Co-Naming Rights Sponsors
John Zappia and the Fuchs Monaro’s successful start to 2017 has continued with the team earning the WA Top Comp Championship at Perth Motorplex on Saturday night.
In a field containing some of the toughest blown alcohol racers in the country, the feat was never going to be easy and while some hurdles were thrown at the team they eventually proved good enough in a critical race against chief rival Adam Marchant. It was Zappia’s first Top Comp championship since 2010.
The best air conditions of the season greeted teams at the Motorplex, but a cooling track would prove challenging throughout the night.
Zappia’s first qualifying pass was a pedalling 5.84, with the car doing a spectacular wheelstand, owing to the extra horsepower from the conditions and the tight track.
Running late in the compulsory qualifying session after some oildown delays, Zappia was able to improve to a 5.78 to qualify second but some sparks from underneath the car indicated all was not well.
“We didn’t know where the sparks were from initially but we figured the clutch would be a good start,” he said. “We started changing the gearbox ratio when we got back and we missed inspecting the inside of the clutch can properly. We then realised late that the clutch had broken a lever and we had a race against Adam Marchant coming that was going to decide the championship.”
With the clock counting down, the team made the decision to run the clutch with just five levers and hope it would be enough to take out Marchant’s tough Top Alcohol dragster.
“We watched Pino Priolo take out another of our rivals, Steve Aldridge, ahead of us, so then I knew it was up to me,” Zappia said. “It shook the tyres because it needed more clutch but we got the job done with a 5.91, which secured us the Top Comp championship and a place in the B Final.”
Arriving back in the pits and with turnaround time limited following more delays, Zappia and the team made a rare decision to withdraw from racing.
“Had we been in an A Final we might have given it a shot, but we knew we had won the championship and we didn’t want to risk running the car with the clutch below its best,” he said.
“The good news was that by us withdrawing, our almost-team mate Kelvin Lyle got to race in the B Final and run another five second pass, adding on to his earlier 5.92 personal best which was great to see.”
While Zappia expected some record times might have be available, the margins were thin for quick performances.
“The car performed well engine wise, but we didn’t get a full clean pass – we were making horsepower, we just couldn’t use it. The cold air combined with stoppages meant the track was colder and trickier than we are used to here in Perth.”
As always, Zappia was looking at the positives of his mechanical troubles.
“It was good to find the problem. You run valve springs and con rods for so long, but you run clutch levers forever and they do a lot of work. Everything has a life and the consistency this team has involves working out what the safe life is for a part.”
The Fuchs team will now run their maintenance on the car and do some close checks before loading up for Sydney’s Nitro Thunder event in May and the Winternationals in June.
“Thanks to all our local supporters and sponsors, to add a Top Comp championship to ten ANDRA championships, it doesn’t get much better than that.”
John Zappia was also the 2016/2017 Summer Slam Series winner on 482.5 points, ahead of Steve Aldridge on 357.5 points and Priolo on 352.5 points. The series ran five specialised Top Doorslammer meetings, with twenty teams involved – with twelve local WA teams proudly presenting for the series.
Latest News History
ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia made a clean sweep of the 2015 Fuchs Winternationals in a dominating performance that saw him Top Qualify, Win the Final Round, Low ET and Top Speed for the meeting, reset the National Record and win his eighth back-to-back Championship. “A great season” said a jubilant Zappia, “Reminds me […]
Reigning and seven times back to back Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia is on his way to Willowbank Queensland, Australia for the biggest drag racing event outside of North America – the 2015 Fuchs Winternationals. The event is the final round of the short 2015 ANDRA Top Doorslammer Championship, and Zappia is fully prepared to […]
Seven times back-to-back Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the VPW Pro Series 1000 event this weekend, making it three from three in his chase for championship No 8 straight. Adelaide International Raceway hosted the ANDRA sanctioned event, promoted and run by Racing Onn Promotions, running the shorter 1,000 feet compared to the […]
Seven times back-to-back Australian ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia won the 44th Westernationals held at the Perth Motorplex this weekend and increased his lead in the short 2015 season to 85 points. The prestigious Western Australian event was a difficult playing field for the 18 teams that contested Round 2 of the ANDRA Top […]
In an extraordinary event at the Perth Motorplex that entertained the crowd to the fullest, the first Top Doorslammer match up in the wild west saw Maurice Fabietti and John Zappia tussle through the other fourteen teams and battle it out in the final. Maurice was in form this weekend with several five eighty passes, […]
John Zappia stunned the local Perth Motorplex crowd on the qualifying opening night of Top Doorslammer Round 1 with a 5.683 @ 253.52mph pass that took him to the top of the qualifying order of 16 cars. Eight teams qualified for today’s eliminations – all with sub six second runs, with surprise non-qualifiers Kapiris, Phillips […]
Reigning ANDRA Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia got to the A Final in the recent Jet Car Max Re-run event at the Perth Motorplex in the Top Comp Bracket, after a stellar 5.743 @ 252.10mph eliminator win. “The car is pretty stout at the moment” said a smiling Zappia, “The 5.743 was a back up […]
Reigning Australian Top Doorslammer Champion John Zappia ran the quickest doorslammer pass in the county over the weekend at the Perth Motorplex. He reset his own local track record and also went under his own Australian National Record in preparation for the upcoming Round 1 of Top Doorslammer. The run is not an official Top […]