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Zappia Hoping for more Nationals Success at Australian Nationals

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Seven times back-to-back Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia has his eye on some quick times this weekend at the ANDRA “Blow Your Mind” Australian Nationals at Sydney Dragway. The pressure is off after he claimed the championship last meeting in Adelaide, and the country’s quickest Top Doorslammer driver is all fired up.

“Sydney is a special place for the team”, said Zappia, “We have often gone quick there and the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro likes the track. Running the world’s first five-second pass is a great memory for the crew, as were the Nationals wins in 2007 and 2013. So we are keen to do well here this weekend to cap off a great season”.

The team comes off the back of some solid testing in Perth recently, where Zap rattled off a 5.778 in testing.

“We have continued testing a combo to overcome tyre shake in the Crusher, and saw some promising results at the Perth Motorplex that has given us some confidence to go after some quick times this meeting with the championship pressure off”.

“We recommend fans get to this meeting and see some awesome Top Doorslammer action. Adelaide fans just loved the wild racing there last round, and it got my heart pumping with some of the runs – using up all of the track and even tagging the wall on the final run”.

There will also be some exciting and explosive racing to determine the Top Fuel battle between Phil Lamattina and Alan Dobson, as well as Top Alcohol championship decider between Gary Phillips and Steven Ham.

Thirteen teams including the return of Victor Bray, have entered this final Top Doorslammer Round – all will be attempting to qualify for the eight-car field.

Entrant:                                                                      Points:

John ZAPPIA WA – HQ Holden Monaro                684

Stuart BISHOP QLD – Camaro                                 517

Grant OROURKE QLD – Pontiac                              427

Peter KAPIRIS VIC – Dodge Saratogo                     328

Martyn DACK WA – BF Falcon                                 315

Pino PRIOLO WA – ‘37 Chev                                     283

Maurice FABIETTI NSW – Holden Monaro           238

Victor BRAY QLD – ‘57 Chev                                      221

Bill GOONAN QLD – Camaro                                     65

Johnny ROSO ACT – Camaro                                      41

Geoff GRADDEN NSW – Chrysler                             20

Jeffery WILSON NSW – Corvette                              20

Steve DUPOND NSW – Ford Duster                          -

 

Racing Schedule:

Sat 31st Oct 2014 – Eastern Standard Times

Q1 – first qualifying run.      12.22pm

Q2 – second qualifying run. 3.29pm

Q3 – last qualifying run.       6.15pm

 

Sun 31st Oct 2014

E1 – Round 1 elimination.    11.24am

E2 – Semi Final round.         1.42pm

E3 – Final.                              3.52pm

 

Live Coverage:

www.dragnews.com.au

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Zappia Wins 7th Consecutive ANDRA National Championship with Finals Finish

Six times back-to-back ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia today made history in Australian Drag Racing – by winning his seventh championship in a row with a finals finish at the Fuchs Spring Nationals, the most any racer has won consecutively – a title his good mate Victor Bray held for many years. He did it with one meeting still to go – the Australian Nationals in Sydney.

“Fantastic result for Zappia Racing and our Naming Rights Sponsors Fuchs Lubricants and Striker Crushing and Screening” said Zap, “The team is a little disappointed with the finals loss to O’Rourke, but a great result for the team overall. A big thank you to my Sponsors, Crew and Supporters”.

The Fuchs Spring Nationals was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of Racing Onn Promotion’s Rino D’Alfonso and his team – including Ray Treasure who ran the meeting in partnership with ANDRA. Great weather contributed and brought in the huge crowds to witness some great drag racing from all classes.

Top Doorslammer saw eleven teams represented from around Australia, and qualifying for the eight-car field began on Saturday in great conditions.

“We suffered tyre shake pretty bad in all three qualifying passes, but managed to come in number two behind Bishop. We were experimenting with a combination to try and overcome this dreaded tyre shake – but it ended up worse than ever”.

Final Qualifying order saw Bishop lead with a 5.091 @ 218.43mph, from Zappia 5.099 @ 222.11mph and Fabietti on 5.105 @ 211.36mph. Bump spot was a 5.243 and surprise non-qualifiers Kapiris and Gregorini were out of the meeting.

“I had to go back to basics and put a known combo in the car for this track – I had the data, so we made the changes to run Round 1 up against Marty Dack on Sunday. The track was actually very good, but lane choice was tricky for us in the Fuchs/Striker Crushing Monaro due to my driving position and the poor vision I have when using the mirror to launch from the right lane and also due to the sun on the stage lights”.

“I picked the left lane, and did a crown pleasing fish tail win that actually took some driving to accomplish. I had to pedal twice after shaking and was all over the track trying to stay in it, but managed to take the win with a 5.19 to Dack’s 5.23″.

Other winners were Bishop over Priolo, Fabietti over Goonan, and O’Rourke over Phillips.

“I changed to the right lane for the semi-final against Fabietti – executed a bad light and had to chase him. First gear pulled hard – I punched second and the car rattled a little so I did a tap on the throttle – drove the Crusher hard to overtake Fab and win the round with a 5.06 – low ET of the meeting”.

“The team was elated after the win, as news came through that we had won the championship. After last year’s nail biting finish to the season going right down to the last race, it was a relief to secure the championship with one meeting remaining”.

O’Rourke managed to take out Stuart Bishop who red lit in the other semi-final setting up another battle of the giants in the finals. Zappia and O’Rourke are both long time Western Australian racers who have faced each other numerous times over the years, and with O’Rourke’s return to Top Doorslammer the two have met up together this year more than ever.

