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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 and his Zappia Racing Team presented the Striker “Crusher” Top Doorslammer on the 4th and 5th of December for the ANDRA Pro Series Top Fuel Event, competing in the Top Comp bracket. The Top Fuelers were stunning all weekend, and seventeen Group 2 blown alky cars battled it out for honours in the […]
John Zappia is licking his wounds this week after a Round 1 loss in the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Pro Series Round Three run at the annual Goldenstates last weekend, despite running three 5.8 second passes. Zap came up against Ben Bray in a Round 1 match up that had the local crowd on edge, and […]
John Zappia took the A Final win in “Top Comp” last weekend at the Perth Motorplex in Craig Pedley’s new Crusher HQ Monaro Top Doorslammer, and further secured his reputation as Australia’s leading Top Doorslammer tuner and driver. The current Top Doorslammer back-to-back National Champion drove the new car in its first event since licensing, […]
John Zappia completed licensing in Craig Pedley’s new Striker Monaro this week at the Perth Motorplex, and on its first full pass Zap ran a stunning 5.961 @ 239.35mph to give notice that this car has enormous potential. “We did the first stage of our licensing two weeks ago”, said an excited Zappia this week, […]
John Zappia took his newly repaired Striker Monaro to the final of Round 2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Pro Series at the Fuchs Nationals last weekend, and in one of the quickest side by side passes in history Robin Judd pipped Zap on the finish line to take the win. “We are just thrilled […]
John Zappia is on track to present for Round 2 of the ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship at the Fuchs Nationals in Western Sydney. A spectacular crash in the Final of Round 1 gained international media attention, and placed the Zappia Racing Team on the back foot in their preparation for the next event. “We ended […]
John Zappia had a very eventful meeting at the ANDRA Pro Series Top Alcohol Championships over the weekend, and ended up on National television all over Australia for the wrong reasons. After reaching the finals of the Top Doorslammer class to face off against rival Maurice Fabietti, Zap ended up putting the Striker Monaro into […]
John Zappia finished the 2008/2009 season on a high last weekend, by Top Qualifying and winning the Final in Top Doorslammer at the Winternationals. It was a demonstration of power and consistency – typical of his teams performance all season in which the Striker Monaro Top Doorslammer remained unbeaten. “What a season” said a reflective […]