Zap’s Wild Slamfest

The quickest Slammers in Australia were at Heathcote Victoria last weekend for Round One of the eighth mile Slamfest Series, and produced some wild rides that entertained the crowd. Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia was keen to snatch the win and the local track record, and after some great racing almost pulled it off.

“What a great weekend” said a jubilant Zappia, “We ended up in the final against Peter Kapiris after a little carnage in the semi, and did some quick passes and some crazy drifting ones as well”.

The teams were allowed a qualifier in the afternoon, and Zap brought out the super quick Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro and managed a drifting, pedalling, off it early 4.21et for the eighth.

The compulsory qualifier saw Zap run a 3.966et @ 188.21mph and Top Qualify, 2 hundredths quicker than Kapiris’ 3.984et @ 191.16mph, and Victor Bray not far behind with a 4.18et @ 174.76mph.

“That was a good pass – full throttle all the way, but using up most of my lane. That gave us Marcus Chambers in the draw – two HQ’s side by side. Unfortunately Marcus was not able to get his car ready in time so we ran a solo pass. The car went to the right, so I hit second and yanked it back and it fishtailed and drifted it’s way to a new track record 3.944et @ 192.64mph – backed up by the 3.966 earlier run”. Kapiris disposed of Ben Bray, Victor over Mamone, and Brunner over Pavey in the other Round One races.

The Semi Final in the Chicago Shootout format saw Zap up against Brunner, and Kapiris up against Victor Bray. It was Kapiris that set Low ET for the meeting with a 3.825et @ 162.10mph to defeat Victor’s 4.053et @ 184.20mph. Zap just managed to get the win after his car went silent mid run – his 4.316et @ 167.47mph just too good for Brunner’s 4.471et @ 161.99mph.

“The car just went dead after an excellent straight launch and managed to coast to the win. The crew found the crank trigger wheel had exploded and sent the crank trigger flying – putting a hole in the sump on the way out. We had spares, so fitted those and started up ok to find the gearbox had let go as well. Many thanks to Pete and the Heathcote track officials who waited for us to put our spare gearbox in for the run. Totally wrong ratios for the track, but at least we could give the final a go”.

“The car left very slow in the final with a 1.169 sixty feet time and shook badly – so I lifted and pedalled and got after Kapiris, who had to lift later in the run. Congrats to him though, his 4.154et @ 167.54mph was too quick for my 4.447et @ 177.58mph”.

“The Slamfest meeting was fantastic as usual, with a good crowd and fellow racers really enjoying themselves. We head back to run four meetings in Perth including the Westernationals, before heading back to Sydney for the Nitro Champs in early May”.


Zappia runs 5.87 at Night of Fire

John Zappia presented the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro at the Perth Motorplex “Night of Fire” last weekend after the Christmas and New Year break, and delighted the local crowd with some quick runs.

“We were keen to get back out racing” said Zap, “We had made some upgrades with the Santhuff shocks over the break and were keen to put down some good runs in preparation for a good years racing. We entered the Top Comp bracket where our index makes it pretty tough to win, but we always run fast and competitive and give it all we have”.

“First pass of the trailer with a safe tune was a 5.932 @ 247.25mph and was nice and straight. That put us three tenths under our 6.26 index and up against Gregorini who was in AA/AP trim and had a better 6.55 index”.

“The crew made the necessary adjustments to turn the car around and considering the heat – it was 30 degrees C (86F) out there at 6pm with around 2,500 feet of air. I tuned the Crusher up to try and take it up to Gregorini and even though we ran an excellent 5.873 @ 249.30mph, Gregorini’s 6.097 @ 239.98mph was too good on the day. There was nothing in the reaction time as I had a 0.064 to Gregorini’s 0.055. In the end it meant we had to run a 5.80 to win the Elimination.

“Videos of the run from behind and data showed solid improvements for us in the first sixty feet, and that will translate to better times as we try and tame the power we have and get it to the ground better this year. We tamed our tyre shake problems with the changes we made and this gives us confidence for the remainder of the 2012/2013 season”.

Zappia Racing has headed off to Heathcote Park Raceway in county Victoria for Round 1 of Slamfest scheduled for 19th Jan 2013. “We ran a best of 4.03 @ 188mph last year at the track – slightly under estimating the track. We hope to run the magic three second pass this time around and take another win. But it’s also about having a good time at Slamfest – with the other racers and the huge local crowd that turns up”.

Photo coutesy Phil LUYER – www.highoctanephotos.com