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Champion Zappia Wins 2015 Westernationals

Seven times back-to-back Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the 44th Westernationals held at the Perth Motorplex this weekend and increased his lead in the short 2015 season to 85 points.

The prestigious Western Australian event was a difficult playing field for the 18 teams that contested Round 2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, with hot weather and tricky track conditions testing most drivers and tuners. Bump spot for the event was a tough 6.045 for only eight qualifiers who managed to go quicker.

“It’s a great result for the team” said Zappia, “We have started poorly in previous championships, but this double win has taken us ahead of the rest and given us some breathing space”.

Zappia placed the Fuchs/Striker Crushing and Screening Monaro into second position in qualifying with an off the trailer 5.892 @ 249.30mph – which included an off and on the throttle pedal.

The remaining qualifying runs were unable to improve with a 6.147 @ 245.23mph pass hindered by tyre shake, and a 5.981 @ 245.23mph in the rescheduled Saturday pass at 11am. In form Peter Kapiris captured top qualifier with a 5.877 @ 239.36mph and appears to have found some form after struggling at the last event.

“In round 1 against Wayne Keys the Crusher shook a little earlier requiring a pedal of the throttle, but powered on to a 5.863 @ 251.39mph win over Wayne who overpowered the track”.

Fabietti, Gregorini, and Kapiris all won their first round races.

The Zappia Racing crew turned the Crusher around for Round 2 against Gregorini – another fierce battle of the West Aussies who battle each other regularly at the Perth Motorplex.

“This was a great pass despite me still having to pedal with tyre shake, and the 5.776 @ 252.10mph gave me lane choice for the final. Daniel also overpowered the track and was not able to complete a competitive pass, giving us the win”.

Peter Kapiris scored a win against Maurice Fabietti after Fab had a slow reaction time on the line.

This set up an epic final against the two quickest qualifiers – Zappia and Kapiris. Kapiris coming back into form after a period of non-qualifying, and Zappia very quick in his quick and fast Monaro.

“I spoke to Naming Rights Sponsor and Crusher owner Craig Pedley who was monitoring the results from Malaysia, and he said the car is on fire – leave it alone. As a tuner that is sometimes hard to do, but we left it alone for the final hoping that the track conditions suited”.

In what has been described as one of the best Top Doorslammer races in history, Kapiris got the advantage at the lights with a 0.117 reaction against Zap’s 0.140 – but by 50 feet the Crusher was ahead thanks to an epic 0.959 sixty foot time and Zappia won with a 5.784 @ 252.10mph to Kapiris’ 5.814 @ 248.61mph – a winning margin of 0.007 seconds or 80cms.

“Craig was right and that quick start proved to be an advantage. The car still rattled hard and I had to pedal with a bigger pedal than the 5.776 run, but we had the power to get through that and stay ahead for the rest of the run”.

“It’s a great result for all our sponsors and local supporters and fans. We have had great local interest after we made the five six pass, and also welcome new Major Sponsor John Lyas from Appealing Signs”.

Zappia also captured an additional 10 championship points for Low ET and Top Speed for the event.

After two rounds John Zappia leads the Championship with 235 points, followed by Maurice Fabietti on 152 points, Daniel Gregorini on 110 points, and Marty Dack and Peter Kapiris both on 108 points.

Zappia Racing will present for the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercars event on 26th Feb – 1st March, where Zap will run the Crusher in the Fuchs Lubricants (Australasia) Drag Demonstration down the main straight.

“It’s a great way to promote both Fuchs and drag racing in general to the huge V8 Supercar fan and sponsorship base. Big smoky burnouts are my specialty, so we hope the fans enjoy it”.

Round Three of the Championship is staged at Adelaide International Raceway on 14-15th March 2015 where the Top Doorslammers will fight over 1,000ft of drag strip for another ANDRA Gold Christmas Tree trophy.

Qualifiers

P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.877; J ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.892; D GREGORINI – CAMARO 5.920; M FABIETTI – HOLDEN MONARO 5.924; M BELLERI – CAMARO 5.943; M DACK – BA FALCON 5.974; W KEYS – HOLDEN MONARO 5.976; P PRIOLO 37 CHEV COUPE 6.045.

Non-Qualifiers

G O’ROURKE – PONTIAC FIREBIRD 6.064; S BISHOP – CAMARO 6.118; M CHAPMAN – PLYMOUTH FURY 6.145; M O’CONNOR – ZM FALCON 6.237; P CARBONE – CAMARO 6.416; R MORESBY – HOLDEN GRANGE 6.429; S CATALANO – STUDEBAKER 6.495; P CANNULI – CAMARO 6.617; O DUCKER – 1937 CHEVY 7.334; S ALDRIDGE – CHEV BELAIR COUPE 17.130.

Round 1

M FABIETTI – HOLDEN MONARO 5.901 @ 246.57mph def M BELLERI – CAMARO 7.266 @ 133.53mph; D GREGORINI – CAMARO 5.955 @ 246.57mph def M DACK – BA FALCON 5.947 @ 244.56mph; J ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.863 @ 251.39mph def W KEYS – HOLDEN MONARO 8.555 @ 99.44mph; P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.921 @ 238.72 def P PRIOLO 37 CHEV COUPE 8.059 @ 136.36mph.

Semi-final

P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.887 @ 246.57mph def M FABIETTI – HOLDEN MONARO 5.820 @ 247.93mph; ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.776 @ 252.10mph def D GREGORINI – CAMARO 28.897 @ 0.00mph.

Final

J ZAPPIA – 71 HQ MONARO 5.784 @ 252.10mph def P KAPIRIS – DODGE 59 SARATOGA 5.814 @ 248.61mph.

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Photos courtesy Phil Blundell Drags Media, and Drag News.

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