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WA Top Doorslammer Championship Win for Zappia

Western Australia is the blown alcohol capitol of Australia, with a large contingent of teams competing in the local Top Comp bracket in Top Doorslammer, Top Alcohol and Competition classes – with many record setters and national champions among the group.

The standard is high, the knowledge deep, and anybody is encouraged to join the ranks and compete. There are enough Top Doorslammers in the West to run a dedicated local meeting – and last weekend the Perth Motorplex ran the WA Drag Racing Champs, featuring Top Doorslammer and Top Bike.

Eight cars presented for racing, in a three round format with A and B Finals. Eight times National Champion John Zappia in his Fuchs Monaro was the hot favourite, with Daniel Gregorini in his Camaro nipping at his heels, and Wayne Keys steady in the five nines in his roots powered Monaro.

Pino Priolo in his 37 Chev Coupe is a regular in the national series and is also a five niner, and Mark Chapman in his gorgeous Fury starting to get a handle on his setup. Rounding out the field were Steve Aldridge – still getting a handle on his angry Chev, Owen Ducker in his roots powered 36 Chev – and newcomer Paul Carey in his ex BSR Falcon sporting a quad cam small block.

Saturday was a very hot day, with temperatures searing into the 40’s C (104 F) and two sessions of qualifying saw Keys at the top of the list with a 5.996 @ 237.88, followed by Chapman on 6.07 @ 237.12. Zappia sat out the first qualifier due the heat and track condition, and then in the compulsory qualifier had the blower backfire that produced a spectacular fireball, but were still able to qualify in 5th position.

“We had a fuel system component fail causing a fuel mixture problem” said Zappia, “It actually did quite a bit of damage to a piston, and blower pulleys. We were under the pump getting ready for the first eliminator when a thunderstorm came over the Motorplex and caused postponement of the meeting to the next day. It was a get out of jail free card for us”.

The thunderstorm was very spectacular with lightening flashing and the rain pouring down around 7:30pm closing the meeting. Racing resumed on the Sunday and seven cars faced each other at 1.30pm in moderately hot conditions.

Keys had the bye after Ducker failed to qualify and managed a 6.227, Chapman 6.142 disposed of Carey 6.891 who snapped a blower belt; Priolo 6.454 took the win against Aldridge 8.816 who went up in smoke; and Zappia 5.798 was too strong for Gregorini 16.014 who overpowered the track.

“That was a nice pass and set us up for an A Final against Chapman. The crew turned the car around and we headed for the staging lanes anticipating a good result. But the track was a little tricky, and Mark Chapman is getting down the track pretty consistently this season so I had to make sure that I didn’t overpower the track”

In the A Final Zappia reacted quicker and went straight through for the win with a 5.815 @ 248.20mph to Chapman’s 6.203 @ 234.78mph. The B Final saw Wayne Keys 6.222 @ 234.08mph defeat Pino Priolo 6.723 @ 144.21mph.

“Congratulations for Mark Chapman for his A Final runner-up – it’s great to see new guys coming on well in Top Doorslammer. Big thanks to all sponsors and my dedicated crew for keeping the Fuchs Monaro running strong. 3 wins in 3 weekends from Perth to Sydney and back to Perth. Also congratulations to Brodie Zappia for coming runner up in Jnr Dragster”.

The Fuch Monaro will be on display at the Narrogin Rev Heads event from the 20th to 22nd November and will be doing some ear popping start ups for the crowd.

For more details see http://www.narroginrevheads.com.au/

Photos Courtesy: Phil Blondel, Perth Motorplex, and WA Police “Polair”

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Zappia Wins East Coast Nationals

John Zappia and his Fuchs Monaro won the East Coast Nationals Top Doorslammer event in Sydney with a resounding 5.762 at 249.58mph in the final.

It was an extraordinary weekends racing where teams had to get a handle on a very tricky track, and master the ever changing weather.

