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”.