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An unusually cautious John Zappia is approaching the 50th annual Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway, with one eye on his Fuchs Monaro Pro Slammer and the other on the Queensland sky ahead of the event.
With some wet weather possible, Zappia said goal number one is to make a clean pass to get into the field and follow it up with consistency, as all out performance takes a back seat.
“Every time I say I will go real fast our runs turn to a mess, so for us the Winternationals will be all about consistency and we will let the performance come,” he said.
“We don’t want to be the ones to go too hard in the first qualifying session and miss making what is likely to be an extremely tough field. I think weather will be a factor, but it is only Tuesday so hopefully that forecast will change. At the moment it is a survival strategy: get qualified and get into the eight car field.”
The Fuchs Pro Slammer team has an amazing amount of data from thousands of runs down the quarter mile and it is this knowledge resource they will draw upon at the Winternationals.
“We will read the engine, read the data and track and creep it up accordingly,” Zappia said.
Seventeen high quality entries from across the country will make up the Pro Slammer bracket, turning out in force for the final round of the 400 Thunder Series.
Many of those drivers have recently found new pace, with Ben Bray, Gary Phillips, Scott MacLean and Stuart Bishop among those to recently descend into the 5.7 second zone.
“Sometimes you’ve got to run as fast as you can just to stay where you are and that is what we are seeing in Pro Slammer right now,” Zappia said.
“A 5.7 would have been a guaranteed top qualifying award in the past, but it’s a very likely scenario that someone might run a 5.7 second time in qualifying this weekend and not even get lane choice for round one – that is how much the pace has stepped up in recent months.”
“We know we have what it takes to be at the pointy end, we just need to not overdo it and get ourselves into the show where we can then put on a great showing for Fuchs and all our other sponsors.”
But ultimately, Zappia admits that drag racers make poor fortune tellers and the only statements worth anything will be those made on the day at the famed Willowbank Raceway surface.
“I didn’t predict the numbers we ran in Sydney and I don’t think anyone else thought they would be setting personal bests either. This is one tough field and not to be taken lightly – who knows what we will see? You’ll just have to be there to see the Fuchs Monaro and over 500 other awesome drag racing teams.”
The Winternationals begins from Thursday, with the first Pro Slammer qualifying session being held on Friday, followed by two more qualifying sessions on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday.
“We would like to see as many of our sponsors, supporters and fans come out and visit our pit area and get the latest merchandise celebrating our 10 straight championships,” Zappia said.
Latest News History
John Zappia, Australia’s quickest Top Doorslammer driver, has won round two of the Slamfest in Portland Victoria last weekend to snatch the lead in the series from rival Peter Kaparis in a thrilling final race. Slamfest is high excitement eighth mile racing on regional tracks in Australia, where huge local crowds enjoy the quickest Doorslammers […]
Zappia Racing head to Fuchs South Coast Raceway in Victoria to compete in Round 2 of the Slamfest, after a strong performance at the Top Fuel meeting at Perth Motorplex last weekend. “We managed a respectable 5.85 @ 249.00mph in the first eliminator” said an enthusiastic Zappia, “We missed out on a B Final by […]
The quickest Slammers in Australia were at Heathcote Victoria last weekend for Round One of the eighth mile Slamfest Series, and produced some wild rides that entertained the crowd. Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia was keen to snatch the win and the local track record, and after some great racing almost pulled it off. […]
John Zappia presented the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing Monaro at the Perth Motorplex “Night of Fire” last weekend after the Christmas and New Year break, and delighted the local crowd with some quick runs. “We were keen to get back out racing” said Zap, “We had made some upgrades with the Santhuff shocks over […]
John Zappia took the Fuchs Lubricants / Striker Crushing and Screening HQ Monaro to the final in the 41st Goldenstates at the Perth Motorplex this weekend. The meeting was Round two of the Australian ANDRA Pro Series Top Doorslammer Championship, and the result has thrown open the field to good competition for the remainder of […]
Australian National Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia had a setback in his ambition to win a sixth straight Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship last weekend, when he failed to qualify for the 2012 Nationals at Sydney Dragway. Zappia qualified ninth out of the fifteen car field in the Fuchs Lubricants / Procomp Electronics “Crusher” Monaro […]
The Zappia Racing transporter has left Perth for the long trip across Australia to Sydney for the 2012 Australian Nationals, where team owner and driver John Zappia will start his defense of the 2012/2013 Top Doorslammer Championship title. A good start for both a new season and his on-track efforts is what five times ANDRA […]
The 2012 Fuchs Winternationals at Willowbank International Raceway, Queensland Australia was the most dramatic event of the year for ANDRA Pro Series Australian Top Doorslammer teams – with inclement weather, extended race days, team withdrawals, nail-biting “championship on the line” runs, pending retirements, upset wins, and quickest passes in history – all playing center stage […]