Reigning Australian Champion John Zappia gained valuable points in the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship at the Goldenstates last weekend with a strong runner-up result in the Procomp Motorsport Monaro owned by Striker boss Craig Pedley.
In what turned out to be an eventful meeting, Zappia lost the rain delayed final to Mark Belleri in the Camaro after experiencing tyre shake and having to pedal. Congratulations to Mark on his first win in Top Doorslammer competition.
“It was touch and go with the running of the final due to a heavy downpour,” said Zappia, “and I was very reluctant to run given the conditions, but credit goes to the Perth Motorplex track crew for their persistence in cleaning and drying up the track. The ANDRA Stewards and Motorplex management gave the all clear, so we presented the Procomp Motorsport “Crusher” for racing . It was good to get a result both for the points and for the One HD television coverage, but I ended up hurting another engine and losing the race.”
A record twenty two cars entered for the event, all competing for eight positions in the field but was reduced to 21 after Victor Bray withdraw with illness. Friday nights qualifying was in cool weather and an increasingly cool track as the night went on. Only 24 of the 57 passes attempted by the 21 cars qualifying were representative passes as the cars struggled with the track conditions. Four local Perth racers made their debut in Top Doorslammer, joining the other seven West Australians taking on competitors from the Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.
John Zappia managed a 5.924 @ 243.24mph off the trailer, a pedaling 6.330 @ 234.98mph,and blew the tyres off in the final pass to end up second top qualifier behind Robin Judd on 5.845, and ahead of Fabietti 5.969, Belleri 5.994, Phillips 6.097, Ben Bray 6.112, Bishop 6.145 and first time qualifier Gregorini 6.157 on the bump.
“We had a soft tune up in it for the 5.924 to get in the field, then stepped it up for the second run but had shake and had to pedal. The crew swung the Force Tools hard and did a fantastic job changing a melted piston between runs, and by the time the last qualifier came around the air had improved and with the track cooling the car just blew the tyres off on the hit in the final qualifier. Overall we were happy with the result, as we are still trying new things to improve the overall performance in the car.
First round match up for Zap was up against Bishop in the Camaro, who blew the burst panel on the hit giving the win to the Zappia Racing Team with a 6.022 @ 238.09mph . Other winners were Gregorini 6.140 over Judd 6.115, and Belleri 5.998 over Phillips 6.694.
“We went back to the safer tune for this eliminator, but the track was different with more humidity and the car ended up a little lazy. The crew were under pressure again after it was decided to run another spare engine combo, but they got it in and poured the Fuchs oil in just in time for me to start the big hemi and warm it all up, and get to the staging lanes”.
The Semi Final saw Zap take on Fabietti, and take the win with a 6.007 @ 239.36mph over Fab’s 6.170 @ 234.37mph. Belleri (6.009) put Gregorini (6.442) away in the other semi to set up a thriller final.
“We turned the car around and were sitting in the staging lanes at 10pm when out of the blue the rain hit. It rained hard for five minutes and we were close to the event curfew time, when the decision was made to attempt a clean up. I have never seen so many vehicles and officials on the track heating, rubbing, mopping and wiping up! We had an in depth discussion with ANDRA Stewards about splitting the points and prize money when the track was given the all clear, and we were obliged to run.
“Unfortunately the track condition was totally different after all that washing and cleaning, and the Procomp Motorsport Monaro shook hard and I had to pedal – our 6.299 @ 221.67mph was unable to catch Belleri’s 6.109 @ 235.60mph. Overall we were happy with the result considering our times are a little off our normal five eights. We will be back to those performances for Round Three at Willowbank I can assure fans”.
The results for the weekends racing has made the Championship interesting after Belleri now leading on 227 points behind Judd (200), Fabietti (186),Zappia (151), and Phillips (132). The Championship race is very alive with 5 rounds to go and it could end up with another cliff hanger that could decide the Champion in the final race – as was the case last season.
Fans can now shop online at the new Zappia Racing Web Store to purchase the range of merchandise normally available at the track. Staff will be adding a large range of products from exclusive suppliers B & J Racing Transmissions, Santhuff Shocks, and Procomp and Zap will be listing a range of his second hand race parts as they become available. International fans can now purchase our Australian merchandise on a secure professional web store.
Goldenstates lead up for Zappia Racing
Current Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia has presented Craig Pedley’s “Crusher” Procomp Monaro for local racing at the Perth Motorplex in the team’s lead up to Round 2 of the ANDRA Pro Series Championship at the Goldenstates.
Perth is the blown alcohol capital of Australia, with the Top Comp class highly competitive with the need to run on the National Record or below to stand a chance of winning.
The Grand Opening meeting saw near perfect weather conditions for making huge power – cool temperatures, low humidity and low corrected altitude – and the famous Fremantle Doctor westerly wind bringing fresh oxygen rich air off the Indian Ocean.
“Our first pass off the trailer was a 5.828 @ 245.23mph”, said John Zappia, “but then the air came around and we overpowered the track on the next run. The 82 was good enough for fifth position in qualifying going 0.572 under the 6.4 index. Unfortunately we had too much power to match the track on that particular day and progressed no further in competition”.
Three members of the team then traveled to Las Vegas for the SEMA Show, where they spent time with sponsors B & J Transmissions and Procomp Motorsport, and attended several drag meetings.
“We were with the Strasburg Top Fuel Team sponsored by Procomp at the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals, and saw Team Rapisarda do really well there, and then went to the NHRA Finals at Pomona, California, before heading back to Perth to prepare for the second meeting”.
The Top Fuel Match race meeting held last weekend at the Perth Motorplex saw completely different weather conditions in Perth – with high temps, high corrected altitude and high humidity.
“We reconfigured the Crusher Monaro to better handle the massive power we are making, and to better equip the car to run five sevens in the future, so we had the setup a little soft just to watch the way it ran down the track and test new components”.
“The first pass was a 6.110 @ 229.00mph, the second a 6.116 @ 236.84 mph as we slowly fed in power to the new setup. That put us eighth in the qualifying list and up against Weston in round one. The Crusher damaged a slick on the run, and with a pedal still managed a 6.079 @ 236.22mph for the loss”.
“I was pretty happy with my reaction times on the day, going 0.004 on that last run. It may seem that we went slow on the weekend, but we have a long history of undergoing development programs that at first seem to be going backwards, but then produce longer term winning results. We broke the world record by going first into the fives by doing that – and we want to jump into the five sevens to keep leading the field in Top Doorslammer”
“It was great to see Craig Pedley from Striker Crushing and Screening get down to the track to see his car in action, but unfortunately we weren’t able to do something special for him. We are looking at the big picture and that is winning as many of the Championship rounds as possible and hopefully win our 4th consecutive championship and 2nd in the Crusher”.
“The 39th Annual Goldenstates is on Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th December at the Perth Motorplex and we hope to see as many of our fans and supporters as possible to cheer us on and to check out some of the new merchandise”.