John Zappia was all smiles this week after reflecting back on his 2006/2007 Top Doorslammer racing season, and his stunning win at the Winternationals last week. Zap finished second in the Championship with 521 points, 19 points behind Garry Phillips 540 points who managed to secure his championship with a strong qualifying effort.
“The Winters was our event – everything before and during the event went so smooth and without any dramas – something we have been working very hard to achieve with our preventative maintenance program. To top qualify, then win the event with a 5.996 was another highlight of my career” said Zap, “I don’t think any of the fans could be dissapointed with qualifying in Top Doorslammer, with 21 cars trying to qualify into eight positions.”
“Our 6.122 required a pedal, and the 6.031 used up most of the track on the run, and the third 6.252 required a pedal and was a little skatey after I rolled through the beams at the start. The 6.031 was enough to top the qualifying list by two hundredths, and we were very happy with that. We have proved well and truly we are the quickest doorslammer in Australia, having Top Qualified for six out of the seven rounds this year.”
“First eliminator was a gift, as Stanic rolled through the beams disqualifying himself. I saw that, and gave the Striker Monaro everything I had – a 6.031et @ 235.73mph was nice and consistent – we managed three 6.031 runs over the weekend! In the pits we studied the Motec Data Logger and other programs we use to get a little more out of the Walt Austin BAE, anticipating Victor Bray would be saving his best until last. We found a few areas on the run we could improve, and made the necessary adjustments.”
“Second eliminator against my old mate Victor was probably the run of the meeting. I knew he would be a fierce competitor with all the history of his wins at this track and event. We tried to out smoke each other – and Victor managed to go past me in the burnout. But I got him at the start, and won with a 6.031 @ 235.97mph against Victor’s incredible 6.040et @ 241.42mph – what a race!”
The Winternationals final was between young Benny Bray and mister consistent quick man John Zappia at a later than planned 8.39pm – allowing the air to come around nicely for both teams.
“We were lucky to find a few little items that may have failed in the car on the runs, but basically the combo was very stout all weekend – we never even had the heads off the engine. The final was a staging battle, then the young fella got a hole shot on me on the light, but the sheer grunt of the torque monster Walt Austin engine shot me past Benny on to a 5.996et to Ben’s 6.091et. I was so proud to win the event, and even prouder of our hard working crew. We have now completed a five second pass on all three major tracks in Australia – another personal goal of mine.”
“Our sponsors were impressed with the weekend, with Striker and Rentco honoring their extra bonus payments for the five second run. Fuchs Lubricants run in our engines, gearbox and diffs, and the company was pleased to be associated with the Winternationals Top Doorslammer Champion team. The crew have worked hard at improving our reliability, and the result was testimony to that effort this weekend.”
“We are pumped and excited for next season on a number of fronts, with our new premises and Craig Pedley’s HQ Monaro Top Doorslammer to debut. Hopefully next year is our year for the Top Doorslammer Championship. We certainly love our drag racing and putting on a show for the fans.”
Round 7 – Winternationals. Top Qualified with a 6.031. Wins event with a 5.996 and Lowest Elapsed Time.
Round 6 – Tin Tops. Top Qualified with a 6.082. Meeting abandoned due to rain. Event Lowest Elapsed Time.
Round 5 - Westernationals. Top Qualified with a 6.064. Semi Final finish – clutch failure. Event Lowest Elapsed Time.
Round 4 – Summernationals. Top Qualified with a 6.040. Semi Final finish.
Round 3 – Goldenstates. Top Qualified with a 5.922 – resets World Record. First Round finish – mechanical failure. Event Lowest Elapsed Time.
Round 2 – Australian Nationals. Shut down in First Round due to body defect.
Round 1 – East Coast Nationals. Top Qualified with a 6.08. Wins event and Lowest Elapsed Time.