark Chapman to come around the outside for victory.

Zappia said the third spare engine was one that hadn’t been used for three years and there was a learning curve to update its tune to new components. The team also decided to test a four speed B&J Transmission.

“There was definitely a learning curve at this event,” he explained.

“On our first qualifying run we had a major air leak and we ran out of air before it got to the finish line, slowing to a 5.86.

“We fixed that, came out for the second run and it had quicker increments to the eighth mile going 3.79, but then it burned a spark plug and banged the burst panel. I pushed the clutch in and rolled through and we settled for qualifying second with our first pass.”

The elimination round saw Zappia take on Frank Taylor. This time the troubles seemed to be over with just a quick pedal needed to get through slight tyre shake and a 5.72/254mph appearing on the timing boards.

“The previous best we had done with this engine was a 5.75 at 250mph. We were pretty impressed and knew we were heading in the right direction,” Zappia said.

“We had put more fuel into cylinder one to solve the lean issue and we got a great pass in for the win.”

The performance came at the right time, granting Zappia a spot in the A Final against Chapman. There the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro left well before the number one cylinder came back to haunt the team.

“For the final we left with a very quick 0.962 60 foot time and the car went dead straight. It only just rattled and I pedalled to shift early. All was going good until it melted the number one spark plug again and popped the burst panel. I tried to hang on to the finish line but Mark got around me with a slightly quicker 5.94 to our 5.97.”

With the team able to test many different setups on the car at the last few events, Zappia will return at the ANDRA Grand Finals in just over a week with a brand new Noonan engine to combine horsepower with the four speed B&J Transmission.

“We are quite excited to come out with the new Noonan motor for the Grand Final,” he said. “We are starting to get a handle on the four speed as well, so hopefully we can take the next step and aim for consistency and added performance.

“More gears seems to be the way to go but we need to put more laps on it. When we were running for a championship we didn’t want to risk trying the four speed as we hadn’t done enough passes in testing. As we are in R&D mode we want to test as many different things as possible and hopefully we will find something better to take with us to Sydney for Nitro Thunder in May.

“We are really building our parts depth so both our number one and number two engines will be Noonan engines with Noonan cylinder heads. We can also service the motor we ran on the weekend and have it go back to being our third spare, knowing what it needs to be happy.”

Zappia Racing is looking forward to seeing as many sponsors, supporters and fans as possible come out to the Perth Motorplex on April 6 and 7 for the Grand Final event, featuring the finals of the Summit Sportsman Series with many of the top eastern states sportsman racers competing against local racers for the championship.

Photo: Jay Treasure

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ZAPPIA RUNNER UPS IN THRILLING FINAL AT WESTERNATIONALS

John Zappia will remember the 2019 Westernationals at Perth Motorplex as ‘the one that got away’ after a close fought final round.

The Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro qualified in the number one position with a 5.72 second time, but the performance was throttled by tyre shake, which Zappia was trying to fend off both in the tune up and from the driver’s seat.

“The Noonan engine was making plenty of power but we had this dreaded rattle of the tyres at the top of first gear on every run,” he said.

“Pedalling the car isn’t the end of the world because it only costs somewhere between five hundredths and a tenth of a second, but we weren’t seeing the true potential of the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro.”

Zappia’s path through eliminations saw him take on Marty Dack in round one, taking a 5.75 to 6.07 victory. That was followed up by a 5.72 win over Steve Aldridge’s 5.96, setting up a final against Daniel Gregorini’s Camaro.

“Daniel was running career-best times and we were only three hundredths of a second apart, so if we left the tune where it was and pedalled it, it was going to be very close,” Zappia explained.

“With that in mind, we decided we had to try and fix the shake and so we make changes to the tune up to smooth out first gear. The change actually worked, but then I made a driver error and anticipated tyre shake instead of feeling it, and pedalled the car. If I had held my foot flat we would have been fine!

“That was all Daniel needed. He had the better reaction time and that gave him the edge, even though our runs had nearly identical ETs.

“Congratulations to Daniel and his team. They had a consistent car and we came up 0.028 seconds short. We had Parry Bitsikas from Muscle Car Warehouse over from Sydney and unfortunately couldn’t take out the gold Christmas tree for him.

“We had a dream weekend mechanically. The Noonan engine in combination with the Crow Cam, Reid rockers, CP Carrillo rods, B&J transmission and the Boninfante clutch and plates was running strong with a best speed of 257.48mph. We had a fresh set of Hoosier tyres on and we haven’t had an issue.”

The runner up result was still good news for Zappia, who moved into equal fifth position for the Summer Slam Series overall, despite missing two events.

“The Summer Slam Series is becoming ultra competitive, everyone in the field has run a five second pass now,” he said.

“We will see if we can’t get rid of this tyre shake and be back in the 5.6s.”

Zappia will now compete in the final two rounds of the WA Summer Slam Series, taking place at Perth Motorplex on March 23 and April 6-7.

Photos: Jay Treasure

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Perth offers redemption for Zappia with Summer Slam win

John Zappia has taken out his second Summer Slam event of the season at Perth Motorplex, striking back from a horror Sydney trip.

