Fourty five and a half points separates the 2012 in-form racers Zappia and Kapiris in the lead up to the final round of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship on June 8th – 11th at the biggest event on the Australian calendar – the Winternationals at Willowbank International Raceway. The event is Round 6 of the Championship, that has seen a tug of war between the two friendly rivals all season. None was more evident than Round 5 – the recently held Nitro Champs at Sydney Dragway.
After qualifying second quickest with a 5.782 @ 249.6mph, Zappia – the reigning four times back-to-back National Champion, worked his way through the field to meet up with Kapiris in the Final in an epic showdown.
Qualifying on the Saturday night saw some excellent racing from the thirteen car field, with a 6.016 bump spot eliminating all teams not up to that pace. Zappia brought the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics Monaro out for the first pass and had a few mechanical issues – managing a 6.17 @ 245.0mph to sit on the first round bump spot.
Second run from Zap was a 5.802 @ 249.9mph where Zap got out of the groove slightly, but otherwise a nice pass. With the Zappia Racing crew fine tuning the car, a 5.782 @ 249.6mph third qualifier took them to second place in the qualifying list.
“The five seven eight was more like what we were expecting from the car” said Zappia, “It is behaving how we want, with nice straight passes. Thanks to the crew for some hard work in the break between rounds to tighten up the car and ensure we are well into the five seven zone”.
“We left the car alone for the first round against my fellow West Australian Gregorini, and just snuck in by the skin of my teeth. I was a little disoriented at the tree and a 0.210 reaction time to Daniel’s 0.073 gave him a holeshot. But a strong 5.769 @ 251.1mph pass was too much for the Camaro’s 5.959 @ 240.59mph – and backed up the qualifier National Record of 5.782, and reset the record again with the 5.769! A great result for the team and the hard work we put in to stay at number one”.
Other round winners were Belleri 5.910 over Benny Bray 6.189. Mifsud 5.963 over Sutton 6.486, and Kapiris 5.828 over Judd 6.166.
“Round two was a little more important because Mifsud has a great package at the moment and has stepped up to five eights. As it turned out Sean had to pedal resulting in a 6.378 @ 236.1mph. My run was a little better although it rattled at the top of first gear but I managed to drive through it to a nice 5.785 @ 251.1mph. We are slowly creeping up in the MPH but still a long way off the 256mph that Kapiris is able to get”.
“Kapiris 5.860 defeated Belleri 9.927 in the other semi, so it was obvious watching all the results that the fine line between going quick and overpowering the track and blowing the tyres off was very fine. The extremely fine adjustments of each team’s tuner accounts for everything”.
“We knew that Kapiris would throw everything at his car to win in the final – this was his only Championship chance. So we stepped up the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics Monaro ever so slightly – the finest of adjustments based on our extensive data. Balancing ignition timing, with clutch settings, and the fuel management – all strong factors in how the car hooks up on this particular track on the day”.
“The final was an epic race, but unfortunately for me and the team we edged out of the perfect tuning window – and the car overpowered the track. My pedalling 5.941 @ 240.2mph was not enough as I watched Peter Kapiris streak ahead of me in the other lane to an amazing 5.789 @ 256.4mph win – a four hundredths improvement on his best for the day. Congratulations to Pete and his crew for an amazing tune in the final to keep his championship hopes alive”.
“We were very happy with the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics Monaro during this event – one of the best Sydney events we as a team have been to. The Top Doorslammer bracket with three separate cars running five sevens , and other brackets provided the large crowd with plenty of wow factor, and close racing.”
“We now know that a second round win at the Winternationals will seal our fifth consecutive championship for Fuchs Lubricants, Procomp Electronics, Striker Crushing and Screening, and all our other Major and supporting Sponsors, and look forward to the challenge”.