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Zappia gets to B Final in Perth

Zappia Racing presented for the Nitro Funny Car Challenge at the Perth Motorplex last weekend, entered in Top Comp in the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro, and made the B Final before rain caused the meeting to be cancelled.

The meeting was a chance for the “Crusher” to complete more runs ahead of Round 4 of the ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship in Calder, Victoria.

Zap’s first pass at 6pm was part of the twenty-car field’s compulsory qualifier, and a pedaling 5.943 @ 249.30 placed him third in the qualifying table, 0.053 over his 5.890 index.

“We have a niggly tyre shake problem on this track” said Zap, “I had to pedal to get through that and managed a fair pass considering”.

The Zappia Racing Team took to the Crusher during the break to make the necessary changes, as they faced Jon Ferguson in his AA/FC funny car at 8.30pm.

“The track actually came around a lot in two hours, and unfortunately we did not hit it hard enough, and I had to pedal again as it rattled the tyres. A 6.065 @ 245.90mph was enough to get us into the B Final against Pilkington in the AA/FC funny car. Western in the TA/D was to meet Championship leader McClure in the BB/FC in the A Final before a weather change brought rain, and the meeting was cancelled”.

“We were looking forward to that final – we are using a new on board ignition computer that requires a little more finesse compared to the six shooter we have been using for years. I reckon I had it figured out. Ultimately it will give us more control over the new engine package, which really makes extraordinary power for a sedan race car”.

Eleven cars have entered Round 5 at the Southern Nationals at Calder Park, named “Slam Fever” and proudly sponsored by Essendon Chysler Fiat on 4 – 5th April 2014.

“We are looking forward to presenting Fuchs and Striker Crushing and Screening before the fans in Melbourne and expect a good crowd. The normal three qualifier and elimination rounds are scheduled, so we have the time to gradually get on top of the track there”.

“Calder Park holds a special place in our hearts for the team. We ran the old HQ Zap’s Rat there in 1995 at the first Top Doorslammer Exhibition meeting, top qualified and defeated Brendan McSweeney in the final in the legendary “lawn mowing” incident. We have come a long way – our personal best at that meeting was 6.54 @ 218mph using a 554 Walt Austin Hemi, and we have the National Record at 5.745 – just under eight tenths quicker!”

“Our last meeting at Calder was straight after we ran the world’s first doorslammer five second pass in 2005, when we match raced against Lucky Belleri in his Camaro. At that meeting we re-set the track record to 6.32 @ 231mph for the quarter. This coming meeting will be over 1,000 feet, where the ANDRA National Record is yet to be set – a minimum of 4.81 and 235 mph has been applied. We are hoping to dip into the “fours” for the meeting for sure”.

Zappia Racing have new merchandise available for fans attending the Calder event Ð just make your way to the Zappia Racing pits and get Zap to sign your purchase.

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Zappia wins B Final running 5.797 Track Record

The Westernationals has been run here in the West last weekend, where two rounds of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship were staged in the one event. Changing to a three round format proved popular with the local crowd with big numbers attending the event. Reigning Champion John Zappia gained valuable championship points with his team’s performance with a B Final win and top ET and MPH in Round 2.

“We were thousands off doing really well,” said Zappia, “but overall we are happy with the progress on our new package with new NRE X1 heads. Our 5.797 pass was our first “seven” in Perth, and reset the track record”

Round one qualifying was dramatic for Zappia and the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro, as he rattled the tyres on launch causing the car to head right towards the wall.

“I pedaled and hit second gear and the car powered back up against the wall – scraping the headers and door pretty bad. The crew managed to put a door from Zap’s Rat on Craig Pedley’s Crusher and head out for the first eliminator against Sutton”.

A pedaling 5.957 @ 249.3mph was enough for Zap to defeat the Corvette’s 6.423 @ 231.95mph, but missed out on an A Final by 0.005 seconds. The match up against O’Rourke in his Pontiac in the B Final was a chance for revenge as Grant has had a couple of wins over Zap lately.

“We were just about right with our tuning on the new combo, and I was confident the car would hook up, and it certainly did. A 5.797 @ 250.69mph dead straight and hitting all my shift points was a great win over Grant’s 7.533″.

Kapiris was winner of Round 2 with a win over mark Belleri. Round 3 on the Sunday saw a great qualifier by Zap to gain Top Qualifier position with a 5.863 @ 251.39mph. This also gave us top points for ET and MPH for the second night running.

“I probably short shifted a little on that run, but the mph gained us Top Speed points for the meeting. That put us up against our rival Peter Kapiris in the Saratoga in the qualifier – our first pairing since last years championship tussle. I was looking forward to the race, but he got me on a brilliant hole shot!”

Kapiris won the race with a slower 6.139 @ 241.28mph to Zap’s 6.036 @ 247.93mph thanks to a super sharp 0.084 light to 0.196.

“We both had to pedal on that run and I lost by 0.009 seconds for a finals berth. Congratulations to Daniel Gregorini who took the round win – his first in Top Doorslammer”.

Points standing after Round three sees Stuart Bishop leading with 165 points, followed by Pino Prioli on 157 and Zappia on 138.

“We are happy with the points and our standing in the championship at this stage of the championship. We have got a better start than in previous years and hope to gradually work our way up the points table. The owner of the Crusher and Managing Director of Striker Screening and Crushing Craig Pedley was at the meeting and was very happy with how we are going. His staff and clients in the corporate box got to see his car running quick times and getting the B Final win”.

Zappia Racing head to Calder Park in Victoria for Round 4 on April 4 – 5, then on to Sydney for Round 5 at the Nitro Champs in May.

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Zappia ready for the Westernationals

This weekends ANDRA Top Doorslammer Rounds 2 and 3 at the Westernationals in Perth will be very hot – both in temperature and competition, and the champ John Zappia is ready to give it all.

With forecast temperatures of 37 C (98 F) on Saturday, and 35 C (96 F) on Sunday the twenty Top Doorslammers will have to be on their game to master the tricky Perth Motorplex track in the new Three Round Format.

“We are very confident here at Zappia Racing” said a cool Zappia yesterday at the track, “We tested today with some new parts and managed some good results in the areas we were concentrating on”.

“First pass got out quick but shook and I aborted. Second pass again got out quick to 60 feet, but again shook. I pedaled it and wrenched it back off the wall and ran it through for a 6.10 @ 242mph using up a fair bit of the track”.

“We know this track well and it can be very tricky with the power levels we have in these Slammers using suspension rear ends. The track conditions can change from day to day, so the challenge for us and all other racers is to get a handle on the track and weather conditions as quickly as possible as we only have one qualifier then straight to Eliminations with the four fastest winners going into the “A” and “B” Finals”.

“We need to get the power in the Fuchs Lubricants/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro to the ground, and as seen in the Pro Showdown, if you’re not at the top of your setup there could be upsets. ANDRA Series Round 2 racing starts this Saturday with qualifying at 5.30, elimination round at 7.30, and finals at 9.50pm. Sunday’s ANDRA series Round 3 racing has the same time slots. Two rounds of the ANDRA Pro Series on the same weekend!

We hope to see as many of our Sponsors and supporters at the track to cheers us on and to check out the new season merchandise.