John Zappia presented for the Fuchs Nationals – Round 1 of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer 2011/2012 Series – and let everyone know why he is the Australian National Record Holder by recording the first “five seven” in competition, and claimed top qualifier position.
Qualifying for the event took a turn, after bad weather forced Sydney Dragway officials to cancel Friday night’s first qualifying round. Saturday arrived with all contenders faced with only two chances to gain entry into the eight car field.
First qualifier for Zappia saw him launch right, shake and head for the wall. “I took a chance, hit second gear and turned the wheel expecting it to turn, but the front wheels may have been off the ground and I glanced the wall, and missed my first chance” said an upbeat Zappia.
“We fixed the damaged headers and adjusted the door, took a look at the tune, and made a few minor changes to try and get in the field. What happened next was quite amazing. A good launch that headed right a little caused me to pedal and correct, then it pulled so strongly through all the gears, but to be honest when the track officials told me I had run a 5.777 @ 250.74mph I was stunned. I had actually short shifted in second gear , so to run that time – Australia’s quickest pass in a Doorslammer – and top qualify in the field was a highlight of the meeting”.
Zap was joined in the top half of the field by Judd 5.868, Belleri 5.902 and Kapiris 5.913 – the rest of the field posting six second runs. Bump spot for the meeting was Sean Misfud with a 6.327.
First Round match up with Mifsud in the PSI equipped Camaro saw Zap win with a 5.865 @249.12mph over a PB 6.006 @ 238.34mph from Mifsud. Other winners were Judd 6.007 over a red lighting Victor Bray 6.267, Belleri 5.936 over Fabietii 5.971, and Kapiris 5.847 in a close win over Ben Bray 5.949.
“The weather and track condition definitely favoured the 5.777 run, and the first round run gave us more data to try and trim up the tune for round two against our good friend Peter Kapiris. Peter had some good form lately and running regular low five eights, so the race was on for sure”.
“I staged and on the hit the car shook aggressively, blurring my vision. I hit second and when I finally got off it I found myself in the other lane. Peter ran the Saratoga right through for a 5.939 @ 253.90mph win to get through to the final”.
In a previous run – Robin Judd got a lucky break when Mark Belleri broke a fuel line on a strong run and aborted – but his 6.112 @ 244.47 was enough to gain a finals berth. The final saw Kapiris 5.809 @ 256.02mph take out Judd 5.844 @ 248.57mph and take top points for the Championship.
“What a great meeting. We got to showcase our new graphics package of our new season co-naming rights sponsors, and run the quickest pass in Australia. Seems only yesterday we were rejoicing going the first five second pass – and since that time we have been able to knock two tenths of a second off that time. We would have liked to have backed up that time and reset our National Record, but that awaits another day. Hopefully we can do it at the Motorplex in the Goldenstates in front of our home crowd”. “This season is set to be a cracker – with some quick times coming from many teams, and a few other teams set to pounce later in the season. Now that we have run our first five seven, I am excited about trying to run consistent five sevens as a new benchmark. We made five eights the benchmark the last few seasons, and we hope to be consistent in the five eigths to five sevens and to keep improving”.
Managing Director of Fuchs Lubricants Wayne Hoiles made comment on their new Co-Sponsorship: “Fuchs is proud to increase its support of Zappia Racing to joint naming rights of the team. It’s a team with proven championship performance and represents the true Australian spirit of determination and setting new standards”.
“We are very happy to have joint naming rights for this season with Fuchs Lubricants and Procomp Electronics” said Zap. “The race car will be known as the Fuchs/Procomp Electronics Monaro. We again thank Craig Pedley from Striker Crushing and Screening for allowing us to race his “Crusher” Monaro for the 2011/2012 season”.
The management team at Procomp Electronics aim to support the team, foster the growing relationship, and identify their new product diversification. “Last season was a success with the relationship between Zappia Racing and the Procomp Electronics Team. Besides the success of last year’s season on the track, the relationship has strengthened and grown into different areas of production and business operations. The Procomp Electronics Team has also taken on board new production-lines involved with the diversification of their new product range. Some of the new brands are Pro Fuel Delivery (Pro FD) and Traction Drive Systems (TDS), as seen on the door of John’s Top Doorslammer. All in all the relationship is prospering and taking new ventures in the area of motorsport”.
Zap commented this week – “We also welcome new German hand tools manufacturer Elora, tool distributors Alltools and our major sponsors in Striker Crushing and Screening, K-Trans Racing, Beta Spuds, Southside Engine Centre, Noonan Race Engineering and PPG Automotive Refinish”.
“Also thanks to our Supporting Sponsors Santhuff, Victory1, B & J Racing Transmissions, Mi Camcorders, Current Trendz, Crow Cams, Aero Group – Avtrac Maintenance Tracking, Legend Boatbuilders, Taylor Tyres, Kounis Metal Industries, Bravo Resources, CIC High Performance Coatings, Aurora Bearings, and Track-Meter”.
“We race again at the Goldenstates in Round 2 of the ANDRA Pro Series. We always welcome racing on our home track. The Perth Motorlex has found some extra bite in the track recently, and with some renowned great air at that time of year, we could see some record breaking racing. I certainly recommend fans get to the Perth Motorplex for that round. We could see a record bump spot as at least six of the race teams have already gone below six second quarter miles already this season”.