“The final was a hard tactical decision for the team. With the sun causing me difficulties on the start line, I chose the left lane – not the best performing lane over the day – but I was confident we could tune the car to get the right wheel speed and maintain traction”.

“Unfortunately the crew positioned me to avoid some blistering on the track surface, and the Crusher was pointed to the left. The car launched hard but went left – I pedaled and just grazed the wall, and came up short of O’Rourke’s winning 5.26 @ 216mph”.

“The result is a great response to our Sponsor’s support – winning the championship for Fuchs at their naming rights event. I managed to call Striker Crushing and Screening’s Director and owner of the Crusher in Malaysia, and he was elated with the win”.

“The Zappia Racing crew is amazing in their dedication and expertise they bring to the team. A big thank-you to them and their efforts. Also a big thanks to our long list of sponsors and supporters who each are significant and have contributed to the overall team performance”.

“This year has not been plain sailing, with the beginning of the season being challenging. We got a little lost chasing some performance – and believe me it is easy to get lost trying to get these brutal Doorslammers down the track competitively – but brought the car back to where we knew it would perform from our data which ensured the wins came”.

The Zappia Racing Team will return to Perth for the Perth Motorplex opening test-n-tune, before heading back to Sydney for the final meeting of the championship season at Sydney Dragway for the Australian Nationals on 31st October. With the Championship all wrapped up the team can concentrate on performing well at the Nationals without thinking about the outcome of the Championship, something that has come down to the last race for the past three seasons.

Looking forward to seeing as many sponsors and supporters in Sydney to help us celebrate our 7th consecutive Championship win.

Photography:
Haley Turn – Outlaw Images.

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Zappia Spring Nationals

Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia is in Adelaide this weekend for the Fuchs Spring Nationals, which is Round 8 of the current series – and hopes to extend his lead and secure a seventh straight championship.

“We are coming off three straight wins this season and our form is good” said Zappia, “The break since Darwin has been great and the team is refreshed, but we are more determined than ever to get the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro going quick”.

Zap holds a 138-point lead in the championship over Bishop, with O’Rourke a further 126 behind in third. With this event and the final round at the Nationals in Sydney, the champ looks in a strong position.

“Look we are not treating this lightly. Sport at the top level is tough – look what happened to Sydney in the AFL Grand Final – if you are off your game a small amount it could cost you. We are very thorough with our preparation and attention to details at Zappia Racing, and a very strong winning culture that is contagious and confidence building. But we will be trying to eliminate any mistakes that can creep in”.

“Adelaide is a great track for the fans, and our Naming Rights Sponsors Fuchs. The turnout and atmosphere is good, and we hope to entertain and thrill the crowd with the Crusher Monaro, and give our sponsors something to smile about”.

“Rino has done a great job in preparing the track and promoting this event and we hope there is a big crowd to create a great atmosphere”.

“We welcome new Major Sponsor – Hoosier Racing Tire, who will now be supplying our racing slicks. A big thank-you to Faron Lubbers for the support. We need all the technical expertise we can get to try and overcome the tyre shake these Top Doorslammers sometimes get plagued with”.

Top Doorslammer has eleven entrants for the two day event, with qualifying starting on Sat 4th at 4.30pm Adelaide time. Q2 is at 6.35pm, and Q3 at 8.20pm. Eliminations on Sunday 5th are at 11.45am, 1.50pm and 4.23pm.

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Zappia Can Clinch Top Doorslammer Title in Adelaide

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Aussie Drag Racing legend and Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia could add lucky number #7 to his six consecutive titles since 2008 this weekend at the Fuchs Spring Nationals in Adelaide.

The Fuchs/Striker Monaro has been a dominant force yet again this season coming off three successive ANDRA Drag Racing Series victories to hold a 138 point lead over his nearest rival Stuart Bishop.

Zappia is confident progression through the first round on Sunday should be enough to clinch the title or at the very least heap more pressure on Bishop.

“I’m pretty sure we only need to go past the first round,” says Zappia.

“We’re 138 points ahead. If we both get through the first round, then he can only gain 140 more points if I lost there and went out in the first round in Sydney (at the Australian Nationals).

“He needs to win this event and the next event. There’s a mathematical chance that is pretty well over if we get through the first round.

“I just put it out of my mind and just go for it. At the end of the day if I get eliminated he still has to win the event and then we know we can go pretty good at Sydney. He struggles there so we just put it out of our mind and go racing.

“If we qualify well we should have an easier run in the first round. He qualifies pretty well in Adelaide, he was second last year so we shouldn’t meet until the final like the final we should have had at Calder Park (at the Southern Nationals).”

According to Zap, aside from a Championship showdown the fans at Adelaide International Raceway can expect some lightning quick times as he attempts to break his own track record.

Running over 1000 feet instead of the usual quarter mile, Zappia feels the four-second barrier is realistic with a pass of somewhere in the 4.9 second zone at 230 mph.

“The track was good (last year) and I’m expecting a natural progression. Each time I’ve gone there the track has got better and better.

“We’re hoping we can get the car into the fours this time. We’ve got the track record at 5.03 at 226 or 228 mph, something like that. We’re hoping for a 4.90 at 230 mph.”

Featuring 11 drivers vying for a spot in the eight-car field, Top Doorslammer promises to be a headline attraction alongside Pro Stock Motorcycle and Top Fuel making their first appearance in Adelaide since October 2012.

The Fuchs Spring Nationals will be two days of high-octane Championship Drag Racing action featuring Top Fuel, Top Doorslammer, Pro Stock Motorcycle and the Aeroflow Sportsman Drag Racing Championship this Saturday and Sunday October 4-5, 2014 at Adelaide International Raceway.

For more information and ticketing details please click here.

Image courtesy: Joe Maday