A thrilling 2013 Australian Winternationals was brought to an early end this year by the weather, and all Group 1 classes failed to complete any eliminations. Top Doorslammer saw four rounds of qualifying over two days, with reigning champion John Zappia top qualifying with a sizzling 5.745 @ 252 mph that re-set the National Record.
“That is two meetings in a row we have not had the chance to win where we were positioned really well” said a laconic Zappia, “We have nudged closer to Kapiris in the championship race, and with just two rounds to go it will be another close finish to the season”.
“We are back in the five sevens with our 5.753 and 5.745 back to back runs this meeting, and we are very happy with that. We have struggled to get the power down this season, and we have finally worked it out. To re-set the National Record we set last year at the Nitro Champs and top qualify was great for the Team and for our naming and event sponsors Fuchs Lubricants”.
Zappia now sits second on 325 points by gaining 53 points this meeting, behind leader Kapiris on 401 points who gained 52 points, and Victor Bray 271 with 20 points for the round.
“76 points is a handy margin, but anything is possible in racing so we haven’t conceded just yet”.
ANDRA Top Doorslammer Qualifying Results:
Qualifiers: 1. JOHN ZAPPIA HQ Monaro 5.745 @ 252.24; 2. PETER KAPIRIS Saratoga 5.824 @ 249.81; 3. MARTYN DACK Falcon 5.876 @ 243.94; 4. STUART BISHOP Camaro 5.885 @ 243.19; 5. MURRAY O’CONNOR Falcon 5.902 @ 241.89; 6. MARK BELLERI Camaro 5.913 @ 225.15; 7. BEN BRAY Monaro 5.937 @ 246.35: 8. MAURICE FABIETTI Monaro 5.970 @ 240.17.
Non-Qualifiers: 9. RUSS PAVEY Corvette 5.974 @ 243.81; 10. ANDREW SUTTON Corvette 5.991 @ 243.41; 11. DANIEL GREGORINI Camaro 6.01 @ 234.57; 12. VICTOR BRAY Chev 6.014 @ 236.55; 13. GRANT O’ROURKE Monaro 6.195 @ 234.57.
In other news to hand John Zappia has been declared the Runner-Up of Round 4 of the Top Doorslammer championship held at the Sydney Dragway Nitro Champs. The decision was made after the ANDRA Appeals Tribunal hearing in Sydney recently, based on an appeal lodged by Zappia Racing following disqualification in the semi-final race against Murray O’Connor.
“It was not an ideal result but a reasonable outcome for us” said a contemplative Zappia, “The Tribunal was very well run and fair, with a level of independence and was evidence based, so we feel justice has been done”.
Upon review of the race it was found that the starter had activated the Compulink Autostart system when both racers were in pre-stage, meeting the requirements of a race start as per section 4.1 of the ANDRA rulebook which states: “Start – in relation to a race, means the initiation of the start of the race, by the starter”. Following on, both racers were deemed to have fouled the start, but with O’Connor the first offender, Zappia was reinstated. There is also the new ruling which addresses Dual Disqualifications which was added to the 2013 rule book which states ”
1.4.24 Disqualification – “The ideal outcome of any race is to have one winner and one loser; however situations arise where both racers are disqualified during the same elimination race. There are varying degrees of rules infractions, with policy being that the driver committing the major infraction will be disqualified and the other driver with the lessor offence is reinstated, providing the grounds for disqualification were equal for both competitors”
“With both these events behind us, we head to Adelaide for Round 6, where the racing is over 1,000 feet rather than the quarter mile. We have had great success racing the eighth mile distance in the Slamfest series, so look forward to racing there. It is our second appearance at the track in our new Top Doorslammer race car, and we will have the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro tuned up and giving it our best shot”.