John Zappia comes to the 2018 Winternationals prepared for a fight in the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Holden Monaro.
Following a titanic duel with Paul Mouhayet this season, Zappia comes into the season-ending 400 Thunder event with a 16 point lead.
These kinds of battles are not unusual for the 11-times national championship winner. It was at the 2010 Winternationals where Zappia’s most hard fought championship win came. After going toe to toe with Robin Judd throughout the ANDRA Top Doorslammer season, the pair would meet in the final round with the outcome of the championship coming down to that last clash.
“I think I was four points behind going into the final run, even holding bonus points for low ET,” Zappia said. “We had to win that run to win the championship and that is what we did. Talk about a pressure situation.”
Thankfully pressure is where Zappia Racing thrives. Whenever challenged, the team has been able to find a way to improve, be that in the leagues of outright performance or for championship points.
“It is nerve wracking time but we have the experience of that. The whole Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots team deliver our best when we are under that pressure, we work better with pressure.”
Zappia has been paying attention to the performances of his rivals ahead of the Winternationals, with some impressive numbers recorded by Scott MacLean (5.57) and Paul Mouhayet (5.61).
“There were some pretty amazing low down numbers on Scott’s run in particular,” Zappia said. “It shows the rest of us that very low 60 foot times are possible with a 2700 pound car.
“We will see what kind of conditions we get for race weekend. The track was nearly perfect for testing and they had great air.
“I think we can go fast as well, our best at Willowbank was the 5.64 we ran at last year’s Winternationals before it was rained out.
“Drag racing is a sport where anything can happen. Scott was celebrating after his run and hurt his leg! So who knows what the Winternationals will see.
“What I do think we will witness is another 5.8 second bump spot for the eight car field – anyone who makes it into that field is going to be a threat on race day.”
Zappia Racing fans at the event seeking a rare collectible should make sure they come and see the team’s merchandise stand where the Biante 1:18 diecast model will be available.
“We are going to have stock at Willowbank but once they are gone, they are gone, so make sure you come and see us early,” Zappia said. “We will be at the track from Thursday setting up, which will be a great time to come and take an up close look at the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Holden Monaro before we get into qualifying on the Friday.”
Photo courtesy dragphotos.com.au.