“It was a tough weekend for us in the pits” lamented champ Zappia, “We were doing it tough back there and the Zappia Racing crew were on top of it as usual. It was great to get the win – the track came around nicely for us in the final and we were able to at least put down a five seven”.

Qualifying on Saturday saw two sessions finished before the weather forced a stop to racing. Zap’s 5.921 @ 241.63 off the trailer was enough for him to top the list.

“We discovered a serious chassis crack before Q3 that required a repair. Luckily Craig Burns from SCF Racecars was at his home track, and we were able to get him to complete a chassis repair on site. Craig built the Crusher originally and this is our 7th season of racing with it. We were not able to make the third qualifier Sunday morning, but were good to go for eliminations”.

The qualified field saw two newcomers to the pointy end – a returning Andrew Searle and Mr 10.5 Frank Mamone making his transition to Top Doorslammer. Top runners Mark Belleri, Ben Bray, Grant O’Rourke and Peter Kapiris all qualified successfully.

Round one saw Zap up against his arch rival Peter Kapiris, and it was Zap who got very lucky when his Fuchs Monaro running a 5.879 at 204.35mph dropping a valve before the 1000 foot mark and sneaked in for the win by .001 seconds to Pete’s 6.134 at 228.81mph.

Other winners in round one were Belleri with a great 5.894, Ben Bray and a lucky Searle who got a solo after O’Rourke chose not to run due to a problem with the car.

The Zappia Racing crew managed a complete engine change in the turnaround and presented against Andrew Searle in the semi final and took the win with a pedaling 5.952. Ben Bray got the win in the other semi against Belleri who had an unfortunate collision with the wall to disqualify his run.

This set up another huge battle between the two big teams in Top Doorslammer racing – Zappia vs Bray. The reigning champ Zappia won the final with a Meeting Low ET 5.762 to maintain his position at number 1 in the Top Doorslammer championship and further increase his points lead in his quest for an unprecedented 9th straight championship.

“This meeting was all about the tune and setup, and having over 550 runs of data at our disposal, our Monaro is able to be set up to get down most tracks – even with a pedal. My clutch guy Gerry, data analyst Richard (thanks Paul Topping for filling in for Richard) and I can usually come up with a fine tune that will give us a competitive pass, and we are able to adapt to various conditions based on the recorded data we have”.

The Zappia Racing crew also attended the 2015 ANDRA Championship Dinner on Monday night, where John Zappia was presented with his Trophy for his 8th consecutive Top Doorslammer Championship.

Zappia Racing heads back to Perth for this weekends (14 Nov 15) WA Championship Top Doorslammer meeting with the NCQR to be run at 3:30pm followed by the Compulsory Qualifier at 6:00pm, Elimination Round at 8:00pm and the B and A Finals at 9:56 and 10:00pm.

We welcome all Sponsors, Supporters and fans to come down and watch some Top Doorslammer action and visit the pit area for a chat with John and his crew or purchase some merchandise.

QUALIFIED

BELLERI         5.886 @ 246.08

ZAPPIA           5.921 @ 241.63

SEARLE           5.940 @ 233.52

MAMONE       5.943 @ 239.78

B BRAY           5.989 @ 239.27

O’ROURKE     5.990 @ 242.67

KAPIRIS          5.997 @ 251.30

GRADDEN       6.237 @ 237.55

NON QUALIFIERS

TAYLOR          6.266 @ 219.58

CARBONE       6.293 @ 237.38

PRIOLO           6.487 @ 217.00

GOONAN         6.488 @ 192.14

ROSO              6.602 @ 225.11

MICALI           6.858 @ 159.97

WILSON          7.253 @ 228.19

CANNULI        8.586 @ 94.73

ROUND 1

BELLERI 5.894 @ 246.39 DEF GRADDEN 12.344 @ 54.82;

