Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia ran at the Perth Motorplex Nitro Max event this last weekend, and completed his testing program for new parts with a 5.833 – a positive sign leading into Round 1 of the 2014 Championship at the Pro Showdown in two weeks.
“We fitted some new parts and had trouble putting it to the track early” said Zappia, “But as we worked through the adjustments and changes it came together for a good result”.
Zappia entered the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro into Top Comp Eliminator – Australia’s toughest blown alcohol local competition. Of the 18 competitors entered, five were current ANDRA National Record holders, and nine were Group 1 classes nominated.
“Top Comp a tough bracket no doubt. Being a national event, ANDRA were using the national indexes instead of the local track records, so it was a little tougher for the Group 1 cars”.
“Our Friday qualifying runs were both interrupted with tyre shake, forcing me to pedal. A 6.044 @ 246.57mph and a 6.260 @ 241.28mph gave us plenty of data to study. We made a few adjustments and set ourselves up for the Saturday night compulsory qualifier at 6pm. We sat 7th in the field on Friday, 0.216 under our 6.260 index”.
The 6pm run saw Zappia have trouble again getting the Crusher to stick to the track with the dreaded tyre shake forcing Zap to pedal twice, and pass through for a 6.10 @ 245mph.
Zappia lined up against local Top Doorslammer campaigner Daniel Gregorini for round one, and the dreaded red light bit the champ that night. 0.033 seconds too soon was all it took for Zap to miss out on an A Final – his 6.000 @ 245.57mph good enough in theory. Gregorini blew the tyres of for a non-representative run.
“I told myself not to get too keen on the start, but that’s drag racing. It’s all down to the seconds and fractions of seconds. I still had to pedal on that run, so the times were still reasonable”.
We approached the track organisers regarding a grudge run, and because the event was so well run and ahead of schedule, a time slot was allocated for Gregorini and I to test. A Pro Tree was also requested, so we could simulate our upcoming Top Doorslammer Round 1 event.
“It all came together in the last run, with our tuning adjustments getting closer to what we are looking for. Despite me falling asleep at the lights, the car ran a strong 5.833 @ 250.00mph – our fastest speed at this track”.
“Considering the extreme heat (44 deg C) the weekend was one of the best meetings for several reasons, with a brilliantly prepared track and Top Fuel racing in the fours all weekend”.
Round 1 of the 2014 ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship starts Jan 31st – Feb 1st with the Pro Showdown at the Perth Motorplex.
“We are also preparing for a change in qualifying procedures at the Westernationals, where two rounds of the championship are staged in the one event – Round 2 and Round 3. Using the three round format, we only get one qualifying pass. The pressure will certainly be on competitors to get in the field, with crew chiefs pondering their options for outright performance, or a safe reliable setup”.
“We are aiming for a better start in this years championship to give us a good chance at our seventh back-to-back championship. The Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro will present at the next event in a new paint scheme to showcase our naming rights sponsors in a fresh way”.
“We hope to see as many sponsors and supporters at the Motorplex to help start our campaign in the 2014 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Season in a positive way”.