Zappia had his spare motor in the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro for his home track after breaking the crankshaft of his main engine at the Santo’s Summer Thunder event last month. With virtually identical parts there was no shortage of Noonan horsepower on board.

“The Sydney deal saw a broken crankshaft do a fair bit of damage,” Zappia said. “The vibrations broke and shook loose a lot of parts around the engine area. The Zappia Racing crew did a great job of rebuilding the car and getting it into tip top shape.

“We had a new Aeromotive fuel pump aboard, a fresh Boninfante clutch from the USA Noonan Camaro, our spare motor and spare blower.”

The first step during Nitro Night was qualifying and the team approached the first session with a safe tune up with so many forced changes to their normal setup.

“We had a lot of stuff that was different in the car so we started off safe and rich,” Zappia said. “It was a bit weak on the first one and it rattled the tyres. We pedalled for a 5.87 with an early shut off, because it was really windy and we were gun shy about releasing the chutes into the headwind.”

Zappia and his expert team fine tuned the motor for the second qualifying session and found improvement.

“We trimmed it up a bit and it went a 5.83 in the compulsory qualifier, which qualified us second behind Daniel Gregorini’s 5.78 personal best,” he said.

Eliminations beckoned, where Zappia took on Frank Taylor’s Chevelle.

“We stepped it up and found some more performance after finding some things in the pits that were slightly out from where we would normally run them,” Zappia said.

“Frank got a little jump on me at the start line but we clawed it back and ran a 5.73 at 255mph into a stiff headwind – we were very happy with that speed given the conditions. But again, like every pass before, it was rattling the tyres and needed a small pedal.”

The win saw Zappia into the final of his second Summer Slam event of the season, where he would face top qualifier Gregorini.

“We had lane choice by five hundredths of a second and in our preferred left lane we were hoping to be back in the five sixties,” Zappia said.

“The car left hard with the wheels up and it barely went into tyre shake. I still gave it a small pedal and we went through for a 5.70/256mph, which is the quickest we have run while pedalling. Considering our quickest pass at Perth Motorplex is a 5.66 it goes to show the Noonan power we have on board right now.”

Unfortunately Gregorini received a red light on the start line, denying what would have been an entertaining final round.

Zappia will be back at Perth Motorplex in just over a week for round six of the WA Drag Racing Championships where he will compete in Top Comp.

“We have good speed at the moment so hopefully we have an event without a headwind and we can really see what the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro will do,” he said.

“It was a relief that the motor was in excellent condition at the end of the Nitro Night on the weekend. We will see if we can tune the last of the tyre shake out of this thing and make some full runs in the 5.6s.”

Photo: Jay Treasure

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Zappia beats WA’s best in Top Comp tussle at Perth Motorplex

John Zappia and the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro have kept a perfect season at Perth Motorplex in tact with victory at the third round of the WA Drag Racing Championships on Saturday.

After winning the opening round of the Summer Slam Series in November, Zappia had a different challenge – Top Comp. This drag racing division is unique to Western Australia and combines Top Doorslammers, Top Alcohol Dragsters and Funny Cars, plus supercharged Comp vehicles on a variety of handicaps.

After skipping the first qualifying session, Zappia came out for the compulsory qualifying session where a pedalling 6.34 second run that would leave him in sixth position for the 12-car field.

“We over did it a bit on that run,” he said. “But everyone else was having some trouble too so we actually qualified okay in the order.”

Zappia was seeded against Frank Taylor’s Top Doorslammer Chevelle for the elimination round. There the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots team returned to the form they are renowned for running a 5.68 at 253.94mph for the win and a spot in the A Final.

“We backed the tune off a little bit and down it went for the 5.68,” Zappia explained. “The car performed really well, and we knew that was the run that counted to get us into the A Final.

“(The 5.68) actually came easily. It rattled the tyres early and I short shifted, but it still put a good time up on the boards – so there is plenty left there.”

For the final round Zappia faced one of WA drag racing’s most experienced drivers, Wayne Keys. While Keys and Zappia would normally go ‘heads up’ and get the green light at the same time, Keys’ Chev Camaro is eligible for the AA/AP class and benefited from an easier handicap.

What was building to an entertaining match up became a foregone conclusion when Keys left a red light on the tree.

“I saw Wayne’s red light, I was sure I saw it and had the win so once I saw my amber lights come on I was out of there,” Zappia said.

“We ran a 5.76 on our 5.72 handicap while Wayne went 6.08 on his 6.03 handicap, so had we seen some green lights on the tree it would have been a very close race.

“That’s two wins in a row at Perth Motorplex now so we’d love to try and shoot for a perfect season at our home track.”

With the team race ready, Zappia and crew are now preparing for New Year’s Thunder at Willowbank Raceway on January 5, the third round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer Championship.

“Willowbank in January is a different kettle of fish to Willowbank in June when the Winternationals are held,” Zappia said. “In hot conditions it is a different surface to deal with and obviously trickier to get down the track.

