John Zappia and his Zappia Racing Team presented the Striker “Crusher” Top Doorslammer on the 4th and 5th of December for the ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel Event, competing in the Top Comp bracket. The Top Fuelers were stunning all weekend, and seventeen Group 2 blown alky cars battled it out for honours in the door cars.
“The track was a little tricky for us on the Friday night”, said Zappia, “In the first qualifier the Crusher just blew the tyres off on the hit. I was able to pedal and recover somewhat with a 6.247 @ 239.36mph, but I had to tame this beast for the next pass”.
“Second pass was the same with the massive power of the TFX Hemi overpowering the track, and I was unable to salvage anything from that run. So we had a little re-think on the tune overnight, and set up the car for the compulsory qualifier at 6pm Saturday night”.
Zap lined the Crusher up for his pass at 6.30pm and kept the car together until it lost power in the last part of the run, but still managed an impressive 5.923 @ 233.16mph to place him sixth in the qualifying order by running 0.497 under his 6.420 index handicap.
“We had a blocked fuel injector nozzle on one cylinder, and it melted that piston completely – there was not much of it left, and took out another piston. So the crew had to complete an engine change for the next race, and they did it in record time”.
“It was a real thrash getting the car to present for that run, and my hat goes off to the crew for a fantastic job. Under pressure the team can deliver the goods, with a combination of experienced hands with some new faces. Also not having to perform an engine change in such a short turn around for some 12 months made it even more impressive and shows what can be achieved with Zap’s never say die attitude. The Force Tools did the job under pressure, with the tool boxes and their pre formed positions for tools”
The Motorplex management allowed Juddy and Zap to pair off against each other at the tail end of the field – the two quickest Top Doorslammers in Australia in a grudge match that had both racers pretty keen to get the first 5.7 second pass under their belt. Both have held the ANDRA Top Doorslammer National Record. Zap holds the current record at a blistering 5.828 set in June this year at WSID.
The win went to Judd in spectacular fashion as both drivers red lit – Juddy the least with a -0.018 to Zap’s -0.028 reaction time. As it turned out Judd’s Studebaker blew the tyres off on the hit and coasted through for a 7.996 @ 144mph – watching Zappia streak through for a losing 5.934 @ 241.93mph.
“The data we collected from the runs this meeting will count for a lot in the overall hunt for the Top Doorslammer Championship race. A 5.7 is not very far off provided all the conditions are right, as we move closer with our preparation”.
“We have three more events here at the Perth Motorplex and Motorvation, before we head off east for the Summernationals in Feb next year. Hope to see all the fans on Boxing Day here in Perth for the Nitro Funny Car Challenge”.