John Zappia turned around his season’s fortunes in the space of just seven days with a stunning track record performance at Perth Motorplex’s Goldenstate Championships on Saturday.
After a patience-testing East Coast Thunder in Sydney, Zappia and his team returned across the Nullarbor to get straight back to the track at Perth Motorplex, where Zappia hoped to cure persistent tyre shake issues.
With 40C degree temperatures recorded across much of Perth, the weather conditions were challenging, and Zappia opted to skip a scorching early afternoon qualifying session in favour of a cooler 5.30pm compulsory qualifying round, where he qualified second with a 5.849, narrowly behind Steve Aldridge’s 5.846.
Seeded against Daniel Gregorini’s quick Camaro, Perth Motorplex fans looked forward to an entertaining elimination round between the two rivals.
“We looked at the data from qualifying and gave it a few tweaks, as well as choosing the right-hand lane,” Zappia said. “I got the holeshot on Daniel but then the Zappia Racing Holden Monaro moved out towards the wall – the door was probably only about a foot away from the concrete. But the car didn’t shake and I stayed on full throttle, getting it back into the groove and we came up with a 5.634/255mph. Everyone on the crew was over the moon.”
The run was the quickest ever made by Zappia at Perth Motorplex, and the engine came back in perfect condition. Zappia next had to make a decision for the final round against Nigel Johnson – keep a consistent tune up in the car or go for a track record?
“We thought we could step up for a possible 5.59, but we also really wanted to see if we could keep the car consistent. With that in mind we did only minor adjustments and changed to the left lane. Up against Nigel we launched really well and though the car went to the right again it wasn’t nearly as bad this time. It settled back into the groove and we ended up with a 5.636/257.01mph for the win.
“We were pretty happy the car was showing consistency, and it’s really fast. We had 1800 feet corrected altitude on Saturday, compared to the 300 feet corrected altitude we had in Sydney when we ran 5.60. So we think we are on the right track and the best thing is we are still safe on the tune.” Zappia’s next event will be the opening round of the Summer Slam Series on November 30 at Perth Motorplex.
“It looks like there is a little bit left yet. Hopefully we get some cooler weather for the Summer Slam and we can take back the track record, which is a 5.629 by Paul Mouhayet. It would be nice to take back the record for WA!
“We would like to thank Ray Treasure and all the track staff for preparing and maintaining a great track in very trying conditions and running a very smooth event.
“A big thank you to all our sponsors who help make competing at this level possible. We will have our latest Biante model cars on display and available for purchase at the Summer Slam event, so make sure to stop by our pit area.”