Zappia currently sits second in the championship, 15 points behind fellow Western Australian Kelvin Lyle.

“Kelvin’s first win in Sydney was great to see. We didn’t have much luck there so hopefully we can turn our fortunes around in Queensland.”

“Looking forward to catching up with our East Coast Sponsors, Crew and fans to celebrate Christmas and the New Year.”

Cover photo thanks to Perth Motorplex and Phil Luyer from High Octane Photos

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Summer Slam a power victory for Zappia

John Zappia more than made up for a forgettable Sydney trip as he blasted to the winner’s circle at Perth Motorplex during the WA Drag Racing Championships.

Zappia and his Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Hotshots Monaro took out the first round of the Summer Slam, a local series for Top Doorslammers that has proved increasingly popular with competitors and attracted ten entries on the weekend.

With conditions cool and the track tight, Zappia qualified on top of the field with a pedalling 5.77 before belting out a 5.664 second pass in the elimination round against Ryan Moresby’s Dananni Hotshots Ford Falcon.

That set up a final round against Daniel Gregorini’s Camaro, where Zappia was able to clinch a 5.703 second win despite some tyre shake.

“We knew the performance was there from our recent runs in Sydney,” Zappia said. “We put the Noonan engine back in and it performed flawlessly. In the final round we ran one of our best speeds ever in Perth, at 256.88mph – into a head wind! We were pretty impressed with that, as was Parry from Muscle Car Warehouse who surprised us with a visit at the track.

“The handling has been a lot straighter, making the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro a lot easier to drive, and we keep it away from the centre line or the walls.

“Our three qualifying runs all had tyre shake but the 5.66 was perfectly smooth. We put more power in for the final but it rattled at the top of first gear and lost some time, though the car performed really well in the back half of the track.”

Though pleased with the times on the readout boards, Zappia said his home track still holds some secrets.

“It appeared to get better with more laps on it and we were probably a little soft with the clutch for the final,” he said.

“We’ve still got a bit more to work out with the Perth track. The track is only going to get better with more events and given we were able to run 5.66 at the first event of the season, there is a lot of potential for quick passes during the season.

“My next meeting will be December 15 and I believe the surface will be primed by then.”

Photos: Luke Nieuwhof from Dragnews

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Zappia race fit for MacTrack Westernationals after Nitro Night runner up

John Zappia’s preparation for the next round of the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer Series at the MacTrack Westernationals has begun with a runner up at Perth Motorplex’s Nitro Night.

Zappia entered Nitro Night to test some ideas in the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro and bed in new Hoosier tyres.

“The first pass saw some driver error where I did a first gear burnout instead of a third gear burnout on new tyres that needed a good scrubbing,” he said. “It still launched well, one of the best of the day actually, but then I missed the shift button to second gear.

“I came out for the compulsory qualifier and it left well for a 5.77, though I used up a bit of the lane when it went left and got out of the groove.

“The third run I think there had been an oildown in front and they had just sprayed the track so it was way stickier than all the other runs. The car rattled and I had to pedal it and carry on for a 5.98 but luckily that was good enough to get into the A Final.”

That final round would see Zappia take on the Dananni Hotshots Ford Falcon of Ryan Moresby, which earlier ran its first five second pass.

“We had another set of new tyres which I thought could work, but they could also cost us the race. It launched good but went to the right and at the edge of the groove it rattled, front wheels in the air, I was steering and nothing was happening. Nine times out of ten it puts the front wheels down but this time it kept the front wheels in the air. I could have pedalled it to try and drop the front but it was a case of could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.

“But still it was an all Dananni Hotshots final round and Stuart Moresby won for Dananni Hotshots in Top Comp too – congratulations to the team on their victories.”

The MacTrack Westernationals is next on the agenda for Zappia, who will be aiming to take back the 400 Thunder Pro Slammer points lead.

Typically a hot and humid event that does not lend itself to record setting runs, Zappia believes a set up that could find consistent 5.7s with the occasional 5.6 would be in a good position to take the win.

“I’m not sure the weather will be kind, but at this stage it doesn’t look ridiculous either,” he said. “The air was really good in Sydney when we ran our 5.601 second pass, but we have also done a 5.65 there with warm and humid conditions so it is possible. At last year’s Westernationals we ran a 5.72 best – it all depends on the air on the day.”

A classy field of 17 cars has entered so far including Paul Mouhayet and the USA’s Frankie Taylor making their first appearances in Pro Slammer at Perth Motorplex.

Zappia said in drag racing predictions can go out the window, because anything can happen and it often does.

“I need to make sure everything is 100% right for this meeting and do my best to try and have a consistent race car,” he said. “The entire field is tough, and most of the cars entered are five second runners, so we could see a low 5.9 second bump spot..

“I’d love all of my fans come to the Motorplex and see the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro at what is going to be one of the all time great Pro Slammer events. Whether you come on qualifying day and see the battle to make the field or race day where there will only be one winner, you’re going to be in for some of the best drag racing in the world.”

Photos courtesy Luke Nieuwhof: Dragnews

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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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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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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