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Zappia carded the quickest time of any Pro Slammer during testing, recording a 5.64 second pass on Monday after a 5.68 in tricky conditions on Saturday.
“We were originally just testing on Saturday, but when we realised that (crew member) Wilson was flying out Monday night we decided to do more testing on the Monday,” he said. “That’s when we went 5.64 off the trailer.
“We attacked harder on the next run and found some more time to 60 feet, but then rattled the tyres further out.”
Zappia has reason to be confident coming into East Coast Thunder. Last year’s event saw Zappia’s quickest ever run, a 5.601 that remains the quickest Pro Slammer pass in official competition.
While heatwave conditions will make early qualifying sessions tough on teams, Zappia predicts the third and final qualifying session on Friday night will be a great show for fans, before an intense four rounds of competition on Saturday thanks to a 16 car field.
“Everyone will have a baseline from the first two runs, good or bad, and then come out firing for the last qualifying session,” he said. “With the number of 5.7s being run during testing it makes for a huge challenge with at least eight of the big hitters capable of top qualifying. The scene is set for a huge battle expected to go to the wire in one of the quickest Pro Slammer fields in history.
“From there it is into 16 car eliminations – a rare event in Pro Slammer. The winner will have to make four winning passes in a row which isn’t easy in this bracket.
“We want to be in that winner’s circle for our fans and sponsors. This will be our first time at Sydney Dragway since Muscle Car Warehouse joined our team; they are based at Kogarah and will be coming to check out the action at East Coast Thunder.”
Since Zappia’s win in Darwin at the opening round of the 2018/19 400 Thunder Championship, the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro has been freshened up with new CP Pistons and has received a few suspension adjustments.
The Zappia Racing transporter has also been getting a freshen up, with Zappia saying the new wrap is a ‘work in progress’ that will emulate the look of the Fuchs/Dananni Hotshots Monaro.
Pro Slammer qualifying sessions take place on Friday at 2.16pm, 4.51pm and 7.40pm. Eliminations begin with round one on Saturday at 12.25pm, with following rounds at 3.06pm, 5.19pm and 7.20pm. Fans can follow the Ovo Mobile live feed at www.ovo.com.au, or via the Ovo: Live streaming + mobile app.