Zappia runs a 5.814 in Perth – quickest of the year

Zappia Racing presented the Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro for racing in Top Comp at the Perth Motorplex Nitro Funny Car meeting this last weekend, and narrowly missed out on a finals berth after a great 5.814 @ 247.93mph elimination run.

“The 5.814 is our quickest pass for this season and it has taken us a while to get a handle on the new engine package” said Zappia after the event, “We tried some new things this meeting, and went back over our extensive database of runs, and finally came up with a combination that worked”.

“We have run 25 full quarter mile passes this season, with over 50% of those in the “fives” – that’s pretty good racing. We have had 5 unrepresentative runs though (20%) with several of those at critical points in the event that have cost us wins and championship points this year. That is a result of us wanting to push the boundaries and move onto new territory in our racing. No “five sevens” yet this season, but we are working on that for the future”.

“Earlier in the day in the qualifying run, the car was just an animal – smoking the tyres and wheel standing, and I just had to abort the run. The brutal power we have developed is very aggressive and the key is taming the beast to get it down the track consistently”.

The compulsory qualifier at 6pm saw Zap having to pedal at about 200 feet out, and then suffer a simple mechanical failure on the throttle link that took power away – and he rolled through for a 6.695 @ 149.00 mph.

“The first eliminator race against Shane Weston in the AA Dragster was a cracker, but I red lit with a -0.029 reaction time to pass the win over to Weston. The 5.814 was good enough on my 6.26 index (0.446 under), as Shane went 5.836 on a 6.21 index (0.374 under). That would have given us a B Final – but that was not to be”.

“We are pretty happy with the days racing, and with one more meeting here in Perth on the 6th April, we are building to Round 4 of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship at Sydney with a tune and setup that should help us chip away at the Championship leaders”. John Zappia sits third in the Championship on 185 points, behind a rejuvenated Victor Bray on 208 points, and in form Peter Kapiris on 271 points.


Zappia to Semi Final at Westernationals

Eliminations for the 42nd Westernationals started last Sunday with a magnificent day and by 6pm the temperature had dipped to 25 degrees C (77.f F) with 66% humidity and 1900ft corrected air.

John Zappia had qualified second the day before with a 5.963 @ 245.90 mph, behind Maurice Fabietti on 5.921 @ 240.64mph.

Round 1 saw reigning Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia take on Benny Bray and hole shot him 0.087 to 0.108 and led to 60 feet when he had to pedal. Bray took the lead, but by 1,000 feet Zap had pulled level, and went straight through for the win.

Gregorini 6.047 took out Sutton 6.043 in a tight race. Victor 6.036 took out Pavey 6.063, and Kapiris 6.030 won when Fabietti (6.364) dragged the beams.

The Semi Final of Victor Bray and John Zappia – the two pioneers of Doorslammer racing in Australia, ended up a steady win to Victor whose dead straight 6.012 @ 237.46mph took out Zap after he went sideways at mid track and ran through for a 6.197 @ 238.09mph.

“I was out in front – we went 0.994 to sixty feet – but like most of our runs this weekend the dreaded tyre shake at the top of first gear got us again. I tried to drive through it but the Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro ended up pretty sideways. I pedalled, corrected and tried to catch Victor to no avail as he was through for the win”.

Gregorini red lit in the other semi and ran a 6.079 @ 236.22mph to a winning 5.961 @ 237.46mph by Kapiris, setting up a great final between the top two championship leaders – Victor with his second final in a row.

The final round matchup was held up by a track incident, and Peter Kapiris in the Saratoga managed the quickest run for the event 5.868 @ 240.00mph to defeat Victor Bray in the ’57 Chevy who got out early in the run after experiencing tyre shake.

“Congratulations to Peter for the win. That last run was out of the ordinary for the event at five eight, and even crew chief Brew really had no idea why it went so much better than all their other runs on the day. I think the track had dew on it, and allowed a lot more wheel speed and the car got up and over the tyre”.

“We are still third in the Top Doorslammer Championship, and look forward to the next round at the Nitro Champs in Sydney on 4th and 5th May. We will run two local events here at the Perth Motorplex to see out the WA season, before heading off to Sydney”.

“Many thanks to Fuchs and Striker Crushing for their support in our championship bid. We are on one of the hardest missions of all – to defend our 5 Back-to-Back Championships. We have been at the top of the game for five years and now into our sixth, and that takes enormous effort from us and our team. We enjoy support from a lot of local Perth supporting sponsors, and we thank them deeply. We will really have to dig deep if we are to keep our hopes of a 6th straight championship alive but as they say in racing, “anything can happen on the track” and we just need a bit of luck to go our way. There are still 4 championship rounds to go and hopefully we get to compete at all and give us the best chance of catching Peter and Victor.

“I am just as determined to bounce back and get this Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro back into the five eights, and five sevens. As a team we are focused and excited – drag racing has such a great future in Australia”.

Photo – thanks to Phil Luyer High Octane Photos


Zappia qualifies second at Westernationals

The west turned on perfect weather for their biggest event on the calendar – the 42nd Westernationals at the Perth Motorplex. Seventeen teams turned up for Round Three of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, with anticipation of some tight racing.

First qualifier was delayed for the last few runners due to John Cannuli entering the sand at high speed after a parachute failure. A good reaction time of 0.091 got Zap started well, but tyre shake at the top of first gear meant a lift of the throttle was required, and back on the throttle to drive it out the back door for a 5.963 @ 244.56 mph.

That time put the team at the top of the qualifying order after Q1 ahead of Ben Bray on 6.051, Sutton on 6.066, Cannuli on 6.07 (with a damaged car) and Gregorini on 6.089.

Second qualifier saw Zap suffer tyre shake in first gear forcing him right towards the centreline and another pedal job and still ran a 5.966 @ 245.90mph. Fabietti was back in form running a 5.921 to take top spot from Zap. Victor Bray ran third with a 6.002, and Gregorini bettered with a 6.013 to take out fifth.

Third qualifier saw Zap run a straight pass, but was down on et and mph running a 6.031 @ 245.90mph. Fabietti did not run Q3, so Zappia maintained second position in qualifying.

“We have struggled a little with tyre shake today” said Zappia after racing, “But overall we are happy with our position in the field. The engine is sweet, with no damage or issues; it’s more a fine tuning issue with us – we run a fairly complicated tune and setup on the run, and getting it all together perfectly takes some skill”.

Zappia will run Ben Bray in the Fuchs / Striker Crushing Monaro tomorrow in Round 1. Fabietti will meet Kapiris in an important race, Victor Bray will match up with Pavey, and Sutton will take on Gregorini.