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No stone has been left unturned by John Zappia and his team of Pro Slammer professionals ahead of the second last round of the 400 Thunder Drag Racing Series at Sydney Dragway this weekend, May 4-5.
The Australian record holding Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro has been given what Zappia described as a birthday, with every aspect of the car looked over to ensure maximum consistency and performance at the Nitro Thunder event.
“We have had the crank crack tested and honed the block thanks to Southside Engine Centre, rebuilt the B&J Transmission, freshened up the Boninfante Clutch with new fingers and plates and put every part of the car under a microscope,” he said.
“Reliability is what you need to win championships and from here on in we need everything to be 100% right.”
Zappia said he was looking forward to returning to Sydney Dragway where the performances of the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro have been consistent.
“The car runs good in Sydney and we have everything in our tune up back to where we ran 5.60 last year,” he said. “The weather looks like it will be cooler which suits us and the schedule has been adjusted to keep us out of the coldest temperatures where it can be tricky to put the power down.”
Points are the primary consideration so Zappia will be going for consistency rather than shooting for a new national record.
“The potential for the first 5.5 second run in Pro Slammer competition is there for sure,” he said. “When we went 5.60 the car was 30 pounds overweight. Now the car is the lightest it has been so hopefully we can capitalise on that and at least get back to consistent low 5.6s. A high 5.5 is not out of the question.”
While outright performance is valuable, good reaction times can also provide valuable hundredths of a second. That is an area where Zappia feels he has been on the improve.
“The better the car performs, the better I perform on the lights,” he said. “When you are wondering what is going to happen when you drop the clutch you can get distracted. Sometimes reaction times aren’t all driver, they can be in clutch settings as well.”
Zappia and the team will be testing on the Wednesday before the event as well as in official test sessions on Friday night.
“We are going to test with some new Hoosiers on Wednesday and make sure everything is ready, then we have a couple of test passes Friday night, then into racing,” he said. “We are making sure the tyres are bedded in and happy, then we will know which set to use for the weekend.”
The Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro will be part of a 13 car Pro Slammer field with some of the quickest cars in the nation set to wow fans. Testing begins from 5pm on Friday while 400 Thunder racing begins from 3.30pm Saturday.
Photo courtesy Luke Nieuwhof/dragnews.com.au.
Event information – Tickets, Event Schedule, Pit Allocations: Sydney Dragway