B BRAY 6.255 @ 210.05 DEF MAMONE 8.578 @ 110.54

ZAPPIA 5.879 @ 204.35 DEF KAPIRIS 6.134 @ 228.81

SEARLE 6.364 @ 227.04 DEF O’ROURKE NTR

SEMI FINAL

B BRAY 18.459 @ 25.06 DEF BELLERI 12.297 @ 40.03 (HIT WALL)

ZAPPIA 5.952 @ 247.93 DEF SEARLE 8.626 @ 107.33

FINAL

ZAPPIA5.762 @ 249.58 DEF B BRAY 6.325 @ 186.74

Photos courtesy: Joe Maday Drag News  Cackling Pipes  ANDRA

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Zappia on track for East Coast Nationals

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John Zappia is on track for a big 2015 East Coast Nationals event in his Fuchs HQ Monaro Top Doorslammer after recent events. Sixteen Top Doorslammer Teams have registered for the event, with some tough competition for the champ.

“We are going to have to be on the ball this weekend,” said Zap, “O’Rourke, Kapiris, Belleri and others are hot on our heels and marching into the five eights more easily now. We have a five seven car though, but a lot will depend on track and weather conditions and how it all comes together”.

Last weekends much talked about blower vs turbo shootout ended up a victory to the blower guys with Zap dominating the day in the APSA Extreme Class.

“My first APSA event at Perth Motorplex running in Extreme Outlaw class, and I managed to get the Fuchs Monaro down to 2,696 lbs – only 4 lbs lighter than for legal Top Doorslammer weight. Was able to add a bit more overdrive on the D PSI blower, but struggled with tyre shake and had to peddle all runs but still managed 5.77, 5.80, 5.76, and 5.78 in the final for a win over Shane Catalano”.

“We had a win over Paul Mouhayet’s Moits turbo Camaro running a 5.80 @ 406mph to his 5.90 @ 402mph, settling that score on the day. My best speed for the night was 253mph (407kms). Big thanks to all my sponsors, my awesome crew, and fans. Got my first APSA Trophy to add to my collection”.

Zappia leads the 2015/2016 Top Doorslammer Championship after winning the last round at Darwin. He gained enough points with the win and low ET to head the Top Doorslammer Championship points table with 199, ahead of O’Rourke with 170 and Kapiris on 152.

Live coverage of the event is available online at www.dragnews.com.au and the Twitter feed to your mobile, and will be live from 3pm AEDT Saturday and 12:30pm AEDT on Sunday at http://www.epicentre.tv/promoter/400-thunder/..

Tickets and details at www.sydneydragway.com.au

Qualifying Sat 7th Nov 2015

Q1 – 3.16pm

Q2 – 5.16pm

Q3 – 7.16pm

Eliminations Sun 8th Nov 2015

Round 1- 1.25pm

Semi     – 3.13pm

Final     – 4.52pm

Top Doorslammer Field

1 Mark BELLERI NSW 67 HOLDEN
2 Ben BRAY QLD 2639 CHEV
3 Paul CANNULI NSW 226 PLYMOUTH
4 Pat CARBONE WA 1386 CHEV
5 Bill GOONAN QLD 1239 CAMARO
6 Geoff GRADDEN NSW 1936 CHRYSLER
7 Peter KAPIRIS VIC 4 DODGE
8 Frank MAMONE NSW 670 HEMI
9 Charlie MICALI NSW 3583 PLYMOUTH
10 Grant OROURKE QLD 1067 PONTIAC
11 Pino PRIOLO WA 144 CHEV
12 Johnny ROSO ACT 169 CAMARO 69
13 Andrew SEARLE QLD 1257 FORD
14 Robin TAYLOR VIC 1670 CHEVROLET CAMARO
15 Jeffery WILSON NSW 1004 CORVETTE
16 John ZAPPIA WA 846 HOLDEN

 

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Photos courtesy Phil Blondel  https://www.facebook.com/phil.blondel?fref=ts