John Zappia took his Striker Monaro Top Doorslammer to a win in the ENZED Nightfire meeting last weekend at Willowbank International Raceway, in a flawless display of Top Doorslammer drag racing. After top qualifying on the Friday night with a sizzling 5.987, and resetting the ANDRA speed record with a massive 247.66mph, Zap was set to test the resolve and tuning ability of his competitors. But it was the West Aussie that dominated the weekend’s racing.
“We are thrilled with the win”, said a jubilant Zappia this week, “It would have been easy to think we did it easy, but the amount of work that goes into this car prior to arriving at the track for racing is substantial. 25 years of racing experience counts at this level, and my desire to win and be the best is pretty high”.
Zap faced off against “Wild Willy” racer Sean Mifsud in Round 1, but another “five” from the Champ was hard to beat as Zap powered Zap’s Rat to a 5.987et @ 247.39mph power run against Mifsud’s 6.283et @ 228.89mph.
“How’s that! A five and huge mph! No other car runs a B & J Transmission/Santhuff Shocks/Mickey Thompson combination in Top Doorslammer and we get a dream run out of the many combinations we can put together for different track conditions”.
Round two saw Zap up against upset winner Andrew Sutton in his HSV Monaro, but fate was against Sutton as his car failed to start – handing the win to Zappia Racing. Always the consummate entertainer, Zap ran the Striker Monaro out the back door on the solo for a 5.981et @ 234.25mph win.
“The final was going to be another face off against my Perth competitor Robin Judd, but I have got the better of him in our recent races and was confident they may go too far in the setup”.
The crowd was on fire by the time the final came around, as American Gary Densham had reset the Nitro Funny Car Australian ANDRA National record with a 4.86et @ 309.7mph in an absolute cracker of a display from all the Nitro Funny Cars.
Zap staged the Rat up against the Studebaker of Judd, and it was a battle of horsepower tuners, with Zap coming off the better as Judd blew the tyres off and nearly rolled the car. Zap rattled the tyres and had to pedal, but a 6.055et @ 240.26mph pass was enough to get the victory and the Championship points.
“Another win is great. Many thanks to the crew who made a flawless effort all weekend. It’s a pleasure to race this way, with support from such positive major sponsors. Fuchs Oil had a good presence at this event, and we love their oil products in the TFX engine – main bearing wear is the best we have ever had. The crew enjoy the distinctive blue roller cabinets full of tools from Force Tools Australia in the pits”.
“It’s always good to race at Willowbank as it gives us the chance to catch up with Chris from Striker Crushing and Screening, as well as some of his Striker Employees. Thanks to Beta Spuds for their support from WA, and Graham Jones From Southside Engine Centre who imparts his knowledge and leadership on our trips to the east”.
John Zappia now extends his lead in the 2009 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship with 290 points, ahead of Judd on 260 points, Phillips on 195 points, and Benny Bray on 155. Photos are on the Zappia Racing web site www.zapsrat.com.au
Zappia Racing now heads on down to Tasmania as a guest feature match race performer at the Tassie Nations on 17th/18th January at the Tarmac Raceway in Launceston.
Zappia on fire!
John Zappia rocked up at Willowbank International Raceway, Queensland this week from Perth, ahead of the ENZED International Nightfire New Year Series weekend on fire and ready to win. This event is Round Three of the 2008/2009 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, a seven round series raced across this huge nation of Australia.
“I would firstly like to wish drag racing fans our seasons greetings, and hope everybody has a Happy New Year”, said Zap, “The Zap’s Rat team like to party and I know we will be having a ball here in Queensland. I think drag racing is a welcome break from all the celebrations and doom and gloom out there in the world. We are here to run the quickest sedans in the world for our team and the fans, and I hope everybody enjoys the long burnouts and quick close racing these cars showcase”.
John Zappia has had a stellar start to the new season, and currently sits on top of the Championship table on 190 points after a Round Two win in his home town of Perth. Sitting in second on 175 points is another Perth quick man Robin Judd, followed by young Benny Bray on 135 points and stalwart Gary Phillips on 130 points.
“Round Two in Perth was probably one of our best meeting performances ever, having run six fives all in row and taking the win. The Rat ran remarkably well, and taking Juddy in the final after he ran a World Record earlier in the event was satisfying”.
“We competed at the last local National Open meeting in Perth, and ran four fives (5.917, 5.901, 5.921 and 5.952) to win the B Final in Top Comp, the 5.901et @ 242.58mph was a particularly strong run. Our data set is forever expanding, and giving us more insight into how these cars run – I am still learning, and enjoy the mental task of figuring out how to make them run quicker”.
“The Striker Monaro is in really good condition. Our low five second tune is safe, and that is something for most of my other twelve competitors this weekend to really worry about. We know how to win, and as long as we don’t get ahead of ourselves we are very confident of a win here”.
Racing starts on Friday 2nd Jan, with three qualifiers at 5pm, 7pm and 9pm, and eliminations start on Saturday at around 5pm.